Sunday, October 28, 2012

Pumpkins at Davis Ranch

Orange Kabochas at Davis Ranch 
It's always fun going to the Big Crush in Amador county (The Big Crush)  because, in addition to visiting our favorite wineries at harvest-time, we get to stop at Davis Ranch Produce stand, just East of Sacramento. This is the big daddy of all farm stands and because grapes are crushed in October, we also get to see the astounding number of pumpkins the ranch displays in preparation for their Halloween Harvest festival. Here are some of the unusual varieties.

We Be Little pumpkins above, and Hubbard and Fairy Tale below

 Big Mack and Long Island Creme


Knucklehead,  Delicata, Wolf and Goosenecks
Turban, Hubbard and One Too Many
Lunch Lady, Wolf and Long Island Creme
Summit and Super Herc

Description of Summit Pumpkin
Homozygous resistance to powdery mildew. Large dark orange fruit. Good ribbing. The standard for large fruited hybrids. Handles are impressive for size, dark color and durability.

Many of the same varieties we observed at Davis Ranch were artfully displayed at CUESA'S annual Sunday Night Supper event upstairs at the Ferry Building, catered by Paula Le Duc this October.
                                                                                                                                               Photo courtesy of Marissa Rodriguez

                Enough ogling: let's smash those bad boys and eat  PUMPKIN BREAD!

Jenny's pumpkin bread with chocolate chips

This excellent pumpkin bread is a specialty of my friend Jenny Offenbach. It was her mother's recipe and she generously bakes it and gives small loaves to her co-workers at holiday time. The chocolate chips are optional, but I recommend the addition of some Scharffen Berger bittersweet baking chunks.

Mom's Pumpkin Bread                              
1/2 cup oil                                1 2/3 cups sifted flour
1 cup canned pumpkin              1 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs                                     1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/3 cup milk                             1 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 cup sugar                        1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350.
Combine oil, eggs, milk and pumpkin. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Gradually beat into wet mixture. Pour into greased loaf pans and bake
at 350 for 1 hour or until done. (Take out of oven before bread is fully cooked, so that a tooth pick
has some mixture on it when inserted.

Servings: 2 medium loaves


  1. You have a real joie de pumpkin.

  2. I had no idea there were so many different varieties of pumpkins. Thanks for the honorable mention! I was happy to provide the recipe. My mom would be so stoked if she saw this. Thank you, Taya. xoxo

  3. Pumpkins are not only beautiful but delicious. The bread looks yummy. I can't wait to give it a try. Perfect time to use the bittersweet I've been saving.

  4. YAY for a great pumpkin bread recipe. If I had any pumpkin in the house, I'd make it. Orange for the Giants! No stores open here in the wake of Sandy, but that's another story.

  5. That's a geat picture of me with the Davis Ranch Pumpkin

  6. This recipe is truly scrumptious. Superb photos as always.