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Frame: Pumpkin Bread (The Best)

December 20, 2010

Every family has a slew of Christmas traditions, ranging from the ridiculous to the sublime, and mine is no different. For example:

1. After the great ornament fire of 2007, candles are no longer allowed in the room with the tree.
2. Due to the flu epidemic of 2008, which felled each member of the family -one after the other- on Christmas morning, anyone with a hint of the sniffles is quarantined immediately.
3. Mom’s pumpkin bread is delivered to the Dodson residence on Christmas morning, but we are only allowed to have one glass of champagne with them before returning home to help cook.
4. In return for the pumpkin bread, Mrs. Dodson gives us a coffee cake, which is consumed with mimosas while opening presents.

stained and worn, the way all good recipes become

Mom has been making pumpkin bread since before I learned how to tie a bow around a present (not a skill I’ve ever developed much proficiency with), and every year we deliver it to close friends and neighbors. It’s one of those sweet breads that you feel equally ok about eating with ice cream for dessert, or with cream cheese for breakfast.  She only makes it once a year, so you have to fill up when you get the chance.  She wraps it in tinfoil and ties a red ribbon around it, and sometimes we are lucky enough to have one left over to freeze and eat later in the winter.

Mrs. Dodson’s coffee cake is another once-a -year treat that my family literally salivates over.  I don’t know the ingredients or the recipe, I just know it is filled with some kind of nut/sugar/cinnamon combination that makes opening presents even more fun.

Mrs. Dodson, if you’re reading this, I hope you haven’t decided to start giving cookies instead of coffee cake this year (though I’m sure those would be pretty good, too).

a christmas past

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Ken permalink
    December 20, 2010 6:16 pm

    OK; Where is the pumpkin bread recipe? Also; Pat only having one glass of Champagne? Your other readers may believe that – But, I know better!



  2. bestthingslicedbread permalink*
    December 21, 2010 8:49 am

    you and i know the truth about mom’s champagne consumption!

  3. Pat permalink
    December 21, 2010 3:25 pm

    IN MY DEFENSE…..Oh heck, I have no defense!!! I will lift a glass(another glass) to you Ken, Merry Christmas!

  4. bestthingslicedbread permalink*
    December 21, 2010 3:29 pm


  5. Rashid Masood Alam permalink
    December 22, 2010 8:10 am

    I don’t belong to the same back-ground as you do but I can relate your piece to my childhood festivals of Eid in Pakistan and I believe you rightly narrated the whole story…Festivities around the world brings little happiness wrapped in meals :) This evokes feeling of nostalgia and I can feel the heat of one goes through after reading and even writing anything like what you have written. Merry XMAS, happy writing

  6. bestthingslicedbread permalink*
    December 22, 2010 8:21 am

    Thanks Rashid! Happy Holidays!

  7. Judy permalink
    December 23, 2010 3:12 pm

    Merry Christmas…Your movie is my favorite too. Who makes the pumkin bread?? Send the recipe.. Judy

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