Goodbye peepers, see you next year

Goodbye peepers, see you next year

by Marie Frances Sossi

Throughout autumn, peepers in New England states viewed foliage of majestic colors on maples, elms and birch trees; while visiting the Jacksonville farmers market, peepers entered a kaleidoscope of autumn’s rustic oranges, magenta reds, satin purples, lemon yellows and emerald greens. There, peepers viewed bountiful produce and floral displays. The endless sights and designs of pumpkins and gourds enticed artisans, poets and cooks to make autumn displays, along with experimenting with autumn recipes.

On a recent visit to the Lincoln Square Farmers Market, my eyes glanced toward squash being sold by Triple Creek Farm. While in Vermont, I grew butternut squash and I knew just the right recipe for the sweet squash. While I dilly-dallied, farmer Bob Conn directed me toward honey nut squash. This squash was smaller in size and sweeter than the butternut squash. Needless to say, I purchased two honey nuts.

With the end of Jacksonville farmers market season, I join peepers as we say goodbye, but not before I share a recipe for my treasured squash bread. This recipe is a gift from one New Englander, Karen Fortin of Carman Brook Farm, located in Swanton, Vermont. Please do not let the title fool you; I have substituted butternut squash, and recently honey nut squash, for the pumpkin. Oh yes, I am partial to the sap (known as Vermont maple syrup) that oozes down from the Vermont maple trees.

October 17, 2017 2/2

Goodbye Peepers, See You Next Year

by Marie Frances Sossi

Maple Pumpkin Bread

(Please note the “I” are my thoughts.)

1 ½ cups Grade B Vermont Maple Syrup (I use 1 cup, which proves to be sweet enough.)

1 ½ cups sugar (I use 1 cup of packed brown sugar.)

4 eggs

1 cup cooking oil

3 cups mushed pumpkin or squash (I substituted butternut, honey nut or acorn squash.)

¾ teaspoon salt

¾ teaspoon baking powder

1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon

4 ½ cups flour

1 ½ teaspoons baking soda

1 ½ teaspoons cloves

1 ½ teaspoons nutmeg

(I also include a generous handful of chopped nuts, golden raisins and semi-sweet chocolate chips.)

Beat maple syrup, sugar, eggs and oil together, then add pumpkin. Add dry ingredients and finally the nuts, raisins and chocolate. Bake at 300 F for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Test with cake tester. This bread freezes excellently.

Author’s notes: The full recipe makes 4 small loaves along with 1 ½ dozen of cupcakes. I have halved this recipe, as well. To speed up the baking time, I have also baked this recipe at 350 F. Please adjust time for doneness.

Goodbye peepers, see you next year.

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