Pumpkin Bread with Oat Streusel (Dairy-Free, Nut-Free)
Over the weekend, we went pumpkin pickin’ with some friends at a nearby farm. The temperature in Charlotte finally dropped out of the 90s, so it did feel a little more like Fall. I found my favorite jeans in the back of my drawer – a little dusty from lack of use – but such a welcome sight!
I determined that nothing displays my children’s personalities better than the process of picking out pumpkins. It’s consistent year after year.
We arrive at the farm eager to find the best, the biggest, the gnarliest gourds in the patch. We look for those with curly stems or flat “faces” which are perfect for carving. I love the ones that are still a little green or ones that have marbling of different shades of orange. But, I’m not picky. In fact, I typically choose the ones everyone else overlooks.
My husband just wants out of there, so he generally picks the first one he sees. And not too big, because you pay by the pound.
My son wants the biggest one in the patch. He’ll scan the rows of pumpkins and stand near the one he deems is the biggest. Then an adult has to lug it to the wagon because it usually weighs more than he does. This process takes just a few minutes. He does not walk the rows of gourds. He merely scans the area of the patch directly in front of him and is satisfied that this is the biggest pumpkin he can see. Done.
Then there’s my daughter. If not for dehydration and the onset of hunger, she could spend three days in the patch picking out the PERFECT pumpkin. Not a good one. Not a great one. The PERFECT one. She will pick up, turn over and poke every pumpkin. Then put it down. Then examine it from afar. Finally, she’ll move on to the next pumpkin because there is a chance it is even better. I watch her furrow her brow in the fields, wring her hands in consternation, sigh with frustration and eventually she gives up. Every year. Never is there a pumpkin in the patch good enough for her.
Because I can accurately predict this scenario, I put a few extra pumpkins in the wagon, so she has at least one to carve on Halloween Eve.
I sometimes wonder what’s going on in her head when she’s examining these pumpkins. But, then I think, maybe I’d rather not know.
This pumpkin pickin’ ritual indicates the start of Fall for our family. We welcome the season by adorning the porch with pumpkins and Mums and pots full of pansies. Inside, I dust off the Crockpot and pull out my recipes for soups and stews and chili. When the temperature drops, I start making more bread, too. And Pumpkin Bread is one of my favorites! Nothing says Fall like Pumpkin Spice, amiright? Just ask Starbucks!