There’s no doubt it’s Fall now. Swirls of golden leaves are fluttering down to the driveway as fast as we can rake them. It’s such a bittersweet time of year. On the one hand it’s so beautiful outside. And Fall means apples, squash and pumpkins are in season. The kitchen becomes comfortably cool again and we enjoy making soups and baking sweet items redolent with cinnamon and other warm spices. On crisp cold nights we light the inn fireplaces. But the downside is that Fall signals an end to the tomatoes, basil and other warm-weather fruits and vegetables. And all that color is a precursor to bare tree limbs and having to bundle up to do outdoor chores.
This past weekend proved to be unusually cool for this time of year. So to warm the hearts and tummies of our guests, I made one of my favorite quick breads – a pumpkin orange and date loaf.
This recipe gives two 9 x 5 loaves. Enought to eat one now, freeze one for later, or share with friends.
Pumpkin, Date and Orange Bread
1/2 cup butter or margarine
2 cups sugar
1 – 14 oz. can of pumpkin
1/2 cup of milk
1 or 2 oranges (depends on how much orange flavor you like!)
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1 cup of chopped dates
optional: 1 cup of chopped walnuts or pecans
Put flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and ginger in a bowl and mix together well.
Cream butter and sugar together. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add pumpkin and milk.
Take unpeeled orange(s), cut into 8 pieces and process in a food processor or blender until ground up fine. Add this to the batter.
Gently fold the flour mixture into the batter. Stir in dates and nuts.
Divide mixture between two greased 9 x 5 loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
I’d share a photograph, but the guests ate it all before I got a chance to take one!
White Oak Inn