i believe it’s about time for my yearly proclamation of unyielding love for a certain member of the cucurbitaceae family. yes, the orange food-making phase of fall 2009 has commenced. i’ve chronicled my love for pumpkins previously, so i won’t go on about it like an obsessive foodie, but just know… yum. this past weekend, after a few rounds of sinus meds, i decided that i felt well enough to make pumpkin walnut cranberry bread. maybe not the best decision i’ve ever made because, obviously, who’s going to want to share bread with you knowing it was made while the baker felt sickly? but definitely the best bread i’ve ever made. okay, it’s the only bread i’ve ever made. and quite frankly? i don’t think there’s a need to try making any other kind. i think we could live quite happily together, this bread and i.
i had to rehydrate dried cranberries in orange juice because fresh ones aren’t available yet. of course i had to drink the cran-orange juice after i removed the plumped cranberries because it would just be wasteful to pour it out. and it provided much-needed vitamin c and plenty of anti-oxidants. i think i’m going to start infusing all my orange juice with dried cranberries because it was the best glass of liquid sunshine ever.
i got to use my oft-neglected nigella mezzaluna to chop the walnuts, which made me more than a little dizzy with happiness. or it could have been the sudafed…
and my best ingredient investment ever ($0.24) made an appearance from its home in the freezer. there really is nothing like fresh nutmeg: the fragrant smell, the fine texture, the intricate wood grain appearance, the heat it produces after being grated. the best part of using a microplane? that final tap, tap, tap with the nutmeg to set free all the spice particles hiding underneath. it’s oddly satisfying.
if i had to be an advocate for any color, it would be orange.
i think the batter could have been divided into three loaves, but i only have two loaf pans, so… there’s no completion to that thought. i just have two. that’s it.
i didn’t have any turbinado sugar to sprinkle on the tops of the loaves, so i just used regular sugar. it added just enough sweet crispness to offset the tang of the cranberries, the slight smokiness of the walnuts, and mild subtlety of the pumpkin.
the result is a bread that tastes like fall smells. in other words, perfect. i just need a really cold day, some fall foliage outside my window, and a hot cup of earl grey and i will be one happy girl.
and yes, i might have gotten my anthropologie plates off the top shelf just to take a picture. and i might have debated between two before settling my own conundrum with the basic color theory knowledge that blue and orange are complementary.