Roasted mashed and cooled seminole squash ready for bread making
I’ve covered before how much I like seminole squash – they taste great, and they store a incredibly long time, and as a plant they resist pretty much any pest… the one drawback is that they take a relatively long time to mature… but with each growing year I’m selecting for earlier maturity.
So to take advantage of that great taste one of our favorite recipes is this Seminole Pumpkin Bread. It’s reasonably sweetened rather than cakey sweet allowing the sweet flavour of the pumpkin to shine. As with much of our baking we’re using whole grain flours. My preference here leans towards whole barley flour, but whole wheat is also a nice flavour, ground of course on the homebuilt grain mill. Either of these flour options provide a complexity that goes miles beyond a pumpkin cake loaf served in some green logo coffee shop.
This loaf will blow your socks off it is awesome good. Yet like any other quick bread this is a breeze to whip up taking only moments worth of prep work. In addition to the whole grain it features an abundance of pumpkin – pumpkin is strangely in short supply in many loaves, that’s not the case here. As well, the sugar content isn’t as high as other loaves – and with the richness of the pumpkin and spice flavor you don’t miss the lesser amount of sugar. In my case I use my home canned pumpkin cubes which only need to be mashed up with a fork.
If you like pumpkin and do whole grain baking this is a recipe you need to try. I am sure it will become one of your favorites.
There is just something special about this jam – capturing that rich summer flavor with the hint of spice that melds so nicely with the sweet peach. It is the next best thing to biting into a perfectly ripe summer peach – with the advantage you can enjoy it year round.
I often find peaches come on sale for a crazy low price towards the end of the season. They arrive in store as hard as baseballs but in a day or two they will have all softened up with some even skipped juicy and gone straight to rotting. Toss those ones into the compost pile and get ready to work like crazy to process the remainder.
Homemade Pectin for jam making
As jam is able to be processed in a boiling water bath you aren’t going to need expensive kit to put this bounty away, a rack that can fit in the bottom of a pot deep enough to submerge your resealable jars and a canning jar gripper will suffice – but you won’t regret spending a few extra dollars to pick up a canning funnel at the same time. The latter will cut down on mess and by helping to keep the rim of the jar clean will reduce the incidences of failure to seal.
Mason Jars of Peach Jam
The first step is to remove the skins of the peaches – I like to put the peach in a pot of boiling water, then using a slotted spoon remove it and put it in cold water for a few seconds to cool. Get the timing right and with a slit from a paring knife the skin will be quickly removed, and you can cut the now skinless peach into slices.
Since I usually have a lot of peaches to peel, I tend to peel them into a diluted lemon juice solution before removing them to either start processing right away or if time is limiting for refrigeration to process the next day.
Ah summer… it’s the time that you least want to congregate in the kitchen – and that’s saying something considering I really like cooking. But come on, sun, sand, deck, bbq.. let’s try to save wear and tear on our kitchens and instead work on quick and easy recipes.
So my summer cooking and baking rules – especially for the cottage – Super Quick, Super Good and Super Simple.
This baked maple custard fits the bill in spades – and since it uses ingredients you should always have around it’s a great last minute desert option.
Apple see a lot of use in my home. Our fall harvests from the neighborhood trees in a good year can be substantial. The best of these are kept for fresh eating, seconds are peeled, sliced and dried or frozen for pies, apple braids and the like, those that are a bit softer get transformed into apple sauce that we can, and finally the really bruised ones get turned into apple cider on the homestead press.
Apple Spice Loaf with Barley Flour
So we end up using a lot of apple sauce through the season, and this apple spice loaf is one of my favorite recipes. It’s a quick loaf – so it honestly doesn’t take more than five minutes to mix the ingredients, put it into a silicon loaf pan (which means I don’t even need to take the time to butter and flour the pan) making it a cinch to pull together. In spite of being so easy – it is a lovely loaf the blend of apple and spices is lovely. While the loaf is a great accompaniment for a nice cup of tea or coffee it most often serves as a bread substitute in our lunches, adding variety to our brown bags. Made with whole grain flour – and I usually use whole barley flour for quick breads – it fills you up and keeps you satiated.
I think this is a pretty good example of better living today – you get a great rich filling and wholesome loaf, add diversity to your meals that sees you content to skip the cafeteria line for lunches and uses some of the bounty around us. It is also a great example of how easily all this can be pulled together. It honestly takes more time to wash the bowl than it does to prepare the batter and slide it into the oven.
Of course, you don’t need to use your own apple sauce or even flour you’ve produced at home to get a very nice product. So take five minutes to make this apple spice loaf and add some great baking to your lunches.