Pumpkin bread: providing good food and remedy for adulthood
Though fall only comes once a year, pumpkin bread can be enjoyed any month and provides a delicious relief from those looming post-graduation applications.
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Being a senior is fun. Wednesday pub nights on campus and Thursday evenings at various bars around town give one the grand illusion that the weekend has magically lengthened to a four-day marathon of festivities, while the work week has conveniently shrunk to a brief two-day sprint.
Unfortunately, there are also some troubles this final year on the Hill that we’d all just as soon forget: the threat of the "real world"—GREs, LSATs, MCATs or what have you—in addition to my mother repeatedly asking me if I’ve met any nice boys yet, as well as the impending doom of the job market.
But the one thing worrying me more than anything else is that these are the last months that dozens of pumpkin chocolate chip cookies will be available to me on a regular basis. After leaving Foss lunch one day last week, feeling especially woeful about the approaching decrease in supply (thank you, econ-131) of these esteemed cookies that have become so synonymous with life at Colby, I started ambitiously up the hill toward my apartment to get serious about prepping myself for life post-May 2012. I vowed to make my own pumpkin cookies.
Not so surprisingly, our meager cupboard shelves didn’t have enough supplies for cookies, but I managed to scrounge up the essentials for pumpkin bread—a close second in baked goodness. This simple recipe is adapted from In the Small Kitchen: 100 Recipes from Our Year of Cooking in the Real World, a new book by the adorable twenty-something creators of Big Girls, Small Kitchen, Cara Eisenpress and Phoebe Lapine. Theirs called for nutmeg, ginger, and chocolate chips, but without real world paychecks my apartment’s food money jar only allows for necessities like thirties of Natty, not luxuries like spices. I just doubled the cinnamon and called it a day.
Substituting applesauce for oil makes the bread sneakily healthy, and I’d argue that it tastes better that way, too. Even the bros down the hall wouldn’t guess that this version has virtually zero fat. After an hour of baking in the oven and making our six-man smell like heaven, the loaf emerged a deep golden brown, was moist when sliced and had a heavy, apple-y pumpkin-y crumb. This bread is autumnal perfection. It may not be a job, but wherever I end up in the mysterious abyss that awaits after graduation, at least I won’t be too nostalgic for Foss cookies. It’s a start.
- 1 ½ cups flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 to 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 can organic pumpkin (15 oz)
- Chocolate chips or nuts, if you feel like splurging
Mix together flour, salt, baking powder and soda, and cinnamon. Add the egg, vanilla, sugars, applesauce and pumpkin. Stir it up, pour into a buttered loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for about an hour and 10 minutes. Let cool, slice and voilà! You’re en route to adulthood.