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Baking Day

For as long as I can remember, I've done all of my baking for the week on Saturday.  I probably started doing that when we first got married and I was teaching all week.  Or maybe I started when we lived in the village and I was home-schooling.  At any rate, if you work outside the home or are home-schooling, baking on Saturdays may work well for you.  Even if you are a stay-at-home mom, it might be easiest to find one day to do the baking, but I'm guessing you need to bake as it fits around the needs of the kids.

On Saturday I almost always make bread.  In the village I made two to three loaves at a time and did it by hand.  Then my house-helper wanted to learn how to make bread, so I taught her and soon turned that task over to her.  As often happens, the student became the better bread maker than the teacher. :)  Now i have a bread machine and I always make my bread in that.  Since it's just me and John now, and since I really don't each much bread, one loaf will easily last us a week and sometimes more.  Especially if we supplement it with baguette (one of the great perks of living in a former French colony!) or muffins.  I make cookies about every other Saturday.  I try to not eat cookies, so I usually freeze half the batch then on the next week, John can have a previous batch of frozen cookies.

My metabolism basically doesn't even work, but John burns calories almost instantly, so I need to try to think of extra things to give him more calories.  That means most Saturdays will find me making muffins or banana or pumpkin (squash) bread or something else to give him something extra to eat.

I also use Saturday to cut and slice carrot sticks for the week, to cut up pineapple, to make yogurt, or to do other food preparation tasks I can do ahead of time.  One of my friends here cooks as much of her meat on Saturday as she can so that during the week she can just dump it into the sauce or whatever she's making and meal prep goes a lot faster then.  She also has a much bigger family than I currently do!

This does mean that Saturdays are a pretty heavy work day for me as all this food prep also means dishes.  I also change my sheets on Saturdays and do two or three loads of wash.  But in the end it pays off that I don't have to do time-consuming cooking tasks in the evening when I'm tired.

Here's my pumpkin bread recipe that I got from Cooking Light magazine a few years ago.  Of course, what they don't tell you is that, first you have to buy the pumpkin, cook it, and mash it before you can even start the recipe. :)  I will buy a big squash at the market, 

cut it in half,


and bake it in the oven. 

 Once it's soft and cooled down a bit, I'll put pieces of it in my food processor and whirl it until they are mush.  I'll do this process once or twice a year and have the squash puree ready to go in the freezer. 

Now I'm ready to make the recipe!

Healthy Make-over Pumpkin Bread
In large bowl, whisk:
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large egg whites (I just use whole eggs)
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup oil
1/3 cup low-fat yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla

Stir together in separate bowl:
1 cup white flour
3/4 cup wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 cup wheat germ (optional...the original recipe doesn't call for this)
1/8 cup flax seed (ground or whole -- optional...the original recipe doesn't call for this)

Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and stir until just combined.  Do not overmix.  Pour batter into loaf pan coated with cooking spray or oil.  Bake 45-60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean.  Cool in pan 10 minutes.  Invert pumpkin bread onto wire rack; cool completely


I spent my day in the kitchen cooking for my 85 year old mother. :-) I enjoyed this post and reading about how you spend your Saturdays.

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