1) You have kick ass blog readers like I do. Whenever I go on and on and whine about my first world problems, you all rally around me instead of rolling your eyes as you should. Everyone’s lovely comments on my last post really lifted my spirits. And to my dear friend, Mrs. Krabapple – she read my post and was so concerned about me, she texted me to make sure I was ok and then called so that we could chat. It’s nice to know that people care! You guys are the best! You’re all invited over for booze and chocolate.
2) You have a puppy. Look at this face.
Now imagine a wriggling, jumping, smiling puppy racing to the front door to greet you when you come home at night. No matter how high strung and bitchy I’m feeling, my cold, black heart just melts.
3) You see all the Christmas decorations out before Halloween has even passed and although you think, what the fuck, it’s only October, you corporate freaks stop trying to milk the hell out of this holiday, you’re secretly excited and doing a happy dance in your head because you love the shit out of Christmas.
4) Long weekends exist. Who bloody cares what you’re supposed to be celebrating. The main point is an extra day off work! We just celebrated the Thanksgiving long weekend in Canada. I foolishly went grocery shopping on Saturday afternoon and it seemed like the whole world was grocery shopping with me. There was nary a parking space or a can of pumpkin puree to be seen among the massive pulsating throngs of maddened last minute holiday shoppers, preparing for all of those turkey feasts. Gobble gobble indeed. I then spent Sunday baking and cleaning so thank Gawd I didn’t have to work on Monday so that I could recover from a weekend of domestic labour.
5) [SEMI-SPOILER ALERT FOR BREAKING BAD FANS WHO HAVE NOT WATCHED THE FINALE]. Technology has made it so that I don’t need to plan my schedule around t.v. anymore. Instead of waiting with anxious bated breath every week, the Husband and I binge watched the last 8 episodes of Breaking Bad last weekend and it was glorious. Screw you, commercials! You’re a thing of the past. Unfortunately, so are Walter White and Jesse Pinkman. So long, fellas. Walt did some wickedly evil things over the past 5 seasons but my God, I rooted for him until the last possible minute. I didn’t want him to get caught. I wanted him to kill everybody. I wanted him and Jesse to reconcile and although it didn’t happen that way, you knew there was some semblance of peace between the two. Poor, meek, pathetic Walt had been kicked around all his life. We can all relate. We’ve all had the yearning to abandon our fears and inhibitions, to do things that we’ve been told we couldn’t possibly do. We all secretly want to get revenge on people who have wronged us, to feel in control, to have the upper hand. That’s why no matter how reprehensible Walt’s actions were, I still wanted to see him go out on top. And I think he did. He went out on his own terms. He did exactly what he needed to do. And good riddance to that neurotic bitch, Lydia. They should’ve let Mike kill her when he wanted to. I can’t wait for the spin-off of my legal idol, Saul Goodman.
6) You have the luxury of losing yourself in something as well crafted as The Conjuring. I love horror movies but only when they’re done well. They need to scare me. They need to trigger something extremely primal and visceral inside of me. Please, spare me the guts ‘n gore. That ain’t my bag. I want to be holding my breath because I’m too afraid to move. I want to believe that ghosts and demons and evil things exist and that they can come and get me at any time. I want to scream from terror at every well placed bang, creaking door, sudden apparition and terrifying doll. The Conjuring did all of those things. We just watched it over the weekend with all the lights off and it was deliciously creepy. I loved it.
7) Heroes exist! I read so much crap in the newspaper and court decisions every day, detailing the horrific actions of society’s bad apples. It really warms my heart to see that guys like this will risk their lives to jump onto a Skytrain track to pull an injured person to safety. Bravo!
Life is definitely wonderful when you can combine simple things like flour, oil, sugar and pureed pumpkin, and create something as delectable as this pumpkin olive oil loaf. Y’know that huge coffee chain that sells pumpkin loaf? This loaf kicks that loaf’s ass. Just sayin’.
Olive Oil Pumpkin Loaf (adapted from Fine Cooking)
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 tbsp ground flax (optional)
3 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp table salt
2 large eggs, room temp
1 1/4 cup canned pumpkin purée
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup honey
1 cup loosely chopped walnuts (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease your loaf pan and line it with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, flax, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, pumpkin, sugar, oil, and honey until well combined. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until evenly incorporated.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Cover the top with the walnuts, if using, and press them down into the batter slightly. Bake for approximately 40 to 45 minutes, until the top is browned and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. If your loaf browns too much, cover it with aluminum foil until finished baking. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes and then transfer the bread to a rack to cool completely before slicing.
This is the perfect pumpkin loaf. Unlike the pumpkin bread I usually buy at unnamed cafes, this is light, fluffy, moist and incredibly flavourful. I like to add a lot of spices because they complement the pumpkin flavour so wonderfully. The crunchy walnuts on top provide a welcome contrast in texture. I didn’t feel bad about polishing this off in just a few days since the ingredients are fairly healthy. It’s ridiculously good with a tall mug of tea or coffee. Seriously, I am never buying a pumpkin loaf ever again!