These last couple of weeks, there has been just way too much creativity pumping through this house. As if the joy of Halloween costumes for four small people weren’t enough, we have painted pizza boxes which we hope to get displayed at CPK, crafted a pumpkin (not carved, mind you) which will be displayed in preschool, half built a chickee which will be displayed at the school’s American Indian mock museum, and handcrafted a clay pot which will also be shown at the very same mock museum. Now I love, creativity, don’t get me wrong, but whoaaaaaa. All that in the course of two short weeks? I’m whooped.
The pizza box painting was really enjoyable. Mainly because Big Little One and Medium little One were totally self sufficient in their creation. Did I mention that I really love crafts accompanied by self-sufficiency?
The pumpkin project too was very enjoyable, once we got past the design phase. I – while background processing major items on my schedule, the amount of laundry piled in the garage, my daily taxiing schedule, and various other logistical concerns, was suggesting very cut and dry pumpkin projects; you could paint your pumpkin white and call it a snowman, you could put stickers on your pumpkin, you could stick Mr. Potato Head pieces into your pumpkin. You fellow adults see where I am going with these suggestions, right? EASY. Unfortunately, the four year old would not budge from her own original scope of Project Pumpkin – – – a butterfly pumpkin. So I acquiesced and off she went. Aside from some super glue assistance, she was at the helm and it was honestly a delight to watch her work.
You, especially if you are a mother yourself, know this little craft saga can’t be all joy and light. Enter the chickee. Haven’t brushed up on your Native American tribes and habitats lately and need a refresher? Well, a chickee is the type of hut built by the Seminole Indians who inhabited the Southeastern area of our country. That would be the first definition you would probably find in the dictionary were you to look it up. I would add a secondary definition and it would read something like this, “Pathetic looking hut; especially when crafted by mother and daughter team. Rickety at best when teacher requires “authentic materials” to be used in construction. Structure whose construction results in mother-daughter friction when mother resorts to use of super glue and throws “authentic material” requirement to the wind. Dwelling place which, when built by mother-daughter team, makes said team thankful they are not responsible for the construction of their own shelter.” I think that just about sums up the chickee ordeal, so I’ll just leave it at that.
No, I really can’t leave it at that. The minor detail I was trying to overlook, but just can’t is that COOKING a traditional Native American dish was an option. A very viable, enjoyable, right up the mother’s alley kind of option. First, I suggested we whip up a little Safki (a Seminole dish made of hominy and meat of some sort). Then I cleverly pulled up a recipe for Safki and left it prominently displayed on laptop where child could see it. Finally, I whined and begged to cook rather than build. But I guess my apples don’t fall far from the tree and Medium Little One held her ground in much the same way the four year old had. So chickee it was, chickee it is, and chickee it shall be!
With so many little artisans working away around here, I have had to keep them nourished with snackable goodness, The fact that they have downed two loaves and multiple muffin tins full of this pumpkin number attests to its success.
I started by throwing together the dry ingredients which include flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, and cloves.
In another bowl, I tossed together some butter, sugar, and vegetable oil, and beat with an electric mixer. Once that was fluffy, I tossed in some pumpkin puree, and a couple of eggs.
Finally, I added the dry ingredients and a little water.
I dumped it all in a buttered loaf pan and put it to bake at 350 degrees for about an hour and ten minutes.
I am not joking about the quantities consumed of this stuff. The bread is a little on the long side to bake so in later versions, I opted for mini muffin tins and took the baking time down to about 15 – 20 minutes. It really is delicious, and if you are ever sipping tea and bemoaning the sad state of your chickee, it’s just the perfect accompaniment.
Here’s the complete recipe for Bobby Flay’s Pumpkin Bread.
And here are some other fall pumpkin recipes for your browsing leisure:
Honey Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins with Cinnamon Streusel Topping (cafecarol.com)
pumpkin recipes (percolatingdesign.wordpress.com)
Scrumptious Pumpkin Recipes for Fall (myyogaworksblog.com)
8 Must-Try Pumpkin Recipes (pearlsandlaceblog.com)