I love my in-laws. I know that I am blessed to have married such a wonderful man, and that he comes with such a wonderful family. That is not to say that we are similar. Sometimes it seems like we come from different planets! His family goes when mine stops. His family talks when mine is quiet. But the great thing is, his family brings a spice to my life.
His family, on Their Best Behavior
One of the first times that I knew this spark was in wedding presents. The two gifts from his family that stand out to me really make me crack up. First, there was a gift from his sister, Lauren. It was a spice rack (perfectly normal present, right?). It came with a note, addressed to him, "you're getting a nice rack" (and I cannot believe that I am sharing this with you.). I could never look at that rack in the same way. The other gift was presented to me at our rehearsal dinner. My father-in-law told me that they were giving me a piece of lingerie that was sacred to their family, in front of my family (who don't talk about such things in public). I am sure that my face was bright red, until I saw the "lingerie."
Yes, our families are quite different. When it comes down to it, we are all human, and all created in the image of God. His family shows me a different, equally beautiful side of our creator. What an awesome commonality to share.
His family has been generous to take an interest in my life. They have been incredibly supportive of my blog, and I don't know, but I wonder if more of my in-laws read my blog than my own family! I recently received a long letter from my aunt-in-law, with several recipes and the stories behind them. She requested that I try them to see what improvements or changes I would make. One of the recipes jumped out at me because I have been wanting to make it for a while. So here it is: Pumpkin bread. But you know, I couldn't leave it like it was. So here it is:
Bourbon Buttermilk Pecan Pumpkin Bread (A recipe in progress*)
1 cup sugar**
1 cup brown sugar**
2/3 cup vegetable oil
15 oz. pumpkin puree
3 1/2 cups flour (I mix half/half whole wheat and all purpose)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon ginger
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup bourbon
1 1/2 cups pecans, chopped
In a large bowl, mix the first five ingredients. Add half of the flour, stirring until just combined. Mix in the bourbon and buttermilk. Add the rest of the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices, stirring until combined. Fold in the pecans.
Pour into two greased 9x5 loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour 10 minutes, until a tester comes out clean (check at 1 hour).
*I am not completely happy with this recipe as-is. I'll keep working on it and let you know when I get it to where I love it!
**The original recipe called for 3 cups of sugar. If you prefer your bread sweeter, by all means, add more sugar!