my second favorite season
I'm definitely a spring person. I love flowers and green and all the new sprouting life. I was born in the spring, so it just makes sense. But fall seems to have arrived in earnest now, and I'm realizing how much I enjoy this time of year too. Up here in the mountains it gets frosty every night, while the days are still warming up to a perfect 65 degrees. I fired up the wood burning stove for the first time since last winter, and spent a cozy Sunday evening knitting and contemplating how to re-arrange the furniture in our tiny room so I could sit right in front of it for the next five months.
I'm starting to appreciate all the foods of this season as well. The weekend started with pumpkin pancakes, inspired by the fact that I woke from a crazy dream in which two old ladies had somehow barged into our house and commandeered the kitchen. They insisted that they wanted to make me pumpkin pancakes. It was strange and happy, except when they spilled the can of bacon grease all over my kitchen floor. I woke up when the frustration of trying to clean up all the grease while they were stepping over me became too much to bear. And I found myself craving pumpkin pancakes.
The two ladies were nowhere to be found, so I went to work. And no cans of grease were spilled while I whipped up a batch of tender, hot, flavorful pancakes. My recipe could use a little work, but I crave pancakes about once a year, so if you can figure out how to tweak it to make it just perfect, let me know. As it is, it's really good, and the leftover pancakes are almost even better. At least Mr. HeyLucy seemed to think so, as he proceeded to eat the leftovers that were sitting on a plate on the stove, over the course of the weekend.
1 1/2 c. flour
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 t. baking powder
1 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. each ground cloves, nutmeg and ginger (adjust to your liking. I only added a dash of each, and it was not quite enough flavor. I will add more next time).
1/2 t. kosher salt
3/4 c. canned pumpkin (about half a can)
2 large eggs (I used duck eggs now that our ducks are laying in earnest, and I think they are great for baking!)
1 1/2 c. milk
1 t. vanilla
3 T. melted butter
Combine the dry ingredients. In another bowl, combine the wet ingredients. Dump the wet into the dry and mix just to combine. Cook them up on a buttered griddle and eat them while they're hot!
So here are my thoughts on the finished pancakes: they were very, very moist, almost like they weren't cooked through. I'm wondering if I should have used less milk to make them a little drier. Fresh out of the pan they were good, but that moistness was actually very nice when eating them cold as leftovers. I also definitely need to add more spices next time. I could taste them, but the pancakes were just not quite spicy enough.
Some other seasonal foods we are really enjoying right now include Roasted Acorn Squash with Wild Rice Stuffing, which I made for Sunday dinner along with some simple grilled pork chops. I will be making this again soon, it was so delicious, and really easy. Plus it's really adaptable, you can make as much as you need and switch up the type of rice you use. It worked well to use just one squash for the two of use, but it's easy enough to make more if you have a crowd. It would be a really pretty side dish to bring to a Thanksgiving dinner too.
On the sweet side, I got some Chewy Egg Nog cookies from Trader Joe's, which were pretty yummy, and their Spiced Apple Cider is just about perfect, not too sweet and just the right amount of cinnamon.
What are your favorite treats of the season?