Slice of Life 19: Pumpkin Bread

Yesterday, I wrote about the importance of choice. Sometimes that choice is within a broader topic. This poem is an example of that kind of choice. This month I am also participating in Laura Shovan’s “February” Poetry Project. (Why we’re doing it in March is a long story.) The theme this year is food, and yesterday Laura shared a picture of sourdough bread as a prompt. She also offered the alternative to write about a “bread of your choosing.” Since I don’t have much experience with sourdough bread, and have been baking pumpkin bread every year for almost forty years, this was an obvious substitution. Like the goal of writing a daily slice of life, the goal of Laura’s project “is to practice the habit of writing regularly…so that we can focus on generating ideas.” I may return to this poem to rework the ending, or I may not. I did enjoy the process of writing, and the piece of pumpkin bread (from a loaf hidden in the freezer) I ate to help me write it!

Pumpkin Bread

In November,
After the geese have flown south
And only brown oak leaves
Still cling to tree limbs,
It’s time to make pumpkin bread.

The cookbook falls open
To the recipe,
Spattered and stained
From thirty years of use.
The heady scent of cinnamon
And cloves fills the kitchen
As ingredients mix and meld
Into honey-colored batter.

I fill the pans, like a bee
Filling honeycombs.
Then into the oven, where
The golden glop transforms
Into loaves of amber sweetness
That we will devour
When they cool.

© Catherine Flynn, 2019

Thank you to StaceyBetsyBethKathleenDebKelseyMelanie, and Lanny for creating this community and providing this space for teachers and others to share their stories every day in March and each Tuesday throughout the year. Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers to read more Slice of Life posts.

9 thoughts on “Slice of Life 19: Pumpkin Bread

  1. Mmm. Looks good. For me, fall and winter mean Amish Friendship Bread. All sugary and cinnamony. Gifts to family and friends and a gift to ourselves. Now that I’ve learned about freezing the starter, I make it all year long!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, I do love a good pumpkin bread! I can almost smell and taste it from your description. Do I have a can of pumpkin in the pantry? I don’t think so, but I KNOWI have ripe bananas in the freezer. (Chocolate chip banana bread with streusel topping is such a special treat.) I can always write my Slice while it’s baking, right?

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  3. Mmmm, it sounds good! Your post has made me hungry! 🙂 Personally, my favorite bread is easy to make year round. It’s a banana bread recipe which I got years ago from my Aunt Greta. So delicious! 🙂 ~JudyK

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  4. I’ve been making pumpkin chocolate chip bread for three decades from a friend’s recipe. My recipe makes 7 small loaves which means there’s plenty to share and usually a loaf or two to stash in the freezer. Love these lines from your poem: “The heady scent of cinnamon
    And cloves fills the kitchen,”

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  5. At first I thought there was no way I could do both Slice of Life and a poem each day, but didn’t think about how they would feed each other. I love to make and to eat pumpkin bread. I’ve made pumpkin muffins for students’ birthdays and they keep requesting it. I like the comparison to bees at a honeycomb and the amber sweetness. Makes me want a piece right now!

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  6. Laura’s poetry challenge intrigues me for sure, but the SOL Challenge is more than enough for me to commit to, so I will enjoy it as a reader this time. Your pumpkin bread sounds delicious! I can almost smell it from here:)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love the telling detail of that cookbook falling open to the pumpkin bread recipe. Our favorite recipes are a bit like beloved old stuffed animals–marked by lots of loving handling! I also love the bee imagery! Nice job combining both challenges. I haven’t managed to do that yet, but I live in hope…

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