I’ve mentioned in the past that my fun-o-meter might be broken. I’ve told you how things that I’m supposed to find fun make me anxious, and things that many people think of as chores are my favorite things to do…every….day
. On my ideal day we’d go for a hike, write or draw a bit, listen to music, make a nice dinner, go for a walk around town, watch a good movie. Nothing fantastic, but we’d do it together, and we’d all be in good moods and get along with each other (this means you, boys!) Nothing makes me feel like getting out the old fun-o-meter adjuster like a holiday. I like holidays, but I don’t anticipate them as eagerly as I once did. You can never quite match that childish zeal, and sometimes it makes me feel a little sad to have lost it. Isaac is a living manifestation of Halloween excitement. He asks me every morning how many days are left. He plans his costume, wears the bits we’ve already made, changes his mind about what he wants to be. He draws zombies and skeletons and ghosts. He’s sad that we don’t have more Halloween decorations, and he spent an afternoon cutting them out of paper and hanging them in the windows. And he wants to carve pumpkins, lots of pumpkins. I’ve been thinking about pumpkins, this morning, and I think they might be my golden ticket back to Halloween glee. I can’t really get excited about trick-or-treating. I love making the boys’ costumes but I’m anxious that I won’t get them done on time, or they won’t look right. But pumpkins…lately I’ve looked on pumpkin carving as a messy and slimy task. But today I realized the error of my ways. I love pumpkins! I love everything about them. The way they taste, the way they smell, their color, the word, “pumpkin.” I love how mythological they seem – they can replace a horseman’s head or they can become an enchanted carriage. And I love the idea of souls and spirits…this time of year is so rich in the remembrance of souls, so joyful and awe-ful. A jack-o-lantern is a pumpkin spirit, smiling out at you with fiendish glee. It’s the ingis fatuus that leads you across dry fields of middle-aged disillusionment to the vibrant, glowing, slightly frightening, sweet, morally complicated, highly anticipated night that is Halloween. I can’t wait to carve one!
I thought these pumpkin blondies turned out very tasty! They’re a little softer than a normal blondie, cause of the pumpkin, but they make up for this (not unpleasant) attribute with taste. I spiced them with cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice, and I added chocolate-covered-ginger, which contributed a lovely chewy little bite. I added a handful of chocolate chips, too, because you can never have enough chocolate!
Here’s Mikey Dread’s spooky Pre-Dawn Dub.
1 1/2 sticks of butter (3/4 cup)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 t vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t salt
1/4 t nutmeg
1/4 t allspice
1/4 t baking soda
1/2 cup pumpkin purée, canned or fresh
1 cup chocolate covered ginger (if you can’t find this, use candied ginger chopped into little pieces, and add extra chocolate chips)
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350. Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Pour the melted butter into a large bowl. Mix in the sugar and vanilla. Beat in the egg. Add the dry ingredients. Stir in the pumpkin till you have a smooth cohesive batter. Stir in the chocolate-covered ginger and the chocolate chips.
Bake for about 35 minutes, until firm to the touch, starting to pull away from the pan, and starting to turn golden brown on top.