Whole Wheat & Honey Pumpkin Bread and Adventures

Miles Davis is playing on the record player and I just ate homemade pumpkin bread with chocolate chai ice cream.

Today is a day for indulgence and alone time. Having worked a 60-hour workweek, I kindly declined all invitations for social interaction in order to be alone in my kitchen with old music and my hound pup.

These bones are made to nest. There is zero shame in acknowledging that I’d rather be at home, making food. My joy is in simple meals and the conversations that stretch late into the night, sitting on the floor over mugs of tea or beer (whatever the occasion calls for.)

I have envisioned my future in two ways.

The first involves a job that keeps me busy, filled with food and drink and socializing. A life cluttered with books and dates and friends. This is a world that requires a schedule, a tiny apartment in a big city. This is a life where nesting is reserved for Sundays, and I find my solitude in monthly escapes to quiet.

The second… well, that’s the life that is deep down in the pit of my stomach. It’s a life put on pause. Where chickens roam the front yard, and the sun acts as my wake up call. It’s where I forget about what it means to keep a planner, and where my only priority is making sure I tend to the vegetables. It’s the kind of life that most people are drawn to these days when they see beautiful people sporting beards and wearing flannel. Having worked on a farm, I know that this kind of life isn’t easy. It’s not carrying a wicker basket out to a perfectly tended field.

It’s a dirty hands life, a sweaty life. It’s full of bugs and soil and making ends meet.

But it’s a beautiful life, that I am sure.

For now, I will dream of my future, whatever it may be. Deep down, I feel the tremors of change creeping into my blood. I feel the urge to shake the dust. I dream in bicycles and midnight camping trips near the ocean. I’m a flighty nester. I plant roots into cities and people that stick to my soul, simultaneously building a shrine in my head to new adventures.

The only constant thing in life is change. That much I know.

Whole Wheat Honey Pumpkin Bread

Today was the first day where I could open my windows. Where it was cooler outside than inside my kitchen. Therefore I took full advantage of this by making a kale, lentil and butternut squash soup and pumpkin bread. The recipe is from Cookie & Kate, and while it might not be for everyone due to its lack of sweetness, I find it delightful. Especially when toasted and smeared with fresh almond butter. Or, if you’re feeling like dessert, serve it warm with ice cream. Yum.

  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • ½ cup honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cinnamon, plus more to swirl on top
  • ½ tsp ginger
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp allspice or cloves
  • 1 ¾ cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ cup hot water
  • Raw sugar for sprinkling on top.

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F and grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan. In a large bowl, beat oil and honey together. Add eggs, and beat well. Stir in the pumpkin puree and vanilla, then the salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice. Stir in the flour until just well combined.

Add baking soda to the hot water, stir to mix and then stir into batter briefly until its evenly distributed. Spread the batter into the loaf pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon, and swirl with a tip of a table knife for a marbled effect (this didn’t work out so well for me…) Sprinkle with sugar for a light, sweet crunch.

Bake for 60 to 65 minutes. Check to make sure it’s done with a toothpick in the top. If the top of the bread is all jiggly when you pull it out of the oven, it’s not done. Let the bread cool in the loaf pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool. Give it 30 minutes before slicing.

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