This is about that time of year where all the pumpkins we have gathered in late September, and all throughout October are getting ready for their big day! Either carved up with a spooky grin, or remaining whole as the star of a decorative scene, these pumpkins are there for us to help bring on fall. I have notoriously fallen victim to the stunning variety of pumpkins and variations. We giddily traipse through the pumpkin patches to find the one (or in my case dozens) that speak to us. This year’s porch scene showcased deep greens (Kabocha Pumpkin) and ghost pumpkins (an eerily delightful white). Inside the house, little ornamental pumpkins are to be found sprinkled throughout the bookcases and mantel. I place them strategically in areas throughout the home and yard, to cue me to pause. A pause to take in how amazing pumpkins truly are. Elegant but earthy, they grace us with their stunning beauty and uniqueness, breaking down barriers of traditional beauty. I am especially fond of the ones that have corking on the outside, as they remind me the sweeter you are on the inside the more it shows on the outside!
What can I say, I just love pumpkins! Pumpkins go through such an amazing journey and undergo quite the challenging conditions starting in early June to get to their fullest potential in the fall. I find it important to reflect on this journey the sweet pumpkins go through before the season is through. Reminding ourselves that impermanence is a natural part of life, and that being present in the moment is more important now than ever. The next time you encounter a pumpkin this season, take a moment to really admire the transformation the pumpkin went through to get there, and where it will go from there.
Repurpose and Rethink
I am always looking for new ways to reuse pumpkins! While they make stunning décor, they are a very versatile edible fruit! Naturally, I have been known to push the envelope of what pumpkins can do in the kitchen with my most recent endeavor being that of pumpkin muffins (See recipe below). These muffins are delightfully cakey in texture and moist! That being said, I encourage you to remain thoughtful and purposeful about the seasonal use of pumpkins. Be inspired to reuse them or repurpose them in creative and fun ways. Historically when my pumpkins grow senior and mushy, and no longer suitable for consumption, I incorporate them into a nutritional mulch for the garden. Whether its for practical use in the kitchen or for something creative outside, I hope that it brings you joy and a sense of renewal.
Marvelous Mel’s Pumpkin Muffins
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 heaping tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice
- 2 teaspoons of baking powder
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon of salt
- 1 cup vegetable oil or canola
- 1 cup of brown sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 15 oz of pumpkin puree
- Pumpkin Seeds (cooked) for topping (optional)
- Coarse sugar and sea salt mix for topping (optional)
Directions: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine all the ingredients together, mixing the wet first and slowly adding the dry in. I use my stand mixer but if you must mix it by hand… put on some 80’s music, a sweatband and get to work! Once combined, fill the muffin papers in the muffin pan about 3/4ths of the way. Sprinkle pumpkin seeds on top. Bake for 15 mins, after that check the muffins using a toothpick for doneness. It is challenging because each oven cooks a little bit different (moving from a gas stove to electric, changed things for me). Some ovens may require less cooking time or more, depending on a range of factors. The muffins are done when they are well formed, golden brown on the top, and when a toothpick is inserted, it comes out with no wet batter. When in doubt check them often! This is a pretty delicious and easy to do recipe with very little experience required.
Please leave in the comments, a favorite pumpkin recipe or reuse of a pumpkin. Wishing you all the best in your pumpkin endeavors.