Pumpkin bread and cold

Torn Ear lost his other antler. He came charging into the yard yesterday, with his new bare head. He's such an incredibly handsome animal, with or without his antlers. I doubt if he survives next year he'll have as nice of a rack as this years, we thought last year would be his best but he was bigger this year. He's at least 8 years old, so that's quite impressive. We haven't seen much animal activity outside when it was -20 and -30, everyone needed to lie down and conserve their energy and body heat. The Chickadees showed up looking for handouts though, which they got.

And the black squirrel who climbs across the outside of the house where our bedroom is every single morning. It sounds like he's eating through the walls. Nails on a chalk board, not quite.... but close. Every morning since November. We've caught him peeking in our bathroom window when we get up to - I think he's planning on robbing us. It's funny when the Chipmunks are on the porch in the summer and they come over and stare in at the Prairie dogs wondering how they possibly got in the house....

It went below -30 C the other night, when I posted that picture of the thermometer. Really, at that point, numbers don't matter, it's just plain cold. Doesn't matter which system you use!

Yesterday it was -20 when I got up, and by late afternoon it had warmed up to -15, by evening it was snowing, and by this morning it was -10. Much warmer, much more enjoyable winter temps.

We've had both our wood stoves going since we heat only with wood, we only use the basement stove when it's really cold. It makes a huge difference by warming the floor up.
Tonight we had leftovers for dinner, but I made this lovely pumpkin cake with cream cheese from Joy of baking this afternoon. It's a really nice light spiced cake, with cream cheese in the middle. This recipe called for nuts, which I didn't use, but if it's to your taste you can add them.

Pumpkin Bread

Cream Cheese Filling:

8 ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour

Pumpkin bread
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 large eggs
2 cups granulated white sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 - 15 ounce can pure pumpkin
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Pumpkin Bread: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F  and place rack in the center of the oven. Butter and lightly flour two - 9 x 5 x 3 inch (23 x 13 x 8 cm) loaf pans.

Cream Cheese Filling: In your food processor, process the cream cheese just until smooth. Add the sugar and process just until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, processing just until incorporated. Do not over process. Stir in the flour.

Pumpkin Bread: In a large bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

In another large bowl, whisk the eggs until lightly beaten. Add the sugar and melted butter and whisk until blended. Whisk or stir in the pumpkin, water, vanilla extract....

Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and stir just until the ingredients are combined. (A few streaks of flour is fine.) Do not over mix as it will make the bread tough.

Divide the batter in half. Take one half and divide it evenly between the two prepared pans. Divide the cream cheese filling in half and place each half of filling on top the two pans of batter, smoothing the tops. Top with the remaining half of batter (use two spoons to place small dollops of batter on top of the filling). Bake the breads for about 55 - 65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Place pans on a wire rack and let cool for about 10 minutes before removing breads from pans. Can serve warm, cold, or at room temperature. Store leftovers in the refrigerator or else freeze for later use.
Makes 2 loaves.

It's really nice with a hot cup of tea. Tomorrow I'm planning on making fresh tortillas for dinner.

The animals all stayed in the barn in that cold, there was no reason to send them out of their dry straw and hay. They were happy to get outside today and that is was warmer. The sheep were out yesterday because they tolerate the cold a lot better, but the goats, especially the small ones, just get too cold.

Norman enjoyed the sunbeams coming in the window... at one point the beam moved from where his bed was, but thankfully it moved to the toy box so he could still be comfortable!

Tonight we are all just staying warm and eating pumpkin bread.


Leigh said…
Norman is so cute!

The recipe looks really, really good. I wonder if I could substitute my yogurt cheese for the cream cheese. I'm always looking for ways to use it, LOL.
Hey - that cake uses 6 eggs! I may have to try it. ;)
Alla said…
I just found your blog and have been reading thru it. Love all of your animals.
luckybunny said…
Thanks ladies! Leigh I would try using the yogurt cheese, if you do I want to know how it turns out! Definately a good recipe for using eggs Norma! Thanks so much Alla!
love your buck, tom ear. so he is 8? that is fantastic. none of mine go past 4. the loser hunters get them. i was so hoping bossy boy would survive his injury but i have no clue where he is. your temps are unbearable. read in my grammy's diary in 1938 it was 24 below in vermont. it hurts my face when it goes to far below freezing. i love pumpkin! that cake sounds great!

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