While so many folks have been focused on escalating word counts for National Novel Writing Month, it’s no secret that I’ve been distracted from writing so far this month.
I wake up thinking about house projects and various spinning plates, not my protagonist. I fear that’ll only get more pronounced as we launch into the holiday season and its many joys, celebrations and family moments. Although I’m putting time in on the page every morning, the other hours of the day seem to be focused on more concrete happenings.
The point is this: pumpkin.
I thought my infatuation would end with October, but no, my desire to bake has only gotten stronger now that November is here. I’ve made a pumpkin loaf out of the America’s Test Kitchen cookbook, another loaf with dried cranberries and my grandmother’s famous pumpkin custard, which calls for “a scant cup of sugar.” That was my favorite part of the recipe–hearing her voice in that typewritten directive. Of course I’ve also been enjoying cooking heirloom squash.
But right now we’re talking pumpkin. I only started baking regularly in the past year or two, but I enjoy trying new recipes and sharing the results with the neighbors. So now, instead of hashing out themes in my novel, or answering the book-changing question that I’ve asked myself, I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with the next can of organic pumpkin.
- Pumpkin cookies topped my wish list–until I found my grandma’s custard recipe and gave that a shot instead. I have targeted the Perfect Pumpkin Cookies recipe from Erin Cooks. She talks about the challenge of making them chewy, which is something I like in a cookie.
- Pumpkin pancakes. Who knew? I happened upon them at a local restaurant and have been desperate to make them for the family some slow, relaxed morning. Maybe next weekend… I bookmarked the Spiced Pumpkin Pancakes at Epicurious because that recipe uses more pumpkin than others I perused. The restaurant ones were barely sweetened at all, and the texture and flavor really popped.
- When my husband and I got married, we were given a friends and family cookbook full of favorite recipes and photographs. So fun! It’s one of my treasures. There’s a pumpkin muffin recipe in there that’s delicious–and long overdue for another taste test.
- There are myriad sweet pumpkins available at our farmers’ market. I want to experiment by baking one of those, whether by itself or as part of a baked good (instead of the organic canned variety I’ve been using so far this fall).
- I am, truthfully, more than ready for another round of my grandmother’s custard, warmed from the oven and topped with a hearty helping of fresh whipped cream. Mmm.
If I keep floundering around in this final stretch of my novel, maybe I’ll keep cooking pumpkin-themed items through December and January and… Anyone have a good recipe for pumpkin scones?