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Cloudy days and baking {plus a recipe!}

Posted on: 11.15.2012

When it comes to sleep, I am really a blessed individual: at bedtime, I can usually fall asleep easily within 20 minutes of my head hitting the pillow.  I rarely wake in the night, and when I have a healthy sleep cycle (aka, I’m not pulling all-nighters for homework purposes) I usually wake up with ease when the alarm goes off.

But last night was NOT THAT WAY: I couldn’t fall asleep for the life of me! Then this morning I didn’t have any commitments (hooray!) and I didn’t set an alarm. So I slept in…far later than I like to.

And thus began this strange day.  It is overcast and dreary outside, warm inside, and I have been just one big lethargic lump. So I decided to bake something. Our fruit bowl has been filled with persimmons recently: a farmer’s market find from a few weeks ago. They were on the verge of spoiling, but still had some integrity left so I decided to experiment. I made persimmon bread with a little twist. Here's the recipe I used:

1 cup persimmon pulp
3 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1 ½ tsp. cinnamon
1 ½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
2 tsp. baking soda
3 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup water
½ cup diced dates
½ cup chopped pecans

My version of the directions:
(Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.)

*Because I started out with whole persimmons, I peeled them and put the pulp through the food processor to create an even texture. Then I placed the pulp in a small bowl, mixed in just a couple pinches of sugar so the persimmons would get juicier!

*In a separate mixing bowl, mix together sugar, eggs, oil, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and baking soda.

*Alternately add flour, water, and persimmon pulp to the mixture above.

*Here’s the “twist” part: the recipe I was using called for one cup of walnuts but we didn’t have walnuts on hand. Instead I chopped up ½ cup pecans (one of our family favorites!) and ½ cup dates and folded them into the batter. We happen to have a ton of dates on hand because one of my mom’s student’s has a date orchard or some such thing… so we have had dates coming out our ears!

*Evenly divide batter into 2 or 3 greased loaf pans (depending on how large you want your loaves to turn out.) Bake at 350 degrees for one hour.

I wasn't able to get a photo of a full loaf because we had mice. Big, hungry mice in the kitchen. Their leftovers were not as pretty to photograph! ;)

The result was delicious! (well, at least the five of us think so.) One thing I didn’t expect was that the bottom crust of the persimmon bread went through a sort of caramelizing process which ended up having a slightly chewy texture. This hasn’t happened to any other specialty bread I’ve made before! My family decided that they like it that way so I’m not too upset by the surprise. If I were to make this bread over again, though, I’d place a piece of greased parchment paper on the bottom of the loaf pan just to help with the process of taking the loaf out! 


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