Staff of Life pumpkin bread
Food & Drink

Pumpkin Bread from Staff of Life

A versatile seasonal bread, plus the return of Ramen Tuesdays and a Pop-Up Fundraiser for Standing Rock

Javier Andrade, head baker at Staff of Life, with freshly baked loaves of pumpkin bread. PHOTO: CHIP SCHEUER

Like many Santa Cruzans, I co-habitate with adults, and we share a lot of our food. When I brought home a fluffy loaf of house-baked pumpkin bread from Staff of Life, I felt like a capital-G, capital-R Good Roommate.

I’ll admit, we are kind of a bread-obsessed household, but even I was surprised at how quickly—and in how many ways—it disappeared. Airy, fragrant with baking spices, but not very sweet, it was delicious toasted in the morning with fried eggs, absolutely phenomenal as French toast and blew our minds as a grilled cheese sandwich with gruyere, sauteed kale and caramelized onions, in addition to the many slices that were slathered with butter and dusted with brown sugar. It’s only available through December, so grab a plump loaf and savor the end of autumn while you can.


They’re back! For those of us who fell in love with the weekly ramen slurp sesh from the Kitchen at Discretion last winter, our bowls of soul have returned. Layers of dashi, bone broth, fresh noodles and fatty pork are lovingly and painstakingly crafted by ramen enthusiasts chef Santos Majano and his sous Dare Arowe every Tuesday and topped with a rainbow of house-made pickled egg, vegetables, nori and Serrano chilis. Arowe will mix it up each week with different regional styles of ramen. I guess we’ll have to try them all!


A pop-up fundraiser for Standing Rock (yes, they still need funds) will be held at Midtown Café from 5-9 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 16. The collaborative menu will feature red beans and rice with a variety of fixin’s by chef Jessica Yarr of Assembly, Amanda Pargh of Burn Hot Sauce and Seth Heitzenrater of Outstanding in the Field. Speakers who have spent time on the ground at Standing Rock will share their experiences, and musical entertainment will be provided by local artists Jessie Marks and Aliza Hava. All proceeds from this event will go directly to Sacred Stone camp and their medical and legal funds.

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Lily Stoicheff is a writer living in Santa Cruz, California, where she mostly spends her time exploring food culture and telling its stories. A fermentation and craft beer enthusiast, her house is overflowing with jars of things that look gross but she swears are delicious. She is the 2017 NEXTie Honoree for Best Writer and a 2017 CNPA Award Winner.

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