Yesterday was the Superbowl, which I probably cared less about than the runway fashions in Milan. My people are not sporty..not even a little bit. We are the kind of people that get out of the way when a ball of any kind is being hurled toward us....maybe that would explain why I was never picked for any team activities in school....except maybe track...I can run, especially if someone is throwing a ball in my direction. I digress....Back to the Superbowl...I thought the Cardinals were a baseball team, so I was confused from the get go. Gary, on the other hand, is a sports fan and as such wanted to have a few people over for the game (you have fun with that honey). Saturday we picked up some snacks and started getting things ready for Sunday's game. As the day went on we noticed that it was getting quite cool in the house. We checked the thermostat and came to the realization that the furnace was dead. Again. For the second time in as many weeks. We called the repair company, only to be told that the technician was out of town and couldn't possibly be out to fix it until sometime on Sunday. You are thinking 'why don't they just call someone else?'. Well, that would be because when we had this guy out for the previous repair we paid the $90 service fee just for him to walk in the door and were told that if he had to come back within 30 days, he would waive that fee. Since it was a relatively warm weekend, we decided to tough it out and wait for him to come on Sunday rather than fork out another service call fee to someone else, and hope that it was warm before our company came.
Wow, that was a really long way to go for a pretty lame story....I get easily side tracked. My point was...it was pretty cold in the house, and in the interest of warming the place up, I baked. I made a banana tea ring, which I make fairly often, and then decided that, hey, I need to use up some pumpkin (for those of you that are new to my blog this might help explain). So I found a new recipe to try- Pumpkin Cranberry bread. Sounded yummy, but I can't ever leave recipes alone, I always like to tweak them. My children can attest to that. I remember my son coming home from school one day when he was in junior high, finding fresh cookies cooling on the rack, he excitedly asked me what kind they were...I think my reply was something like, "Oatmeal...but then I added some coconut..and some sunflower seeds, oh yeah and some cranberries", he looked at me and rolled his eyes and said, in the totally annoying way that only a 13-year-old can, "Gaaawwd, why can't we ever have normal cookies?". Thankfully he grew out of that.
Anyhoo, here is the altered version of the Pumpkin Cranberry bread recipe.
3 Cups of flour (I use cake flour)
1 tablespoon + 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups sugar
15 oz. can pumpkin
1 cup oil
1/2 cup water or orange juice
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup butter (sorry, I cannot condone the use of margarine..ever)
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup flour
Preheat over to 350. Grease 2 9x5 loaf pans.
Combine-flour, spice, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Combine sugar, pumpkin,eggs, oil and water or juice in large mixer bowl; beat until just blended. Add pumpkin mixture to flour mixture; stir until moistened, fold in cranberries and nuts. Spoon batter into pans.
For topping; Beat butter and sugar until fluffy, add flour, mix until crumbly and sprinkle on top of batter before baking. Bake 60-65 minutes.
Let's just say we went through half of the banana bread and almost a whole pumpkin loaf before anyone even came over. What?? It was cold. We finally did get the furnace back on, just in time too, 'cause if I would have had to bake anymore, the 'fat pants' were gonna have to come out.
Since Gary and the 'sporty people' were watching the game, sister Marie and crafty niece, Sarah, came over to entertain me. Marie lives in town and has a pet sheep (Lilly) that she keeps here at the farm. Last year I saved some of Lilly's fleece after shearing and wanted to do something special with it for Marie for Christmas. The problem with this being, I am a shepherd who has minimal spinning skills and I don't even know how to knit...here is where crafty Sarah came in. I bought a pattern for making felted sheep, that Sarah was kind enough to knit up for me using Lilly's fleece. We felted it here and I stuffed it (yeah, I'm super talented). Then, since Lilly has white on her face and white socks, I took some of Ande's fleece and used a felting tool to put the proper spots on her. I never did get around to putting eyes on the darn thing before I gave it to Marie, so she brought it over on Sunday and we finally got it finished...except for adding a bow.