I’ve decided that when it comes to food – especially food served around the holidays – there are three kinds of people: the Feeders, the Eaters, and the Heeders. The Feeders do the cooking. You know them, they are the “needy” sort of people who require almost a constant flow of recognition. These are the folks who think nothing about spending 36 consecutive hours perfecting a recipe/dish to the point where they know it will knock the waddle off of everyone, and then complain about how horrible it tastes while they serve it to any living body in a 6 block radius. I know these types quite well because (for those of you who haven’t already figured this out) I am one of them. Typically you will not see us eating any of the stuff we make because by the time we put our creation out there for the masses, we have already consumed more of it than would fit in the hull of the RMS Queen Mary 2. You probably notice that most Feeders have elaborate transporting/storing/serving contrapments that feature some sort of lid or covering. Like most people, you’ve probably incorrectly assumed we use these doo hickeys to help keep our masterpieces fresh and looking beautiful, but that is only their secondary purpose. In actuality, we use these things to keep us Feeders from having to look at or smell our goodie, because doing either of those things would bring about nausea and vomiting that can only be likened to what a woman may experience when pregnant with quadruplets. The lid also acts like an umbrella just in case the Feeder has reached the level of getting sick even when only thinking about their treat.
Now on to my favorite – the Eaters. Eaters don’t care what you fix, how pretty it is, how healthy (or not) it is; they just want to eat it, and, equally important, they don’t want to have to make/bring anything themselves. They aren’t afraid to try new stuff, they aren’t consumed by guilt for wanting to try new stuff, and they don’t make Feeders feel guilty for making stuff that people probably shouldn’t eat. These folks are easy to pick out because they are usually larger than life. No, I don’t mean physically, although it doesn’t surprise me that a lot of times an Eater’s charisma/Joie de vivre is as evident on their waistlines as it is on their laugh lines, but hey, I don’t judge. What I’m saying is these people are easy to pick out because they are the ones who don’t stray too far from the buffet table, and are usually seen with an endlessly full plate in one hand and a bottomless drink in the other. They are the ones with the funniest stories, the loudest laugh and the crowd of people who say things like “So-and-so is here! Now the party can begin!”. I used to wish I was more of an Eater, but it just isn’t meant to be. If I weren’t a Feeder, I’d more than likely be a Heeder. Since I’ve mentioned them, there is no better time than the present to discuss this (un)happy little group.
There is at least one Heeder at every party. You may have heard them called “Debbie Downers” but that doesn’t rhyme with Feeder and Eater, so I changed their name (it is my blog, after all). Heeders are the folks who torture themselves by NOT eating the things they really, really, REALLY want to eat. I’m going to list a few things about Heeders that may come off as not so flattering, so before I do that I want to say something positive: Heeders have amazing willpower and are fiercely loyal. While you may have one helluva good time with an Eater, the Heeder is the person you want to keep because not only are they wickedly attractive, but they are also in it for the duration and not just while the party is in full swing. Heeders make great personal trainers, financial consultants, AA sponsors, cardiologists, etc. Now on to the not-so-positives… Heeders are the folks who ask a ton of questions about a dish. “How many grams of fat are in it?”, “How is it cooked?”, and “When you say 33 grams of carbs, is that from refined sugar or high fructose corn syrup, or is it because you threw a few berries on top?” No matter what you answer or how healthy what a Feeder has thrust in front of them is, they will find a reason why eating it will kill them and why the Feeder should be ashamed of themselves for bringing edible death and calling it a treat in the first place. Once the Heeders have successfully sabotaged the Feeder’s needed stream of compliments and reduced them to a sobbing pile of goo that escapes to the kitchen to do the dishes, Heeders then take aim at the Eaters by saying stuff like, “I wouldn’t eat that if I were you, unless you don’t care if those pantyhose will still be able to go up over your hips on January 2nd”, and “Hey, Bill, is that a pound of fudge you have tucked inside your cheek? Don’t you have diabetes? No? Oh, I guess I just thought you would have it because of all the sugar I see you cramming into your mouth every time we’re together”, or “Good LORD, Sabrina, your ass is enormous! I’ve never seen a butt start in the middle of a person’s back and end at their kneecaps before! Maybe we should change the saying to ‘A moment in your glass, forever on your ass!’ Ha ha!” Heeders are disliked the most two times a year: during the holidays and on January 2nd when all the non-Heeders realize Heeders didn’t gain the customary 10 pounds during the holiday season.
Anyhow, this is where I’ll end my Food Personality essay. After all, you came here expecting a recipe, not a lecture. Today my featured recipe is Pumpkin Bread. It has every aspect of the Holy Trinity for Food: easy to make, easy to bake and easy to eat. And for you Heeders out there I’ve even included a few tips to make this a bit healthier, but I know you aren’t going to make it or eat it, regardless. 😉
– 1 (15) oz can pumpkin puree
– 4 eggs
– ½ cup vegetable oil
– ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
– 2/3 cup water
– 1 ½ cups white sugar
– ½ cup light brown sugar
– 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour (can sub wheat smelt, if you prefer)
– 2 tsp baking soda
– 1 ½ tsp salt
– 1 tsp ground cinnamon
– 1tsp pumpkin pie spice
– ½ tsp ground cloves
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– Streusel topping (optional. Recipe below)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Grease and flour three 7×3 inch loaf pans.
In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, applesauce, water and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and cloves.
Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Add vanilla and mix well. Pour into the prepared pans. Sprinkle lightly with streusel topping. If you love streusel topping, don’t worry. You’ll add more later. Bake for about 50 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
– 1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
– 1/3 cup white sugar
– 1 cup all-purpose flour
– 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
– ¼ tsp kosher salt
– 6 TBSP unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces
-Nuts (optional. Walnuts or pecans work very well with this dish)
– ½ cup butter, melted
Whisk together the sugars, flour, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. Add the bits of butter and use a pastry blender or your fingers to blend until coarse lumps form. Sprinkle about a cup and a half of streusel topping over baked pumpkin bread. Sprinkle on nuts. Using a fork, poke holes over the top of the bread.
Pour the ½ cup of melted butter over the top and put in the broiler for 5-10 minutes until the streusel starts to brown lightly.
COMING UP: If you made too many loaves of pumpkin bread and aren’t sure what to do with them, you won’t want to miss our next pumpkin recipe “PEEK-A-BOO PUMPKIN CAKE”. CHECK BACK SOON!