Autumnal kitchen fun

Not only are pumpkins great decorations for the porch on Halloween, they are also delicious and nutritious. The best pumpkins for eating are the smaller variety, known as pie pumpkins. They can be cut up, baked, and eaten like winter squash. Actually, pumpkins are winter squash. And, speaking of winter squash, you can roast and eat the seeds of any winter squash. It makes for a very tasty snack.


Giant pumpkins are considered to be edible but are not as tasty as smaller pumpkins. So, when I go out to get my pumpkins in the autumn, I always look for a smaller pumpkin that will both look nice on the porch and be very tasty.


Pumpkins aren’t the only reason for autumn being kitchen fun season. Autumn isn’t complete without numerous varieties of apples. There are plenty of opportunities to pick apples and take them home to your kitchen to prepare in so many ways.


Soooo… this is how I had my kitchen fun. I had volunteered to make refreshments for Tellabration, which is a worldwide storytelling event that is held on or close to the third Saturday of November. In Western New York, the event was held at Trinity United Methodist Church, in Amherst on Saturday.


I made two breads for Tellabration: an applesauce bread and a pumpkin bread. But… before I could make the breads, I had to make the applesauce and I had to bake a pumpkin. OK, I guess that I could go all the way back to growing apples and pumpkins. No, I don’t have a pumpkin patch, so I had to acquire fresh pumpkins. I do have an apple tree, and some of the apples from that tree were put into the applesauce.

The first bread that I made was the applesauce bread. I found a recipe in allrecipes.com for spiced applesauce bread. Here is the link: spiced applesauce bread recipe  When I started getting the ingredients together, I realized that I had a little problem. One of the ingredients that I needed was allspice, but I didn’t have any. Going to the supermarket for the missing ingredient was not a plan. It was already dark, and there was no way that I could walk to the store safely to buy allspice. So I had to make do with what I had.


I looked on line to see if I could substitute something for the allspice. The internet can be a great cookbook so… substitutions? What I found was… to make a teaspoon’s worth of an allspice substitute, combine half a teaspoon of ground ginger, half a teaspoon of cinnamon, and a dash of nutmeg. The second-choice substitute would be to replace the allspice with pumpkin pie spice, which is a combination of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice.

I put together my “allspice” and was able to make the applesauce bread.


The next day, I made the pumpkin bread, using this recipe from Genius Kitchen: recipe for Fresh Pumpkin Bread 
There were various suggestions from readers about changing the recipe to suit different tastes.

One involved using molasses, but I didn’t have any molasses. Another suggestion was to increase the amount of pumpkin in the recipe from one cup to one and a half cups. I did that.

The recipe also suggested the option of adding half a cup of nuts. I decided that raisins, in addition to nuts, would be a fine touch, so I added a third of a cup of raisins and a third of a cup of nuts.

One of the things about this recipe that made me look at it several times, just to make sure that it was right, was that it called for adding a tablespoon of pure vanilla. Since most recipes that I use call for a teaspoon of vanilla, I was surprised by this. I added the vanilla and…

Yum! Vanilla does make baked goods taste even yummier. I brought the breads to Tellabration, where they competed with donuts for attention. They got good reviews but were not finished. I brought the remainder of the breads to church, to add to the goodies at coffee hour. At the end of coffee hour, the breads had been finished. Seeing my creations finished off was a happy experience.

Thanksgiving is coming and, with it, a baking experience that I’ve never had. Check later for… adventures in gluten-free baking!!!




7 thoughts on “Autumnal kitchen fun”

  1. OMG, they both look delicious! Plus it brought back memories from when my grandmother would back her delicious apple sauce bread! Love the pumpkin and apple picture!

  2. I use "Pie Spice" (from Penzey's) for both my apple cake and the pumpkin pie I baked ahead of time for Thanksgiving. It's a blend, and I find these spices work well in various recipes. So, I don't even bother much with adding cinnamon or cloves separately. (I highly recommend Penzey's – go to their website and you'll see why – I only wish they had a retail store here). Glad both your baking efforts were well appreciated.

  3. Corinne Rodrigues

    Mmmm…that looks yummy. So far I've tried out pumpkin soup and we use pumpkin in a dish called sambhar – a kind of spicy Indian stew.

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