Batter Up! by Judy Fitzgerald

batter /ˈbætə/

  1. a mixture of flour, eggs, and milk, used to make cakes, pancakes, etc, and to coat certain foods before frying

Not to be confused with…

Batter up!

  1. (baseball) (Used by an umpire to invite the next batter to the batter’s box, especially at the beginning of a half-inning.)

The noun “batter” takes me back to my childhood days with my mother, Sally, teaching me and my two younger sisters, Diane and Susie, how to make batter for cakes, cookies and breads. Not to be mistaken with the baseball umpire terminology used by my dad Geno and brother Steve! To this day, I recall pulling out my Mom’s recipe box packed with all of her handwritten recipes. We had recipe books, but I thought the best ones, collected and saved for many years, came right out of the recipe box. I would go straight to the “Desserts and Baked Goods” divider in the box, thumbing through each and every individual recipe to decide which sweet treat would be chosen for the week. My two sisters would often join me in this ritual which generally began in the fall and continued through the cold winter months inside of our Madison, WI family home.

Our kitchen was usually stocked with just the right ingredients for most of these recipes.  We often baked a cake, bread, or pies but thousands of homemade cookies came out of our oven on Sunday afternoons in anticipation of packing lunches for the week ahead. We always included something sweet for our home packed lunches.  With four kids in our household, that meant A LOT of hand packed lunches everyday, every week, year after year. My dad and brother loved participating in “quality control.”

PumpkinBreadJudyOne of my favorite things to bake for lunches or to give away were what we referred to in our household as “quick breads.” Some of these homemade favorites included Pumpkin, Banana, Zucchini and Rhubarb. We made several mini size loaves, which included frosting or a sprinkling of a sugar, butter and cinnamon topping.  After just the right amount of time in the oven (always tested doneness of our baking with a toothpick), we allowed them to cool and then wrapped each one individually in foil and finished with a bow to give away as gifts for any holiday, birthday or whatever else we deemed was a reason to give a homemade sweet treat.

So as we head into the Fall 2015 baking season, I flashback to the fall baking of my childhood days and have included a time-tested favorite recipe for Pumpkin Bread.  It is shown here as originally written on my duplicate recipe card. My duplicate copy didn’t have step by step instructions.  You see, after all those years, we had the steps memorized!

Batter Up! and Enjoy

Pumpkin Bread
Pumpkin Bread
  1. 4 eggs
  2. 3 cups sugar
  3. 1 cup oil
  4. ¾ cup water
  5. 3 ½ cups flour
  6. 1 ½ t. salt
  7. 2 t. baking soda
  8. ½ t. baking powder
  9. 3 t. cinnamon
  10. 1 t. ground cloves
  11. 1 t. nutmeg
  12. 1 - 16 oz can pumpkin
  1. 2 T. melted butter
  2. 3 – 4 t. brewed coffee
  3. 1 cup powdered sugar
  4. 1 t. vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. Mix all bread ingredients and pour into 3-4 small loaf pans.
  3. Bake for one hour.
  4. Mix together frosting ingredients and frost cake while still warm!
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