Related: RW&G Recipes
This is one of my mother’s recipes. She says that she clipped it from a Houston-area newspaper in the late 1950s or early 1960s.
This fact makes me think of a game that she played with me as a child, “Chronicle, Press or Post.” She’d say one of the words–each a name for old Houston papers–as she touched my forehead, nose and chin, working from the top of my face down. Then she’d point to my nose and ask, “What did I say this is?” I’d giggle and say “Press!,” and she’d gently press my nose. (This was a reference to the old Houston Press, which was different than the one up-and-running today.)
We also played this same game but called it “Hen, Pullet or Rooster.” I believe that one is English in origin. You can figure out what the “pullet” part without having to know a whole lot about chickens.
Back to the recipe…
Apparently folks in the ’50s loved shortening in a deep, abiding way. Because we’re a shortening-free household, I’ve adapted Mom’s recipe by using butter. I also tried adding a few dried cranberries in a couple of my loaves, just to see how they’d turn out. (You could use nuts if food allergies aren’t an issue for you.)
3 1/3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. pumpkin-pie spice (here’s a homemade version)
1 can (1 lb.) pumpkin
2/3 cup water
2/3 cup butter
2 2/3 cups sugar
Preheat oven to 350.
Grease loaf pans. You can use six small ones like I did or two large ones. Dust lightly with flour, tapping out excess. (Or cheat and use Baker’s Joy.)
Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, ground cinnamon, and pumpkin-pie spice in a bowl. Mix. Working with a cup of the mixture at a time and a sifter, sift the mixture on to wax or parchment paper. (Kids love this part. I did. My son does.)
In a separate bowl, mix pumpkin and water. Set aside.
Combine butter, sugar and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Beat at high 3 minutes. Slowly add the pumpkin and flour mixtures, alternating between the two and beating after each addition until batter is smooth. Pour into pans.
Bake for 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center of loaf comes out clean. Cool in pans on rack about 5 minutes. Turn loaves out onto rack; cool completely.
• I’m working on preserving my mother’s recipes. You can read what I have thus far here.