Saturday, October 1, 2011

Autumn, Season of My Heart

Pumpkin Butter
Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree.
~Emily Bronte

Two words describe how I feel about our summer of 2011. We survived.  That word 'survived' says a lot, doesn't it? An online dictionary definition says: to remain or continue in existence or use.  Well, we're here (remaining), we're continuing to exist, and we're still somewhat useful.  I could go on and on about how horrific it was, but truthfully, I think that subject's gone into overkill in most circles in recent weeks, so just suffice it to say, we survived.

Today feels like the first day of fall to me. I know it technically isn't, and we've even had cool days before now (off and on), but it's October 1st, the weather is oh-so-pleasant, the sky is bluer than I've seen it in months, and I am actually wearing capris around the house rather than the cooler shorts I've worn all summer.


Now that I can use my oven without causing the house to feel like an inferno, I'm in a baking mood.  I've been meaning to try the above bread recipe for quite some time. Ever the procrastinator, I'm just now getting around to it.  I guess you would call this a ciabatta?  I don't know. I just know it's super simple, and that's my kind of recipe. Flour, yeast, salt, water, and no kneading. The biggest ingredient is time. You let it sit for 12 hours or more.  What could be simpler?  We had this for lunch alongside leftover tortilla soup from last night's dinner. 

We slathered the bread with pumpkin butter I made from a recipe I found at Bev Gibson's blog, Numbering the Days .  I love, love her blog. It's not a cooking blog, but she does share recipes along the way. I find myself to have so much in common with her, having newly retired husbands, grown children, and time to pursue answering the callings on our lives that we didn't have time for when raising children.  She gives great book recommendations for scripturally based 'bettering yourself' literature (my words, not hers). She's a truly lovely person. I really didn't plan on extolling her merits, but mentioning her pumpkin butter, the rest just had to be said.

The recipe is no longer available on her blog, but the following recipe (which I found on one of her boards at Pinterest) appears to be the same one I used.

  • 1 can (15 ounces) 100% Pure Pumpkin
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves


 pumpkin, sugar, honey, lemon juice, cinnamon and cloves in medium, heavy-dutysaucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring frequently, for 20 to 25 minutes or until thickened. Serve with biscuits, breads and corn muffins. Store in airtight container in refrigerator for up to 2 months.

Recipe makes 2 cups. 
I have lots of Christmas knitting to be done, but I seem to have lost my knitting mojo.  I haven't done anything industrious in quite some time. I did knit a bunch of dishcloths, which are always nice to give as gifts.  I can't remember if I've already shown these on here or not. If I have, then we'll blame it on the missing wrinkles from my brain.

Waffle Knit Dishcloth (free pattern)

To everything there is a season, and a time for every matter or purpose under heaven
~Ecclesiastes 3:1 Amplified Bible


Magnolia Tea said...

Howdy Stranger! It's nice to see you back in the bloggin' saddle, again. Uh huh, it's been a doozy of a summer in the South. I'm tryin' to forget, too. Love the bread and pumpkin butter. Thanks for the link - I'm gonna make some with my Splenda/brown sugar blend sweetener - can't wait. Those washcloths look great. I've been on a cloth kick lately, too, after not knitting all summer long. Don't worry, the mojo will return. Mine is kickin' up a storm right now. Have a great weekend!

Wool Winder said...

Despite the fact that this summer was a scorcher, I'm sad to see it go. Summer is my favorite season.

Nice job on the dishcloths. And the bread looks delicious.

Susy said...

Hey Renna. Looks like we've both come back to blogging, and thanks for stopping by. If you ever have any technical questions about your blog, ask Mrs. Eye~dyllic. She's the one who got me started and knows EVERYTHING! (:

Glad the weather is cooling off for you ~ enjoy! And also your Monday Night group. We're blessed to have them. xo

Gigi said...

Hi Renna! Thanks for stopping by and saying hello. For some reason, I thought you had stopped blogging. Guess I had a (another ;) senior moment. Love your pretty dishcloths. I've been wanting to make some but too busy with kid stuff lately. And that bread -- yum! Another thing on my 'to do' list that never gets done. You're way more industrious than I am!

Bobbi said...

Hi Renna! It's been so long since you posted.. I was pleasantly surprised! I love the music here... it puts me in a calming mood.
That bread looks fabulous! Well, I'm going to go check out Bev Gibson's blog now.. Well.. I'm going to try. It's haard to leave here. This music is so soothing.. :-)

Debra said...

Hey There!!
Wonderful to see ya again! Love the music too. The bread looks fantastic.
Sorry your summer was not so good...
Love, Debra

Paula said...

If you only knew how many times I've wondered how you're doing...
Your bread looks delish- and I'm all for the easy things. Let that bread make itself, I say... *grin*
So good to see you post something- I've missed you!

Paula said...

Hello, my dear... it was so good to hear from you!! I've missed you.
Your dishclothes are wonderful... I love the ones with the red in them.
Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and New Year... where is the time going? *UGH*

hakucho said...

I thought Jim Lahey's no-knead bread was wonderful until I tried the artisan bread 5 min. a day recipe and then there was no turning back. I think you'd like it :)

Love your waffle cloths. Such pretty colors. I love that pattern. FYI: it makes a great towel as well!

happy knitting :)

Renna said...

Hakucho, I'm excited about trying out my new artisan bread in 5 minutes a day, and especially so I can make your delicious looking cinnamon rolls. I need to make a grocery run first.

Thanks for the tip about the waffle pattern for towels. The waffle cloths are one of few knits I've made and kept. I've given plenty away, but also keep & use them. I love using them!