Mis-adventures of the Neophyte Baker

I decided that writing a blog entry for the Oliver's website about using fresh pumpkin instead of canned would be seasonal and fun.  I found a tasty-looking Alton Brown recipe for pumpkin bread that looked “kind of simple”, right up my alley.  Simple was the name of the game – I'm not a baker – I do ads and social media here at Oliver's.  Besides, my boyfriend's place is small and not conducive to a baking extravaganza.  So I picked up a sugar pie pumpkin in the store, went home and got to work.  
     I cut the top off, scooped out the seeds, saving them to roast, and cut the pumpkin into sections that could fit in my hand.  The recipe called for grated (?) pumpkin so I chose a sharp-edged spoon to scrape the pumpkin, shaving it into a shreddy-looking pile.  This simple act took over AN HOUR.  My hands and arms were aching. Libby's was starting to look really good.  I had to watch a crappy reality show to help get over myself. 
     I don't own a sifter so I used a whisk to mix my dry ingredients together.  Fine.  I combined my wet ingredients and added them to the dry ones when it all became very sticky.  I don't know if this is “normal” since I'm not a baker.  I added the shredded pumpkin but left out the roasted seeds because they don't agree with me.  It's probably a good thing I left them out because Alton forgot to mention that they need shelling first.  Just like he forgot to mention that every other pumpkin bread in the entire world mentions that the pumpkin should be roasted or steamed first.  I prepped my two loaf pans, divvied up the batter and got them into the oven.  They took longer than the recipe said but finally came out looking good.
     So, how did this pumpkin pain in my bread turn out?  Well, it wasn't bad.  But it sure as heck wasn't worth the trouble I went through trying to rend the flesh from that pumpkin.  Next time, I'll try it with canned puree.  Or maybe I'll roast the fresh pumpkin first.  Thanks Alton.  Just for that, I'm NOT including your recipe.  If you want to try your own pumpkin bread, google pumpkin bread and you know what?  Every other recipe will get you off on the right foot.

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