Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Better Luck Next Time, And A George Hamilton Loaf

Blame my mother-in-law. And my brother-in-law. If it weren't for these two making so much amazing food over the Thanksgiving weekend, I'd have had a new post up by now. If they hadn't sent me home with enough Tupperwared leftovers to feed me for a week, I'd be cooking up a storm.

And with all the pumpkin pie, carrots, sweet potatoes and squash I've eaten lately, I'm think I'm in serious danger of turning into George Hamilton.

(He's this shade of orange because of all the beta carotene he gets, right?

Thanksgiving was lovely, it really was. I enjoyed seeing my family and in-laws, my adorable nieces and nephews, and there was more wonderful food than you could imagine. There is still an entire pumpkin pie sitting in my fridge, and for some reason, I decided this morning to bake a pumpkin loaf. Clearly, I am not in my right mind.

I am attributing my wrong-mindedness to stress. Readers, I am stressed. Like, really, really stressed. I hate my job with a capital HATE. Yesterday was Tuesday, so in accordance with the 'Friendliness To Monika' schedule, I was due for some kind words or at least a bit less hostility than the usual Monday-Wednesday-Thursday variety from Grumpy Co-Worker and Veterinarian.

"Unless..." Husband speculated, "unless because of Monday being a holiday, then Tuesday is the new Monday this week?"

Fark. And don't you know it, he was right. Tuesday was the new Monday, and I came home angry and sobbing.

Maybe I'm being greedy. Maybe that's the problem. Maybe you can't have it all, at the same time; a wonderful family, some great friends, an awesome husband AND a job that isn't awful? Perhaps the life I'm living right now is balanced - good and bad, happy and crazy-making?

After all, I know there are so many people out there stuck in jobs they hate. And they stay, because they have families to feed, or because there simply aren't any other jobs out there. Or because, worst of all, they don't think they deserve anything better...

So I decided to bake a pumpkin spice loaf. Because when I'm not in my right mind, baking, with all its directions and processes and structure, makes me feel normal and calm.

I opened the tin of pumpkin puree because I am not one of those people who will roast their own pumpkin. I'm just not. And here is what happens every single time I use the can opener, regardless of the what's in the can...

Big, you're descended from desert hunters. How do you not smell that this isn't meat? Stop looking at me like that.

I used my favourite thing ever, Chatsworth honey, made by real Ontarian bees, in place of some of the white sugar that was called for,

I mixed all the wet ingredients,

I added it to the dry ingredients and 50 minutes later, out came a delicious, tender/not dry/m-word loaf that is not overly sweet like cake, but spicy and would be lovely with a drizzle of maple syrup or cinnamon butter.

As I sat in the basement lunchroom at work, eating my slices of pumpkin loaf and happy to be away from the misery upstairs, I decided that I'd reached my wall of endurance and would start looking for a new job. Because I don't have a family to feed just yet. And I do believe there is a better job out there for me.

And best of all, I actually believe that I deserve to be happy.

George Hamilton Loaf, aka Pumpkin Spice Loaf, adapted from the Fannie Farmer Cookbook:

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 cup honey
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs, beaten


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Sift together the flours, salt, sugar, baking soda and pumpkin pie spice.

2. In separate bowl, whisk the honey, pumpkin puree, veg oil and eggs till combined. Add to the dry ingredients and mix till just combined. Pour into a buttered loaf pan and bake for 50-60 minutes, till tester knife comes out clean.


  1. I did not know that you had Fanny Farmer, that is my bible! Guess we were on the same brainwave you know I made loaves! YOU deserve all of the happiness in the world!

  2. I love yoo! HOW did I not know this was here?!? Facebook, you've got some splainin' to do...

    Sheet delight and brilliance - again!


  3. Melissa, I saw the Fannie Farmer at your place first! Then I found it at a used bookstore and have been so excited to use it!

    Noodle, thank you for hosting such a fantastic shindig at your place! Love you!