Mom’s pumpkin bread

This is one of those recipes that takes me straight back to childhood. I remember my mom making this pumpkin bread seasonally, and we would often eat it cold for breakfast with a smear of butter. It’s crunchy from the pecans, and sweet, but not too sweet.

Making it now I realize that the recipe is actually really easy, and, bonus!, it makes two loaves. (Though you could always halve the recipe if you wanted.)

Mom’s pumpkin bread

3 1/2 cups AP flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
2/3 cup water
1 cup chopped pecans
1 15-ounce can pumpkin (or 2 cups homemade)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine dry ingredients in a big mixing bowl. Then combine wet ingredients in a separate bowl. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Then divide into two greased loaf pans and bake for 1 hour. Check for doneness. Mine needed another 10 minutes or so.

After the loaves have cooled a bit, turn them over and gently shake them out of the pans. If you want, wrap one and freeze it for later. Or not.

*You could also make these into mini loaves. Just cut back on the baking time a little.

Reggie en repose

Reggie has been so funny lately. I keep capturing her in all kinds of relaxed positions. She’s normally such an anxious dog, so it’s nice to see her cuddled up and content.

She seems to have claimed that stripey blanket, or at least the side of the couch it’s always on.

Anytime she can get a lap, she takes it.

Sometimes she squeezes in between the couch cushions.

And I don’t know how the heck she got herself into this position, but it was hilarious.

Brown Sugar Kitchen

I did not want any kind of grand celebration for my birthday last week (32, eek!), but I did really want to try breakfast at the Brown Sugar Kitchen in Oakland, so that’s what we did.

The restaurant is located in the middle of a warehouse district, but plenty of people knew where to find it. The place was already filling up at 8:45 a.m. The menu is short and sweet — mainly soul food goodies like grits and eggs, chicken and waffles and pork hash. We ogled the baked goods at the entrance — bread pudding, pie, and the like.

Mike had the pork hash, which was really strongly flavored, but perfect with two plain poached eggs.

I had a waffle with a side of bacon. The waffle was light but crispy from the cornmeal inside, and came with a delish flavored syrup. We also tried one of the buttermilk biscuits. Along with coffee (a rare treat for me these days) it was the perfect breakfast.

The Brown Sugar Kitchen has a sister restaurant in Oakland called BSide BBQ, which we also tried a few weeks ago. We decided it’s as close to upscale as you ever want to go with something like barbecue, but we really liked the brisket.

Mike had a pulled pork sandwich with coleslaw that was pretty tasty. The only miss was the lemonade of the day, which was flavored with mango, and just didn’t really work.

I think I’d like to go back and try lunch at Brown Sugar. They have some different offerings from BSide, and based on breakfast I’m willing to bet lunch is pretty darn good.