Moments ago I was standing on top of my kitchen island, fastidiously wiping the tops of my pendant lights to remove every trace of fruit flies I could find. Hubby watched with interest, I think, pointing out tiny spots on the ceiling, and teasingly calling me a fruit fly ninja. I have diligently and repeatedly smacked all those who have dared to defecate on my white cabinets in an attempt to eradicate their population before I resort to an apple cider vinegar trap. Their newest tactic, I’ve discovered, is to alight on the upper cabinets in my kitchen, just out of my reach.
Isn’t it ironic, I thought as I smacked the little buggers, that my hubby and I finally publicly admitted our mutual attraction to each other over fruit fly experiments in Grade 10 Science class? I recall being totally grossed out over the mating and egg-laying habits of these annoying red-eyed insects, but he made it kind of fun and Science class actually became something to eagerly anticipate. Is there any feeling that compares with the excitement of those first days of a new love?
Thoroughly scrubbing my kitchen and readying my home seems to be part of my annual back-to-school “nesting” instinct. It’s my calm before the storm. It’s just what I do every year before the roller coaster ride which is the life of a primary teacher begins. I have four days. Four precious days to do all those necessary chores like clean the house, go to the dentist, reorganize my closet, shop for clothes, make meals for the freezer, and finish the apparently essential task of polishing my silver jewelry. My classroom is ready and waiting for a new crop of kidlets that I know will tire me out in September, but who I also know I will come to love and who will cause me to choke back my tears when they leave me next June.
The next few blog posts will be devoted to meals and snacks that I’ve prepared for the freezer. I hope you find them useful if you or your children are heading back to school too.
Pecan-Topped Pumpkin Bread
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup kamut flour (or just use 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour)
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground allspice
- 1/4 cup flax seeds
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 1/2 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 cup pumpkin puree (dig down in your deep freeze and find last year’s stash that you never used . . . or buy a can)
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 7 ingredients (through flax seeds) in a bowl.
- Place sugar, oil, yogurt, and eggs in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until well blended. Add 1/3 cup water and pumpkin, beating at low speed until blended. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture, beating at low speed just until combined.
- Spoon batter into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan greased with coconut oil. Sprinkle pecans evenly over batter. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
Alternatively, use four 3″ x 5″ loaf pans and bake for about 25-30 min.
- Cool 10 minutes in pans on a wire rack; remove from pans. Cool completely on wire rack.
- Note: Omit the nuts or substitute chopped walnuts, if you prefer. Check the bread after 50 minutes of baking and add time if needed.