Welcome November! with Macrina Squash Harvest Loaf

squash loaf

Don't egg my house.  If you follow In Praise of Leftovers at all, we're clearly in a holding pattern  here.  It goes: squash/apple/galette/pizza/squash galette/apple cake/squash soup/squash bread and REPEAT.  If you don't like squash, maybe you'll stay for the self-deprecating humor?  Please?

After my trip to Gordon's, I've still got squash hanging around.  When my Mom and I were standing in line to pay for our haul, we had a good laugh at everything in our wheelbarrows--pumpkins (carving and sugar pie), gourds, all kinds of squash. It was as if someone had just said we'd be locked in our houses all winter with only squash recipes as resources.  If you're snowed in this winter and can't get to the grocery store, snowshoe on over to my house.  I've got enough food to get all of Seattle through Winter Blast 2010.

I've sung Macrina's praise here and here, and I'll never be quiet.  My favorite bakery anywhere, ever.  Hands down.  I never order the squash bread while I'm there because I think, "I can make that myself."  I always order something made with croissant dough or a brown sugar shortbread in the afternoon.  How do they get that shortbread so [expletive!  expletive!] perfect?  So despite conspiring to make this bread, I haven't until this afternoon.  And it was a meditative thing to do on a Sunday--roast the squash, prepare the mini loaf pans, smell them cooling on the table.  My friend Tiffany just had a baby girl yesterday morning, and I wanted to make something that I could have her half of.  Don't give me too much credit here.

cooling loaves

I can't recall a Sunday as relaxing as this one.  Since it was Daylight Savings, it felt like the extra hour just kept giving. Yancey got off shift this morning, and I catapulted out of the house as soon as I heard his car in the driveway.  He took a turn responding to Loretta's demands while walked around Seward Park and cleared my head, remember that all would be well and that I was more than housework and finding shoes and socks.

Seattle from Seward Park

Later, while Loretta and Yancey slept, Wyatt played computer games and I made cards, pulled out my trusty colored pencils and did something right-brained.  Then, to take advantage of the incredible light today, I took about 50 photos of this silly bread like it was Jennifer Aniston or something.  Now that it gets dark at 5:00, what do low-tech, flash-avoiding food bloggers do?!  They bake in the afternoon, I guess.

colored pencils

Before dinner, we dropped squash bread off for Baby Miriam's family and all of us went to Kubota Gardens.  The Japanese Maples there really are on fire, and the kids exclaimed over all of them.  Welcome, November.

P.S. Loretta was a punk rock zebra for Halloween.  You know I would never miss an opportunity to post another show-off picture of her.  Tonight when I put her to bed, she said, "Mom, will you talk about Halloween to me again?"

Halloween punk rock zebra

Macrina Squash Harvest Loaf
You can find this recipe at La Tartine Gourmande.  I could copy it here, but you should really visit Bea's blog.  She definitely doesn't need my endorsement, but I'm giving it anyway.  Stratospherically great photos and recipes.  This recipe makes two full-sized loaves, but I made six mini-loaves instead and cooked them for 40-45 minutes instead of 60+.  Now I can keep some for us and give some away.  It's definitely possible to use canned pumpkin here, but I think the difference in roasting your own butternut squash is night-and-day.  The butternut bread has a much more subtle and complex flavor, and the color of the bread is beautiful.  Plus, I'm still trying to make a dent in my wheelbarrow full of squash.