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I give up

24.October 2011

It’s Fall. There. I said it. I’ve accepted it.

It’s not that I love Summer so much. In fact, Fall really is my favorite season, but I’m just daunted by the oncoming Winter this year. I’ll just lay on more blubber (in the form of spicy, gooey, delicious fall-flavored treats) and hope for the best.

Anyway. Now that that’s out of the way.

It’s a crazy season for me for other reasons. You see, there comes a time in every girl’s graduate school career when she finds herself juggling applying for jobs, finishing a dissertation, and attempting to continue having a life. There’s this misconception that you’re supposed to run toward the finishing year with arms thrown wide, gleeful (like in a tampon commercial). My experience has been one of plodding, teeth gritted, with grim determination and decidedly little glee. It’s going fine, but it’s a lot of work.

Which is to say that this season is no fun. It all makes me feel like this:

The good news is that it’s not so bad that I’m losing sleep. I’m not making myself sick from stress. I’m still seeing friends and hanging out with my husband and our dogs. And I’m actually still getting work done! And all of that hasn’t yet driven me to drink.

It has, however, driven me to Pumpkin Bread.

Let me just say that this pumpkin bread looks healthier than it is, was easier to make than you’d think, and does more to soothe stress than you would expect.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to eat another slice, then go back to editing.

Brown Butter Spiced Pumpkin Bread

  • 2 c flour
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1  1/2 t gingerbread spice (or a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, and ground ginger)
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 can pumpkin puree (15 oz)
  • 1/2 c dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 c granulated sugar
  • 8 T (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • Optional: stir in 1/4 c chopped crystallized ginger
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and butter and flour a loaf pan.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices in a large bowl.
  3. Mix together sugars, vanilla, and pumpkin in a medium bowl.
  4. Brown the butter: melt the butter in a pan over medium heat. When the butter stops foaming and the milk solids begin to turn brown, pour butter into the bowl with the sugar and pumpkin mixture. Whisk together until combined. Set aside for a few minutes until mostly cool.
  5. Add the eggs to the butter-sugar-pumpkin mixture and whisk until completely combined.
  6. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  7. Scrape into prepared loaf pan and bake for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out almost clean.
P.S. For particularly stressful moments, pair this bread with ice cream and caramel sauce. It’ll help.
6 Comments leave one →
  1. Jones permalink
    24.October 2011 17:54

    Looks AMAZING! I’m going to make it this week: my first baking project in the new oven.

  2. 24.October 2011 20:16

    There was a lot of teeth-gritting for me, too, in the last stage. But, baking and cooking in general helped a lot!

  3. 29.October 2011 14:05

    I feel, if not your actual dissertation-writing pain, a similar sort of tooth-gritting from having too much to do, not quite enough time for moments spent communing with the season. In short, I sympathize. Thanks for the reminder that pastry-soothed moments are always worth finding some time for. :)

  4. 14.November 2011 16:02

    I feel you… I’m working on a thesis myself. But that pumpkin bread is definitely calling me… I think it may be the cure!

    • Darby O'Shea permalink*
      1.June 2012 17:19

      Hope your thesis has gone well too!


  1. Drowning our sorrows/getting in the holiday spirits « Darby O'Shea

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