In the Kitchen: This is why fractions are important

Every year on or around the first of October my husband ventures into the kitchen to bake the one thing he knows how to make: his grandmother’s pumpkin bread.

He doesn’t just make one or two loaves though.

No, after a morning full of flour spills and fished-out eggshells, every inch of our countertops are covered with little brown rectangles. Our friends are ok with this, or at least they pretend to be, because they always smile and take the bread so lovingly offered.

So this morning I heard hubs banging around in the kitchen and at first I think he’s going to bring me coffee. I’m thrilled.

Soon, though, the questions begin.

“Where’s the mixer thingie?”

“Is pumpkin a dry measure or wet measure? Which cup do I use?”

“Where are the measuring cups?”

Damn, dude. Bring me some coffee first.

Then he really runs into a problem. He brings me the can of pumpkin.

“I need two cups of pumpkin. How much do you think this can holds?”


After we have a short tutorial on how to read labels, he’s back at work, trying to convert the whole recipe to fit the amount of pumpkin he has.

Finally, I tell him to simplify it and scoop out ½ cup of pumpkin to make it easier. A light bulb, in all its incandescent glory, suddenly appears above his fuzzy blonde head.

For all the teasing I gave him, I have to admit, that was the best damn pumpkin bread ever.

I don’t think we’ll share with anyone this year. But you can make your own – here’s the recipe.

Pumpkin Bread

3 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp soda
2 tsp nutmeg
4 eggs
2 cups pumpkin
3 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
4 tsp cinnamon
1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cups water
1 tsp ginger

Mix eggs, oil, water, and pumpkin. Mix dry ingredients and add gradually to other mixture. Grease and flour three loaf pans, add mixture, and bake one hour at 350 degrees.