Monday, February 23, 2015

Pumpkin Bread

YUM!: A blog about food
Published in Sun Valley Magazine

Pumpkin Bread Recipe

Everyone’s Fall Favorite

Nov 3, 2014 - 09:44 AM
Pumpkin Bread Recipe
Everyone loves the smell of fall. Nothing says autumn like aromatic pumpkin and spices, and pumpkin bread is the perfect way to celebrate the season, whether it’s toasted for breakfast or served warm under cinnamon ice cream for dessert. I’ve been making this recipe for most of my life, and it’s really great because there’s enough to share.
I love making pumpkin bread with our own local pumpkins or winter squash, rather than industrial pumpkin in a can. To make your own pumpkin puree, cut a winter squash in half and bake on a cookie sheet at 350 degrees for about two hours, or until the flesh is soft, then puree in a food processor.I store mine in 15-ounce increments in Ziplocs in the freezer. Use just 15 ounces or under two cups for this recipe.
Mix your dry ingredients in a bowl. I like to sift everything together so it’s extra light and fluffy. In your mixing bowl, cream shortening and sugar. Mix in the rest of your wet ingredients. Add sifted dry ingredients. Mix in chopped nuts (I use pecans) and/or chocolate chips. I normally make one loaf plain and one loaf with nuts and chocolate chips. Make sure your loaf pans are greased and floured thoroughly. I use a decorative pan for pumpkin bread, and it’s really important to make sure you get into every nook and cranny so the baked bread will come out easily. Bake both pans together at 350 for 70 minutes. Check with a toothpick before removing from the oven.
Enjoy for breakfast, snack or dessert!

Pumpkin Bread Recipe

  • ⅔ cup butter flavored shortening
  • 2 ⅔ cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 15 oz. pureed pumpkin or winter squash
  • ⅓ cup water
  • 3 ⅓ cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ⅔ cup chopped nuts
  • ⅔ cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour two loaf pans. Sift dry ingredients into a bowl. Cream shortening and sugar in mixing bowl. Mix wet ingredients and add sifted dry ingredients. Add nuts and/or chocolate chips. Bake for 70 minutes until brown.

How to Can Tomatoes

YUM: A blog about food
Published in Sun Valley Magazine

How to Can Tomatoes

Summer in a Jar

Sep 23, 2014 - 11:14 AM
How to Can Tomatoes
Four hundred tomato plants wreak a lot of havoc on my life. My husband owns Crazy Guy Tomatoes, an heirloom vegetable plant business, and we are constantly growing new varieties and breeding our own varieties of tomatoes.
We have hundreds, if not thousands of pounds of tomatoes at the end of the season. We share with our friends and neighbors, but we are left with a lot of tomatoes to process. Canning has been the easiest way to deal with all of the excess. It’s amazing to open a jar of summer in the dead of winter and cook a beautiful pasta sauce.
Canning generally scares people, but it’s really not difficult. You hear about botulism and other terrible canning results, but cleanliness and following canning instructions for your specific location make it pretty easy.
There are several methods to prepare your tomatoes for canning. In previous years, I have blanched and peeled tomatoes, but I am now using a food mill that I received as a wedding present. For milling, heat your tomatoes in a covered pot on medium heat for about 20 minutes, or until the tomatoes release their juices. Run the tomatoes through the mill—it will remove the skins, bad spots, and seeds, creating a beautiful, smooth puree.
In a canner on the stove, boil quart jars to sterilize. In a separate, small pot, heat new lids until there are fish eyes, but not until there’s a rolling boil. You can’t reuse lids, but you can reuse jar rings.
Remove the jars from the canner. Use a canning funnel on top of the jar. Add 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice or citric acid, and then fill the jar with tomato puree. Measure ½ inch headspace, wipe off the rim, and add the lid and ring. Repeat. Fill the canner with full jars and boil according to USDA instructions for your altitude.
This sounds pretty easy, and it really is—however, it takes quite a long time. I carve out full days to can, but I usually get about 20 quarts in at a time.
Good luck, be safe, and enjoy the fruits of your labor all winter long!



At least 20 pounds of fresh, local tomatoes
Lemon Juice
Mason Jars (I use quarts for tomatoes), new lids, and jar rings
Canning Kit (jar lifter, funnel, head spacer, and lid magnet)
Remove tomato skins or mill tomatoes. Add to clean jar with two tablespoons of lemon juice. Leave ½ inch headspace. Wipe rim of jar clean. Add heated lid and and tighten ring on lid. Can according to USDA recommendations for your area.