Happy Halloween! Meet Jack…

Each year on Halloween I drag out Jack. Let me tell you a little something about Jack. He’s actually a photograph I took in 1974, for one of my photography classes when I attended Cal State University of Fullerton. Back in those days we didn’t have digital cameras, and we certainly didn’t have Photoshop. That meant when we put a pumpkin on a guy’s head, we REALLY put a pumpkin on the guy’s head!

The good natured college student behind the pumpkin (actually half a pumpkin because after I carved it, I had to remove the back half of the pumpkin to fit on his head) was one of my neighbors at the apartment I lived in at Fullerton.

After carving the pumpkin, conning my neighbor to wear it, taking the picture, I had to personally develop the film and then make the prints in a dark room. This project took hours to complete.

These days, I could make a similar photograph in a matter of minutes–with the miracle of my iPhone camera app and Photoshop.

But really, would the picture have the same character as Jack?

Happy Halloween! Stay safe!


Time for Pumpkin Bread (or Muffins)

Pumpkin It is that time of year again – time for pumpkin bread! My sister, Lynn, has an amazing recipe that’s earned her a blue ribbon at the County fair. I will confess, I’ve made a few changes to the recipe, for health reasons. Instead of oil, I use apple sauce. Instead of white flour I use white whole wheat, and this last time, instead of sugar I used half sugar and half Stevia. Of course, I’m not sure how healthy Stevia is, but it did cut the carbs and sugar significantly and it didn’t leave a yucky aftertaste like some sugar substitutes. Instead of loaves, I made muffins, which significantly cut down the baking time. When using apple sauce, instead of opening a jar and wasting some of it, buy a package of plain applesauce sold in individual 4-ounce portions. Just two of these are needed in a batch of pumpkin bread. I buy mine at a dollar store – and get a six-pack of plain applesauce for just a buck.

Pumpkin Bread Recipe (Altered version)

4 eggs (blended)
1 can of pumpkin (15-ounce can)
1 cup applesauce (or two 4-ounce single servings)
2/3 cup water

3 cups white whole wheat
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon nutmeg
1 ½ cups sugar
1 ½ cups Stevia

In a large bowl, blend together the first four ingredients. Sift in the dry ingredients, blend well. The recipe makes three loaves, or three dozen muffins. The original recipe calls for baking the loaves at 350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes. I didn’t try making loaves with the Stevia, but from past experience, it seems baked items with Stevia seems to take less baking time, I would keep a close eye on the bread; you don’t want to over bake. As for muffins, they take about 15 minutes at 350 degrees, but again, I would keep a close eye on them, and pull earlier if needed. Use the old fashioned toothpick in the middle to check for doneness. If the toothpick comes up clean, remove the bread or muffins from the oven.

Enjoy, and happy fall!

Hint: When using white whole wheat instead of white flour, after sifting not all the flour will go through the sifter. I simply dump what’s leftover into the batter and blend.