Pumpkins Part IV: Son of Pumpkin
by Baby Huey
I love writing at FTTW. People here are witty. They're droll. They're erudite. They know lots of big words. Sometimes I wonder why they want me to write here. I'm not any of those things. I'm a computer geek with minimal social skills and prefer monosyllabic communications with people, a species of animal of whom I'm not particularly fond. Oh yeah, I remember now. I'm a decent cook and I have FANTASTIC taste in music (and fuck you if you disagree with that).
Today's recipe may sound a bit weird but it's been tested and everyone liked it.
1 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c whole wheat flour
1/4 t salt
1 1/2 t baking soda
1 t ground cinnamon
1 t ground cardamom
1/2 t ground curry
1 c pureed pumpkin (if you made last
week's recipe, and used 15 oz cans of pumpkin, you should have about a
1/2 c vegetable oil
2/3 c + 1 Tbsp honey
1/2 c dried cranberries
Preheat your oven to 360 degrees, and grease a standard sized loaf pan (8 x
3 x 3, I think. Whatever. It's standard).
In a large mixing bowl, mix the eggs, pumpkin, cranberries, honey, and oil till it's smooth and well incorporated. In another bowl, mix the dry ingredients together. At this point, you're fine. Take all the time in the world. However, as soon as you take the next step, you have time and chemistry working against you, so make sure your oven's hot and your pan is prepped. Add the dry ingredients to the wet (NOT the other way around), and stir gently to combine. Use a folding motion to combine the dry and wet. To fold, put your spoon in the middle of the bowl, cut to the outside, and fold from the bottom to the top. This will combine the fastest with the fewest strokes. That's important. When you get flour wet, it activates a protein called gluten. Gluten is what makes yeast doughs rise -- it basically is like rubber bands in your dough. However, this bread is leavened with chemicals. We don't want gluten to be activated -- quickbreads (breads that use baking soda or other chemicals to rise instead of yeast) are closer to cakes than they are breads, and you want moist and tender, not crusty and chewy. Therefore, do NOT overmix this. Stir JUST till the ingredients are combined. If there are little clumps of dry ingredients, that's fine. They'll hydrate eventually in the oven.
Put the batter in your loaf pan and put it in the oven for 50 - 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let it cool in the loaf pan for a little bit -- trust me, I found out the hard way that the honey makes the cake so moist that it'll fall apart if you de-pan it right away. Let it cool for about 30 minutes before taking it out of the pan.
This will last for about a week on your counter just fine -- honey is hygroscopic, which means it pulls moisture out of the surrounding air. It's damn near impossible for this cake to go stale. Well, that and you'll eat it hella quick. BTW, Turtle? This wouldn't be very good with Rooster Sauce. It may be the only thing that isn't.
This week's album review may be my favorite album of the year. I haven't decided yet. It's really close. It comes out on Halloween, so read the review now and decide if you want to check it out.
The Dead Eye
Century Media Records
Two years ago, vocalist Marco Aro left The Haunted, and was replaced on their fourth album, rEVOLVEr, by Peter Dolving, who sang on their self-titled debut. I hadn't heard that album and was concerned - Aro was a brutally aggressive, singularly focused vocalist. He wanted to kick your ass every second and you loved it. Would Dolving stand up? rEVOLVEr took The Haunted in a completely new direction, toying with melody and different tempos. It was critically acclaimed but panned by many of the
band's most ardent fans, who loved the thrash label thrust upon them as much by pedigree as by sound. Brothers Anders and Jonas Bjorler were 2 fifths of the ultra-seminal Swedish band At the Gates, and the sound associated with that band followed them to The Haunted. The Dead Eye, however, bucks a lot of those predispositions and stretches both the musicians' boundaries and the listeners' expectations. The classic Haunted balls-to-the-wall thrash anthems are still there, typified by Patrik Jensen's unique guitar tone and Bjorler's classic riff-writing, and they still kick ass. Where they rise above are in the relatively new concept (for them, anyway) of mid-tempo, dark, melodic songs. This album shows off Dolving's formidable vocal
stylings, pulling in both aggressive screaming as well as dark, atmospheric crooning a la Maynard James Keenan from Tool or Tom Gabriel Fischer from Celtic Frost. The only downside, in my opinion, is that they didn't let drummer Per Moller Jensen play around as much. He basically kept the rhythm in this album, and that's it. That's a shame, too, because his fills are really excellent, classic metal drumming. This album is, to quote Dolving, "diverse, dynamic, and heavy as fuck." Well, heavy enough in spots to make
up for where it takes it down a notch.
Recommended Tracks: "The Failure", "The Drowning", "The Fallout", "The
Baby Huey lives in one of those Carolina states, where he carves pumpkins to resemble the members of KISS.
Baby Huey's radio show, "Dead of the NIght" can be heard Tuesday evenings on WXDU, 88.7 FM, Durham, NC