I grew up in Colorado--where it is currently 22 degrees outside.
But one year in the great state of Texas, and I'm already shivering when it dips below 50 degrees.
We've had a set of cold days here, and I'm wishing I hadn't left my blue coat in my parent's downstairs' closet. I've been making do with layers of sweaters, shirts and scarves...but my layers don't keep my legs warm as I walk to buy food or to look at the few brave squirrels.
On Saturday, I caved in and bought a pair of heavy duty rain boots. No longer content with my slip-on flats, my feet wanted the protection and the warmth that only boots can offer.
We can't get South enough to beat the cold.
But then again, these colder winds compel me to turn on my oven almost daily, baking loaves and cookies and even a few wholesome pies.
We're roasting vegetables and letting soup simmer for hours. We're brewing cups of tea and piling on six blankets when we go to sleep each night.
On Monday, I taught Creative Writing to my kiddo's at the Children's Home here in Austin. We pretended we were squirrels, preparing for the winter, gathering acorns and arranging our nests.
In many ways, I feel like I'm doing the same as our furry friends. Nesting.
For my second entry in this week of quickbreads, I bring you butternut squash. This butternnut squash bread is a great alternative to the traditional pumpkin. Made with roasted butternut squash and spiced with cinnamon and cloves, this quickbread will make you glad its winter. Moist, spicy and sweet, this butternut squash bread is already one of my favorites.
1 1/2 cups (200g) flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup butternut squash purée*
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup water or almond milk
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
* To make butternut squash purée, cut a butternut squash in half, scoop out the seeds and stringy stuff, lie face down on a foil and bake at 350°F until soft, about 30 min to an hour, depending on size. Cool, scoop out the flesh. Freeze whatever you don't use for future use. Or, purchase already cooked frozen butternut squash at Whole Foods or other grocery store (this is the easy option, my friends).
1. Preheat oven to 350°Farenheit. Sift together the flour, salt, sugar, and baking soda.
2. Mix the butternut squash, oil, eggs, 1/4 cup of water, and spices together, then combine with the dry ingredients, but do not mix too thoroughly. Stir in the nuts.
3. Pour into a well-buttered 9x5x3 inch loaf pan. Bake 50-60 minutes until a thin skewer poked in the very center of the loaf comes out clean. Turn out of the pan and let cool on a rack.
Anecdotes and Apple Cores