My friend Judy would make her Granny proud. Her Granny Martha Mae came to Saskatchewan from Ontario in the early days when her husband got a job on the railway. When he was killed in a rail accident, she raised their four children by scrimping and scraping by.
In keeping with her granny's frugal pioneers spirit, Judy prepared this recipe for pumpkin loaf from scratch – starting with the pumpkin. "I'd never cooked pumpkin from scratch before, but it was easy. It baked just like spaghetti squash," she says.
Like old-time cooks, she adapted the recipe to the ingredients on hand, substituting half whole wheat flour, omitted the nutmeg and cloves (upping the cinnamon) and adding an extra 1/4 cup of cooked pumpkin because that's what the pumpkin yielded. No waste!
She took it to a potluck brunch with my book club, who cooked recipes from my new cookbook Out of Old Saskatchewan Kitchens. Other dishes included buttered eggs, perogies, Swedish meatballs, cranberry jam, oatmeal scones and gingerbread cookies. A meal to make a prairie granny proud.
2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup raisins
2/3 cup milk
1 cup cooked pumpkin, mashed
1/4 cup melted butter
Brown sugar for topping
Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. Toss in raisins. Beat egg well and stir in milk, pumpkin and butter.
Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in egg mixture. Mix just enough to blend. Pour into a greased loaf pan.
Sprinkle generously with brown sugar. Bake at 350F for about 1 hour, until a knife inserted in the centre of the loaf comes out clean.
(This article first appeared in the Saskatoon Star Phoenix.)