I'm going to tip my chef's hat today to Paul Collis, the head of our pastry department here at the Sterling Inn. Paul has been with us for 10 years, having been well trained at Oakland Community College. His holiday dessert buffet for Thanksgiving is outstanding with 10 different kinds of tortes and cheesecakes, several different pies, 15 assorted petites with a variety of flans and mousse, too.
He loves working here because he loves being creative, he gets to compete in food shows and, really, there's never a dull moment in our busy kitchen! All our breads and rolls are homemade in the Loon River Café. Today's recipe for Pumpkin Bread is one you'll find frequently in our baskets at this time of year. To make one loaf, you'll need:
2 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup oil
3/4 cup brown sugar
3 ea. eggs
3/4 cup pumpkin
3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp each: baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg & allspice
3/4 tsp ground cloves
If using fresh pumpkin, make sure you cook it down until tender. Combine the first six ingredients and set aside. Sift together the next eight dry ingredients and add to the pumpkin mixture, mixing until smooth.
Pour into a greased and floured loaf pan. Bake at 350 about 1 hour or until the top springs bake when pressed down. And as always, a good cook appreciates nature and what it has to offer.
Note: The Sterling Inn Thanksgiving Day Buffet has three seatings at 1, 3 and 5pm. The buffet includes a whole turkey served at your table, all the trimmings and Paul's Dessert Table Extravaganza. Reservations can be made by calling the Inn at 979-1400.