pumpkin pecan bread

The Crunchy Sock Conundrum

Doing laundry for 6 people has become an issue. It started innocently enough. Separate laundry, do laundry, fold laundry, tell kids to put their laundry away. Standard stuff. Then it morphed into something else.

It became a little like Chester the Terrier.

"When is the laundry going to get done? Is the dryer done? Did you wash my pants? Are their any clean towels? Mom, where is my yellow shirt? Is my soccer uniform clean? Mom, this needs to be hand washed, this needs bleach, this needs to dried flat, this needs to be dried on low heat, this needs to be washed in cold water on delicate. I don't like the smell of our detergent. Can you put fabric softener on this but not that? Huh Mom, huh Mom, huh Mom?"

Imagine high maintenance movie star.

Exactly what I was dealing with. I just compared my kids to Joan Crawford. Not me, them.

So to save my sanity and my body from wire hangers. I decided it was high time my kids started doing their own laundry. The boys and girls separate their laundry and wash, dry and fold it. I do Rich's and my clothes... plus the towels and the whites. I only do the whites because between all of us there is only one load. It's a big load but one single load nevertheless. I fold the whites which by the way is a lot of socks. We all use the same brand of socks even though they are different sizes and are men's and women's but here's the conundrum, Andrew and Will's socks are crunchy. Even after they have been washed in hot water with fabric softener and lovingly dried. They are crunchy.

My husbands socks... not crunchy, my socks... not crunchy, the girl's socks... not crunchy.

What the hell are they doing to their socks to make them crunchy? Besides the obvious. I will not go there because I try to keep this blog sort of family friendly.*

pumpkin pecan bread: great coffee cakes, sticky buns, muffins, & more by carole walter

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, spooned in and leveled
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
2 large eggs
3/4 cup very fresh dark brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons freshly grated navel orange zest
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/4 cups canned pure pumpkin puree
1/2 cup medium chopped, toasted pecans

to toast the pecans:

Line a heavy-gauge rimmed cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Toast the nuts in a single layer in a moderate to low oven (300-325 degrees) The length of toasting time will vary depending on the size, oil content, and volume of the nut. Color and fragrance are the best way to determine whether it is toasted or not. Pecans normally take about 8-10 minutes.

for the bread:

Position the shelf in the middle of the oven. Heat the oven to 325°F. Butter the loaf pan. Line the bottom with baking parchment, then butter the parchment. Set aside.

Combine the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and allspice in a medium bowl and whisk until thoroughly combined. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment, beat the eggs on medium-high speed for two minutes or until lightened in color. Add the brown sugar, taking about 2 minutes, and the granulated sugar taking about 1 minute. Add the orange and lemon zests and beat for one minute longer. Scrape down the side of the bowl as needed.

Reduce the mixer speed to medium-low and drizzle in the oil in a steady stream, taking about 2 minutes. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the pumpkin puree. Mix until thoroughly combined. Add the dry ingredients, in two additions and blend for 10-15 seconds just until incorporated. Remove the bowl from the mixer and using a large rubber spatula, fold in the pecans.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 60-65 minutes or until the top feels springy to the touch, or until a wooden skewer or a toothpick inserted deeply into the center comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and place on a cake rack. When the loaf is almost cool, invert it onto the rack. Remove the pan, peel off the parchment paper and turn the loaf top-side up. When ready to serve, cut the bread into half-inch slices.

Tasting Notes: So the directions for this recipe are a little persnickety but well worth it. I'm the minimalistic with adjectives food blogger. I don't like to do the words: yummy, soft, moist, delicious...yada, yada, yada. But this bread is heady with fragrance and taste. Swear to God, that's what popped in my head while making this. Heady. So this bread is some pretty heady stuff. It has been by far the best pumpkin bread I have eaten.

* I was told by some big-wig that the people they worked with thought I was too crude and this is why people will be and are hesitent to work with me. That if I toned down my blog I could be really succesful being a mommy blogger. I still wonder why we didn't end up working together.


Amy said...

My top least favorite things to do:
1) clear out the dishwasher
2) get gasoline
3) do laundry

Thank goodness I have a husband who does it all for me. It's really why I married him.

I'm in charge of the cooking and baking (thank goodness) and I see this pumpkin pecan bread in our very near future. Think I can make them into muffins?

krysta said...

amy... i wouldn't see why not. and they would be good with some cream cheese frosting. or not.

Melissa said...

Heady? Nice. You know I won't make this. You really need to come bake FOR me.

Ha, I remember that biz. Yes, gee, I wonder why you didn't end up working together. Hmmmm.

And, yeah, um *cringing* I think it's the obvious answer... uuuuuuugh !)@(#*$&%^ can you scrub that thought out of my brain now please? Kthx.

Kelly said...

I just found your blog and absolutely love your tone of voice. I wouldn't worry about making it too "family friendly." That just wouldn't be true to life at all. That bread looks fantastic as well.

Jennifer said...

Since when are you a "mommy blogger"? (I can't stand that term, btw.) You are a blogger who writes about food with stories of life and parenthood thrown in for good measure. All done with a wicked (evil?) sense of humor. That's harder to fit on a business card though, huh?

This sounds divine and will be made by me this week. One question: All the mixing, until the folding in of the pecans, is done with the whip attachment? Or do you switch to the paddle at any point?

krysta said...

jennifer... i used the wisk attachment the whole tome and didn't seem to have an issue.

kelly, thank you.

melissa... i knew you'd catch that!

Mayberry Magpie said...

I have a friend who never again touched her son's socks after he hit puberty.

Just sayin'.

Eva said...

Ugh, I barely get my own laundry done let alone anyone else's, especially if they had special requests.

Regardless of why they are crunchy... pretreat them. Put just enough water and some laundry detergent (and maybe some bleach?) in a small vessel and let them soak while you do other loads. Then throw them in the wash. Maybe theirs are older or newer that's causing them to be crunchy?

EB of SpiceDish said...

Totally bizarro! Not only was I at the hair salon today laughing at that exact Joan Crawford postcard on her station but we were having a conversation about that exact terrier/bulldog cartoon! Creepy!

Familia said...

love the new look!
love the look of that bread!

maybe they need to pre-treat their own socks. maybe you could do the whites, but not the socks.

not looking forward to that part so much. (me, i mean.)

Cali ʚϊɞ said...

i had you pegged as more of a food blogger... and whoever thinks you're crude must not have children. just sayin

MichelleB said...

The bread looks great. And I love the crude. That keeps me coming back. Well, that and the hopes of more pictures of your house. That I want to live in. *sigh*

Spryte said...

OMG as soon as I read crunchy socks... I was reminded about a story of one of Jon's old bandmates... and the crunchy socks under the bed *shudder*

As soon as they start making laundry demands... they get introduced to the washing machine at my house!

I would LOVE a piece of that pumpkin bread right about now!!

auntjone said...

I have the crunchy sock phenomenon in my house too. My 15 y/o boy wears stupid ass combat/work boots and his feet sweat. I know it isn't the OTHER reason for crunchy socks because his socks are frequently left in the living room or his tv viewing area and I know he isn't doing THAT out in the open.

Oh, and the bread looks fab. Will put on my "make this someday when you actually have time/energy to bake again".

SaintTigerlily said...

Ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew.


The food looks great though.

maybelle's mom said...

i have always thought of myself as Chester the terrier actually. what does that say about me. site looks great by the way.

TexasDeb said...

I am here to read you, not some toned down version of who somebody else says you should be. Your blog so you decide but don't change for ME for damn sure.

I taught my kids to do their own laundry. It is one of the (few) shining achievements of my parenting career. And if there were any crunchy socks involved in that transition to "do your own!" laundering I've forgotten now (like I've erased memories of labor pains and/or what it took to potty train).

Pumpkin bread looks heady enough, all right. I have a question though. Am I the only person in the universe left trying to bake occasionally without a stand mixer? This sounds a little intense to try without one and I never see anybody suggesting using a food processor instead. I should just give up and be glad I'm spared the calories you think?

krysta said...

tex. deb, do you have a hand mixer? if not i'm sure the old fashioned way with a spoon & a bowl would work just as easy. do not spare the calories on this one. it's that good.

Jennifer & Chris said...

I realize this is a 2 year old post, but I was looking for the recipe. And I have an answer. Hubby said that crunchy socks are the nemesis of the army man and is caused by sweat build-up (the boys play sports, yes?) I read him your post (between snickers)and he said pre-soak the socks in baking soda & water before washing. Of course this could be unneeded info at this late date.