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September and October in Phoenix are tough. If you have ever lived in places where the leaves change colors and the morning weather gets cool, it can be really disappointing to have forecasts over 100 degrees in the middle of September. By this point the majority of the US is wearing boots and eating warm stews or soups. We desert-dwellers are swearing under our breath that it’s still too damn hot. Don’t get me wrong, a high of 100 is infinitely better than a high of 116 but by mid-August we are over it.
Over the years I have found creative ways to cope with this confusing time period. I opt for fall flavors and prepare/eat them in ways that don’t require hours of warming the house with the stove. Some of my favorite recipes to honor this summer-fall transition include: Mexican hot chocolate ice cream sandwiches, butternut squash salad, farfalle with kale and mushrooms.
The retail stores in Phoenix don’t seem to care, and already have Fall merchandise on display. I’ve had a can of pumpkin set aside for a few weeks, unsure of what I would do with it. Maybe pumpkin doughnut muffins, or harvest muffins, or maybe I’d create a new granola flavor. I ultimately decided a standard pumpkin bread would be the winner. Typical recipes make 2 loaves which I split – half the batter goes to a loaf of bread and the other half gets portioned into mini muffins for little toddler hands.
My pumpkin bread recipe comes from that book by way of my mom.
I have a little binder of recipes that I keep in my kitchen. They’re all hand-written and represent a variety of sources – mom, Carver’s family, staples I’ve grown to love from Oh She Glows or Smitten Kitchen, and some I’ve made up on my own. The recipe below isn’t that, it’s from King Arthur Flour. If I’m telling the truth, I felt like I was cheating on my mom by searching through other books for inspiration. She wouldn’t feel that way because she’s always on the hunt for new amazing recipes. I threw these guys together during Charlie’s nap and he bolted out of bed when I told him I made muffins for his afternoon snack.
*from King Arthur Flour
(not my mom’s) Pumpkin Bread