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I Carried The Pumpkin Bread

You know the scene in Dirty Dancing when Jennifer Grey shows up at the staff after-party and Patrick Swayze says, “what’s she doing here?” and Jennifer Grey says, “I carried a watermelon”?

Remember that?

Well, that’s how I felt last night at a breast cancer benefit my friend organized.  The backstory here is that my friend got people all over the world to make artwork out of bras, and then she auctioned the bra-art off at the party.  Genius.

Anyway, when I got there a band was playing and a local brewery was handing out beers.  Nearby restaurants had donated tables full of cheese plates, cocktail meatballs, and buffalo wings.  I had promised to bring food too, so I carried my stuff into the kitchen area.

A volunteer from Hooters (creative, right?) greeted me with a tray of hot appetizers.

“Hi!” she said.  “What are you doing here?”

I blanked.

“I brought pumpkin bread,”  I squeaked.

And then I thought to myself, pumpkin bread?  ReallyI brought pumpkin bread to a fancy art auction?  

But I’ll tell you what:  It’s the best pumpkin bread I’ve ever had.  Five people asked me for the recipe last night.

I’m pretty sure Jennifer Grey would have rolled up to that dirty dancing party with pumpkin bread if she had known the recipe.

She probably would have shoved a loaf down her shirt so she had something to snack on during dance rehearsal.

It would have been awkward.

Pumpkin Bread {Download & Print Recipe}

Adapted from The Great Southern Food Festival Cookbook


3 1/2 c. flour

3 c. sugar

2 tsp. baking soda

1 1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. nutmeg

1/2 tsp. allspice

1/2 tsp. ginger

1 c. oil (I use vegetable oil)

2/3 c. water

1 15-oz. can pumpkin (the unsweetened purée, not prepared pumpkin pie filling)

4 eggs


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Butter and flour any size loaf pans you want to use (this makes the equivalent of three 3 1/2″ x 8″ loafs).  Put all the ingredients into a large bowl and stir with a large spoon until smooth.  (The little flour lumps go away easier if you sift the flour first.)  Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake until a skewer inserted into the loaves comes out clean.  For three 8″ loaves, it’ll take about an hour.

Seymour managed to eat a half a loaf of pumpkin bread that was sitting on the kitchen counter the other day.  Thunder seemed to feel this entitled her to pumpkin bread, too, and when she didn’t get any, she got really mopey.

44 Comments Post a comment
  1. The pumpkin bread sounds great … so rich and spicy! I don’t blame Thunder for moping when Seymour got some and she didn’t (what’s up with that, anyway?). The fundraiser sounds like a great event for a great cause, too. I’m not surprised at all that your pumpkin bread was a hit there – I think people often appreciate simple food more than the fancy-schmancy stuff you usually get at events like that.

    October 27, 2012
    • Seymour is such a counter top raider! He makes himself really tall and eats stuff from the table in total silence, which means he gets away with it all the time. Poor Thunder is short and squat so she always misses out. 🙂

      October 28, 2012
      • I used to have a Miniature Schnauzer and a Black Lab, so we had a similar story at our house. Big Benny actually scarfed two loaves of homemade bread off the counter, while little Fritz had to settle for crumbs on the floor. Life just isn’t always fair in the canine world 😊

        October 28, 2012
  2. Laura G. #

    perhaps my favorite post ever. that line really unites our generation, or at least women of our generation. i wonder if when people write movies and things, they ever have any idea what will catch on and live forever. “i carried a watermelon.” who woulda thunk? ok, so it gets less press than “nobody puts baby in a corner,” but i daresay that “i carried a watermelon” gets busted out in everyday use more often, especially during the summer months. all of which is a tangent. the pumpkin bread looks delicious, and i accept seymour’s endorsement.

    October 27, 2012
    • Laura, I wonder how many famous lines from movies found their way in there when an actor or screenwriter pulled from an experience that had happened to them, you know? Maybe there’s an original, embarrassed watermelon carrier out there!

      October 28, 2012
  3. a #

    Well, you should be fair to Thunder…

    October 27, 2012
    • Perhaps I will give her extra string cheese at snacktime. . .

      By the by, string cheese is DELICIOUS. I hadn’t had it since I was a little kid but we got some for the dogs and now I walk around gnawing on some all the time.

      October 28, 2012
  4. As long as the snarfed item was not, A. a whole tub of margarine B. a huge bar of extra dark chocolate from a Christmas stocking or C. pantyhose, I think Thunder should get a shot at some, after all, she was there long before Seymour was even a glimmer in your eye 🙂

    October 27, 2012
    • I suppose you’re right! But that means I’d have to go buy some gum to give Seymour (Thunder gnawed on some the other day). And I’d have to let Thunder stick her head in the bag of flour, which is Seymour’s new favorite (and totally annoying) pastime. . .

      October 28, 2012
  5. So, it’s three 3 1/2 x 8 loaves?

    October 27, 2012
    • Exactly, Faye. I’ll make that more clear, thanks. That’s how much batter it yields. I’ve put it in all sorts of pans, and it always cooks well.

      October 28, 2012
  6. I’d love to eat pumpkin bread. Tim Horton’s has a new pumpkin spice muffin for Thanksgiving and Halloween, and they’re so delicious! They even drizzle caramel on them.

    October 27, 2012
    • Dang, I used to get doughnut holes at Tim Horton’s in Penn Station on mornings when I took the train from N.Y. to Wilmington, Delaware for work. We don’t have them in Alabama (Tim Horton’s, that is. We still manage to find doughnut holes, thank goodness!)

      October 28, 2012
      • That’s great to hear! Last time I heard, there were 30 Tim Hortons outlets in the United States. I wonder if they’ve built any more since then…

        October 28, 2012
  7. 1) Pumpkin bread! Delicious.

    2) I have never seen “Dirty Dancing,” but stayed at the camp where it was filmed this past summer for coffee camp. (It’s a real thing!) The place is obviously full of DD references, all of which were lost on me. But *especially* “I carried a watermelon.” They sell shirts that say that! I had no idea what it was referring to.

    3) Seymour! Obsessed with him.

    October 27, 2012
    • Ha! That’s funny that you stayed at the camp because when I was a kid I REALLY wanted to go there for obvious reasons. I’m sure I would have been disappointed when the cast didn’t show up.

      October 28, 2012
  8. What a fun post.. and how awesome is your friend’s Auction.. that really is very creative, I hope lots of money was raised! Poor Thunder.. dogs do know how to mope the best, don’t they! I have pumpkin left in my freezer.. so I can’t wait to try this recipe! xx

    October 27, 2012
    • Barbara, thanks! Yeah, the story behind the auction is nuts. She basically painted a bra and posted it on facebook last year or something, and it went viral. Now she has 3,000+ people on the facebook page and bras were sent from all over the world. It’s nuts! Some of them were reallllllly artsy. I’ll post a picture to facebook, actually, so people can see how gorgeous some of them were!

      October 28, 2012
  9. Love it! I forgot that line but the moment you said it, I was right back there! Can’t wait to try the recipe!

    October 28, 2012
    • That’s the thing about movies you watched a hundred times when you were a kid (perhaps I should just speak for myself?)–as soon as you hear a line, you’re back there!

      October 28, 2012
  10. Susanne Moers #

    We met at the Painted Bra event (I am one of the ladies with the funny German accent, think Fedora) and all I can say is: Don’t sell yourself short! I would totally buy that Pumpkin bread and may even try to make it myself – it was to die for (not that I have plans for an early demise, but if this would be the last thing I could eat that would be fine with me) No wonder it was gone in a flash. Also I thought that you were delightful and it was such a pleasure to meet you and your significant other. And I got a kick out of your blog :). I think it should be mandatory for all art auctions to serve your pumpkin bread.. I will gladly support all legislative efforts to pass that bill. Have a happy Sunday and thank you for posting the recipe! Last but not least, thank you for supporting our event. It made a difference and the funds raised will make a difference in the lives of other women. Thank you!

    October 28, 2012
    • Susanne, you were so lovely on Friday night! You really brightened the room and made everyone feel comfortable and welcome. Thank you so much for the kind words. I hope I’ll see you again soon–perhaps we can do food together at the next event!

      October 28, 2012
      • Susanne Moers #

        That would be really nice!

        October 29, 2012
  11. Pat Ammons #

    Is this the pumpkin bread you gave me? If so, I can attest that it is fantastic. We gobbled it up.

    October 28, 2012
    • Yes, it is, Pat! So glad you liked it.

      October 28, 2012
  12. HahaHA!! I am falling deeply in love with your movie references. Beautiful Girls first, now Dirty Dancing…Next thing you know, you’ll be quoting When Harry Met Sally, and my devotion to Eggton will be sealed forever…

    October 28, 2012
  13. Ha! What a great concept for a party! Happy Sunday:)

    October 28, 2012
  14. And now I will be singing “we had the times of our lives” all day!!! What a great way to start my day…thank you!!!!

    October 28, 2012
  15. Poor Thunder – she is so clearly neglected LOL

    October 28, 2012
  16. “you don’t think the pumpkin bread is getting wet, do you?” LOL! i’m going to try this recipe 🙂

    October 29, 2012
    • Hee hee. I can’t stop making it. I eat it with cream cheese, and I think I’ve spent $20 on cream cheese this month alone.

      October 31, 2012
  17. i think you know how i feel about this pumpkin bread, as i ran out to the store last night to garner ingredients for it, and then made it basically in the middle of the night so i’d have it for breakfast.
    it was worth every bit of trouble. and then some. people of Comment-Land: this is a beautiful, delicious pumpkin bread that weighs so much there’s no WAY Jennifer Grey would have been able to carry it in her shirt. Make it. We’ve already eaten half the loaf.

    October 29, 2012
  18. Amy #

    Aw, Thunder…I think you should bake her some pumpkin dog biscuits to make it up to her. That bread looks really tasty! I need to make some when I get back home… Also, your captions had me cracking up 🙂

    October 29, 2012
    • Amy, you’re right. I should make some pumpkin dog biscuits! They like the last ones I made (apple sauce-oriented, I think) but that was a long time ago. Congrats on a wonderful pumpkin in movita’s competition. Are you home yet?! Have a good honeymoon?

      October 31, 2012
      • Amy #

        Thanks! Just got back from our honeymoon this afternoon…our flight yesterday got cancelled. But it all worked out, we missed the hurricane and got an extra day of honeymooning!

        November 1, 2012
  19. Mopey with a Stink Eye. Wow, that’s attitude baby! Anyway, Thunder will be laughing all the way to the chew bone when Seymour gets the squirts from all that pumpkin bread.

    October 31, 2012
  20. Erica P. #

    It’s your old friend, Erica, KMon! I love your blog and made the pumpkin bread yesterday while stuck in the house during Hurricane Sandy. I served it last night to Christine E. and Dan G. for dessert. We all thought it was so delicious and DEVOURED it!! Thank you for another wonderful recipe! Also, “I carried a Watermelon” is short-hand between me and my college roommates for whenever we’ve embarrassed ourselves in front of a new guy. 🙂

    October 31, 2012
    • Erica! How are you, woman?! I wish we could eat pumpkin bread TOGETHER while stormed in. I’m so glad we’re in touch again, now! Thank you for the very kind words. Miss you!

      October 31, 2012
  21. I’m scared of what I saw, I’m scared of what I did, of who I am. But most of all, I’m scared of leaving this page, and never knowing for the rest of my life, how to eat pumpkin bread.

    I would have a natural tendancy to put butter on it, since I would put butter on anything. But I see one can also put cream cheese. Please enlighten me as to the ways one can enjoy this delightful-looking treat…

    November 1, 2012
  22. I loved this post. I am CONSTANTLY quoting that (and basically only that) line from Dirty Dancing, even though some of my dear acquaintances somehow– impossibly– don’t even remember that scene at all… I’m glad you got still asked for your pumpkin bread recipe; that’s the best feeling! 🙂

    November 3, 2012

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