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Fall Harvest Dinner at the Heathman Inspires Autumn Baking at Home

This spiced pumpkin bread will warms up any damp fall day.

THE celebrated its fourth anniversary in Kirkland Saturday with a sold-out “Fall Harvest” feast at its restaurant , featuring Chef teamed with Chef Philippe Boulot of the Heathman’s sister hotel in Portland.

All produce grown for consumption is harvested at one point or another, but the phrase “fall harvest” connotes very specific items -- apples, pears, pumpkins, sometimes squash. The six-course Trellis dinner went the apple-and-pear route, with the fruits guest-starring in several courses.

Perhaps my favorite, the first course was a pretty little pocket of crispy filo dough encasing a sweet and savory filling. Matchsticks of crunchy apple slaw garnished the plate. A tiny pear, straight from Scheehser’s orchard, nestled amongst the second-course salad greens, much like finding an Easter egg in the garden.

Apples made the most frequent appearance throughout the meal -- a delicate intermezzo scoop of apple sorbet, apple terrine served with the cheese course, and a nicely done rustic pastry before we fell into our beds in a harvest-induced food coma.

The event attracted Trellis regulars like the British ex-pat couple Andy and Shirley, who cornered me with their very lively opinions on the Trellis burger, which they consider to be the best in Kirkland. Others represented the , the Portland Heathman Hotel management team, Lane PR, and freelance food writers like Patch columnist Chris Nishiwaki (Cork Dork). Service was professional and extremely accommodating -- servers poured wine like it was going out of style.

The meal’s theme -- and, frankly, the dark rainy weather -- have me thinking about other “fall harvest” items. Today I harvested a Costco-sized can of Libby’s pureed pumpkin from my cupboard and whipped it into two loaves of magically disappearing pumpkin bread. Judging from the amount of leftover puree in my refrigerator, I think that I could have tripled the recipe instead of merely doubling it.

Knowing my children as I do, I substituted chocolate chips for the nuts in one loaf. It’s a great recipe for introducing children (or yourself) to a variety of spices. My 3-year-old daughter sniffed each spice before spooning it into the mix -- the familiar scent of cinnamon, the heady aroma of cloves, the pungent smell of nutmeg as it was finely grated from a brown nut into powder.

As we scooped the pumpkin puree into the mixing bowl, I couldn’t help but think how quickly my baby went from eating “fall harvest” puree to measuring ingredients into the Kitchenaid. She clearly understands the scoop and swipe method of measuring flour and can even gently crack eggs. I may need a tissue after this baking session.

Spiced Pumpkin Bread

1 2/3 c. flour
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 eggs
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1/2 c. water
1 c. pureed pumpkin (Libby's)
1 c. chopped nuts or chocolate chips (opt.)

  1. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon. Set aside.
  2. Using an electric mixer, combine the sugar, eggs, oil, water and pumpkin puree until thoroughly integrated.
  3. With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until they just come together. Do not over mix.
  4. Stir in the nuts or chocolate chips, if using.
  5. Pour the batter into a well-greased 9-inch loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 60-70 minutes or until golden brown. Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes, then gently tip the loaf onto a wire rack to cool completely. The cooled loaf may be tightly wrapped and frozen for up to two months -- a great excuse to double the whole recipe!
Lara Elizabeth Vyas October 12, 2011 at 03:42 AM
I am definitely going to try this recipe. Can I replace Libby's pumpkin with the one I picked at the pumpkin patch? Would the 1 cup measurement for pumpkin still be the same?
Julie Arnan October 12, 2011 at 03:09 PM
Lara--you can definitely use your pumpkin. Once you roast and mash it, one cup is exactly the same as one cup of canned. Thanks for the comment!

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