Monday, 8 June 2015

In The Kitchen ; plus Mori Girl Challenge

With Winter having settled in properly in the last few weeks, I've had a strange urge to buy a pumpkin and do things with it .. but more on that later. Just yesterday, I found out about the Mori Girl Challenge. One of the lovely girls in the International Mori Girl facebook group has devised a 31-day challenge, or more a set of challenges, called Draw, Snap, Write, Cook. The complete list of challenges can be found here at I Don't Know But I'm Learning, and is also available as a pdf download. As with all things related to the Forest Girls, there are no hard-and-fast rules -- you can do all four sets of challenges, or pick and choose. Myself, I certainly don't have time to do one every single day, but I would like to try them all. I really like the idea of exploring the same theme in different media, and as I've mentioned before recently, anything that gets me motivated to start practicing drawing again regularly is welcome.

Back to the cooking now! The first thing I decided to do with my pumpkin was to cook Pumpkin Bread from the recipe here. Coincidentally the recipe was from a link I saved from the same blog as above. (This really was a coincidence!)
Here is my beautiful butternut pumpkin.

All the ingredients gathered together, including the microwaved pumpkin. The recipe calls for canned pumpkin, but we don't have that here in Australia, and besides, I'd already bought a fresh pumpkin! I cooked about half of the pumpkin, and it ended up being too much, but I used it all and adjusted the amounts of all the other ingredients to fit around it. And I do agree with Kathryn's blog post to add less flour than the recipe calls for. I also added a bit less sugar as well. Husband and I are used to eating less sugar these days, and the cranberries should also make up for it.

Adding all the dry ingredients. Instead of separate spices, I used the St Nicholas Spekulaas spice mix from Gewurzhaus in the city. It has cassia, coriander, clove, ginger, allspice, cardamom and nutmeg, which differs a little from the traditional Dutch recipe, but it's nice to try new things.

Adding the eggs. By the way, I tried using my Daylight lamp for lighting, and I think it's coming up pretty well.

Adding the chopped walnuts and cranberries. I just used whatever I could find in the cupboard!

Mixing the fruit and nuts into the batter. I can't believe that I don't have a cute wooden spoon to mix with. (I have a few normal ones, but no cute ones!) But then I realised -- I think I prefer mixing with the flexible spatula. It really gets into every corner of the bowl. Perhaps I can deco it?

The batter goes into the loaf tin. Buttering and flouring the tin is actually my favourite part of the whole process. Aside from eating the finished product, of course.

The pumpkin bread!

It was not possible for me to follow the instruction of waiting until it was cold before serving. It went down extremely well with some butter and a cup of Russian Caravan tea.

I'm not sure if I should count this as my first Mori Girl Challenge, as I was planning on doing it anyway! Either way, I think there'll be more pumpkin in my near future...

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