Everyone loves to complain about Chicago weather, but that’s only because everyone hasn’t experienced a Chicago fall. We have gorgeous days well into October – the bees are still busy, green leaves still rustle in their trees, mornings are crisp and clear. This September has been nothing but mild temperatures and sunny skies. As sad as I am to say goodbye to summer, I am happy to continue the good times well past the start of the new school year.
And with the start of school comes all sorts of new events and mixed emotions. The days are so short and busy, and I miss keeping an eye on my little ones like in the summer. But, I embrace the chance to make the kids feel special even though we are apart during the days. Cinnamon rolls for breakfast in the morning. Notes tucked into lunch boxes. Homemade snacks for hungry tummies at 3:00.
The other day Vivian and I baked a loaf of homemade pumpkin bread while Ben napped and the big kids were at school. The warm September sun streamed through the big kitchen windows. She wore her fanciest Elsa dress. With my help, she measured and mixed and tried oh-so-hard not to make a mess. Such a lovely little lady!
While the bread baked we walked to pick up Evie and Mack from school. They asked (pleaded, really) to set out Halloween decorations. It might be a few weeks too early for that, but who could say no to such an enthusiastic request?! Darkness couldn’t come soon enough for us to light up the ceramic pumpkin my Aunt Cindy gave to us as a wedding gift more than nine years ago. If I knew then how lucky I’d be now…sigh.
Pleasant Pumpkin Bread
1 1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 sticks butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 15 oz can pumpkin
3/4 cup milk
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter the bottom and sides of two loaf pans. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugars until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the pumpkin and milk.
In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Pour it into the pumpkin mixture and stir until just combined.
Pour batter evenly into the two prepared loaf pans. Bake for 45-55 minutes. Let cool before slicing.
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