Things My Mama Taught Me (and a few I learned from HGTV)

So, I didn’t learn this from my mama or HGTV; but it’s a recipe and so, it fits in with this series.

In 1998, I did my student teaching in English for twelfth grade (someday I’ll tell you the sordid tale of my journey from broadcast journalism to PR to education to publishing; quite the interesting story that it is).

I cried everyday when I came home and worked so hard just to get through the semester. The students were the “standard” class, which meant that their only goal was to pass the class so they could graduate. Period.

Yeah. They cared not one hoot about the nuances of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales (and, really, I couldn’t blame them). They had no interest in expanding their vocabulary nor writing a titillating essay.

I finally made it to Christmas break. I remember the kids asked me, “What are you going to do during Christmas break?” I replied, “I’m going to sleep. And then I’m going to clean my tile bathroom floor.” They looked at me as if I were a Martian, certainly relieved to be rid of me—that crazy woman who loved semi-colons and deducted points from essays for their use of crude language and descriptions of alcohol use and evading the law.

My highlight of that semester—I kid you not—was a sweet loaf of pumpkin bread. My mentor teacher baked me a loaf and gave me the recipe, too. It’s the best pumpkin bread I’ve ever eaten, and I always get rave reviews.

That gift helped me get through that semester—and many since then.

Pumpkin Bread

In a large bowl, mix together the following:
3 1/3 cups flour
3 cups sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. salt

Stir in:
4 eggs
1 cup oil
1 can pumpkin (15 oz.)

Optional additions:
1 cup chopped nuts
1 cup chopped raisins

Pour batter into 2 loaf pans (9″ x 4″).
Bake at 325 degrees for 50-60 minutes.

My notes: add ingredients in order as listed. Use a hand mixer to stir in the wet ingredients. I never add anything to my bread (I like it plain). Fill pans only about 1/2 to 3/4 full; filling too full will not get the bread done and the top will be gooey. Use more than 2 pans, if needed.