At our house we just had two birthdays… two cakes… two dinners… two-times the fun you might say! But, unfortunately, almost NO time for anything else! Capping off the whole annual weekend party scene was a Sunday brunch that featured this loaf!

It also featured a mad dash to the brightest part of the house where I quickly dissolved into tears after I could not get a quick photo taken between the bacon crisping up and the folding of the cream cheese into the eggs… Not my finest moment…

All of which prompted UrDad to say, “Well, if this is so stressful, then why are you doing it?” That stopped me dead in my tracks…and then I laughed (um…it was definitely hysterical laughter, but I did laugh!)

I laughed because I have BECOME one of those people. I photograph everything I cook and try to capture its most photogenic angle (whatever that means)! My family eats cold food because I am outside in the front yard trying to catch the last rays of light over a plate of their dinner!

I am constantly asking everyone around me to look at my pictures and tell me, “Does that look appetizing?” The last time we had a guest for a meal, he waited for 30 minutes while the three of us took pictures of cookies on the back porch. Seriously. And it didn’t seem crazy at all at the time…

If you cannot relate to this perhaps you are the lucky one… If so, please tell me that I am not going down a path that will end in one of those interventions organized for those with whom the family is unable to reason… And so I ask myself, how did I go from happily taking dimly-lit and out-of-focus photos to someone fretting over shadows and foregrounds and props and lighting?

I have no answer for that question… (But UrDad is giving me a digital photography class at the community college for Christmas…probably not a moment too soon for me or for him…)

What I CAN say is that I love to make really delicious food and I find it to be absolute magic when I am able to randomly take a really mouthwatering picture of it! And what’s even better is when someone makes something I have posted and then takes the time to tell me they liked it!

So I don’t see the insanity stopping anytime soon. That being said, I offer you this scrumptious holiday bread filled with cinnamon, carrots, pineapple, pecans and a generous helping of homemade crystallized ginger!

Gather Up:
3 cups flour
1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup crystallized ginger, chopped into powder
3 eggs
1 cup canola oil
1 ¾ cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup grated carrots
1 cup diced fresh pineapple
1 cup toasted chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter and flour two 8-inch loaf pans.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, salt and crystallized ginger.

In a large bowl whisk the eggs until they are light and foamy. Add the oil, sugar and vanilla and whisk vigorously until the sugar is well incorporated.

Whisk in carrots, pineapple and nuts.

Add the dry ingredients all at once and stir with a wooden spoon until just blended. Pour into prepared pans.

Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, 50-60 minutes. Cool 10 minutes, then turn onto a rack to cool completely.

Adapted from Eating Local by Janet Fletcher.