Although the first day of Fall isn’t until Sept 23rd, Labor Day Weekend is the official farewell to Summer here on the lake. Vacationers arrive from near and far for a final Summer blowout, armed with their boats, BBQ aprons, plenty of beer and fireworks.
Once it’s over, many of our local businesses will close until next season (Summer Vacation) and the Lake will not only fall into a quiet calm but become our own private sanctuary once again. For Summer lovers, it’s as if they’ve gone into mourning but not for me. For me, I am elated!
When summertime has gone
He’s left the world, cold and grey
The flowers sleeping under ground
The deer no longer play…
When Summertime had gone
When Summertime has gone
Even heaven seems to weep
The sun no longer wills to shine
The clouds no longer flee..
When summertime has gone
His warm embrace has wooed the earth
Like a lovers sweet caress
Caused the bloom upon her cheek
And the yielding of her breast
The Summertime is beguiled away
By Septembers night
And the earth, who mourns
Her wayward groom
Lies down in somnolent white…
When Summertime has gone.
Labor Day heralds the approach of the seasons I love best, Fall and Winter. Admittedly, I’m weird, I love inclement weather, thunderstorms, snow, overcast days. Saturday night, I stood barefoot on the deck, watching the clouds ignite in the distance with white hot lightening strikes and flashing within the clouds overhead. I could feel the peels of thunder vibrate the planks beneath my feet. Suddenly, in the stillness, a gust of icy cold wind blasted around me, lifting my hair, whipping it in wild array! I shuddered against it, tilting my face to the sky, catching the fat droplets…the first inkling of Autumn soon.
I love the nip in the air, sweaters and boots, walking along sidewalks lined with shops that smell of cinnamon and pumpkin spice. I’m ready for hot cocoa, cozying up to a fire in the hearth, soups and stews with thick crusty bread. I’m excited to pull out my pumpkins and wreaths to welcome Autumn and hiking through trails exploding in a riotous display of color. Oh I love the Fall and dream of winter, just around the bend.
One of the things that reminds my children of Fall would be Pumpkin Cranberry Pecan Bread. I often baked it through the Fall months when they were young. The aroma alone will fill your home with memories of Autumns past.
Pumpkin Cranberry Pecan Bread
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 cups canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
2/3 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 cup Oil
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup chopped pecans toasted
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease two 8×4 in loaf pans and line with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together pumpkin, brown sugar, granulated sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla extract.
Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients, mixing just until moistened and combined.
Fold in cranberries and pecans, reserving a small amount of pecans for topping if desired.
Make a glaze with powdered sugar & OJ or top with cream cheese frosting.
If you aren’t a fan of pumpkin, you might enjoy my nieces recipe for Peanutbutter Chocolate Chip Banana Bread! Visit her blog @ candidlycaitlin
I do have a tip though…. Have you ever found yourself dying for banana bread, cake, muffins etc but your bananas were still green or under ripe for the recipe? You can enjoy your favs anytime with simply roasting your bananas! Preheat oven to 350°. Place the bananas on a baking sheet and roast for about 15 mins. The skins will turn black but never fear. Allow to cool slightly before peeling. The roasting causes the starch to convert to sugar. Peel over your bowl as they will be dripping with a banana flavored syrup that you won’t want to miss. Not only does roasting the banana ramp up the banana flavor to epic proportions, it produces a super moist product that is to die for!
As Always, friends…hugs, 💖’s & Enjoy!