From cozy cashmere turtlenecks to the socks knitted by my sister, Charlotte, my favorite things about autumn bring familiar comfort — all the more so because of the chill in the air.
Finally, we’ve gotten some colder days and nights here in Lower Alabama, where I live with my husband, George. And up in the Blue Ridge Mountains, where we spend time each fall, we’ve had real sweater weather — not just days when you have to shed fall layers by noon, but temperatures cold enough that I can hear George rattling around in the kitchen about to make chili for supper! With Sister Schubert’s® Dinner Yeast Rolls on the side, it’s the very definition of comfort food on a cold November night.
You’ve got your own fall favorites — maybe a pair of boots, a nubby scarf. I can’t give you a bowl of George’s chili — or my socks! But I’d love to share some of the other ways I like to take advantage of the pleasures that come with cooler temperatures.
Keep guests comfortable for autumn sunset-watching. Sitting on porches isn’t just a summertime activity in the South. When George and I head to the mountains, we love nothing more than visiting outdoors with guests during sunset hour. To keep everyone cozy in the cool mountain air, I have plenty of throws draped on porch seating so that we can linger. Warm blankets extend the time we have to chat as the sun sinks behind those ancient mountains — one of the best things about the season.
Get inspiration for fall menu planning. When temperatures dip below 50º, it’s just more fun to plan for November tailgating weekends, and I’m already giving this year’s Thanksgiving menu some serious thought. Naturally, I’m adding Sister Schubert’s® Parker House Style Rolls to the line-up. I won’t have time to make rolls from scratch on Thanksgiving morning. Will you? Pulling out pans of rolls from the freezer and popping them into the oven means our family can savor homemade-tasting goodness in just about twenty minutes — rolls made with the same recipe that my Grandmother Gommey passed on to me. Thinking about people rounding out a special menu with my bread is definitely one of my favorite things about fall.
Make my Pumpkin Bread recipe. There’s nothing I love more than sharing a slice of this scrumptious bread with a friend. OK, maybe we have more than one while we’re chatting about what to take to our next tailgate. The recipe, below, incorporates crumbs from a package of Sister Schubert’s® Parker House Style Rolls. You can add a cream cheese frosting sprinkled with roasted pumpkin seeds or nuts for a special touch. This delectable bread simply tastes like the season.
The Pumpkin Bread recipe makes two loaves, so I like to double the recipe and give a couple away. After all, offering a friend something good to eat is absolutely my favorite thing any time of year. Sharing with others warms my heart the most.
1 package Sister Schubert’s® Parker House Style Rolls, thawed
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
½ teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 cups canned pumpkin puree
1 cup pumpkin seed or 1 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to 350º F. Grease two 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pans and line them with parchment paper.
Place the Sister Schubert’s Parker House Style Rolls into the bowl of a food processor and pulse the rolls until they resemble fine breadcrumbs. You should have about 4 cups of crumbs.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.
Pour oil into a large mixing bowl and whisk in the sugar. Add one egg at a time, whisking together after each addition. Mix in the pumpkin. Fold in the flour mixture and breadcrumbs and mix well. Stir in seeds or nuts.
Divide the mixture evenly between each prepared pan. Place pans on the middle rack of the oven and bake 60 to 65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of each loaf comes out clean.
Cool the loaves on a cooling rack for 30 minutes. Remove from the pan and cool completely. Slice and serve. Wrap remaining bread in plastic wrap to keep fresh.
Optional: The loaf can be glazed or frosted with cream cheese frosting and sprinkled with seeds or nuts.