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Friday, October 17, 2014


I can't believe that we're already past the halfway point in October.  This month seems to have been flying by at a quick rate, hasn't it?  But then again, I say that about every month, so this is hardly anything new.

But let's talk about the month of October for a minute here.  Now, I don't know where you all hail from in the world, but I can tell you that this has probably been one of the warmest Octobers that I can remember ever experiencing.  A couple of days ago was October 15...and I was wearing shorts and a T-shirt.  And I still felt like I was overdressed.

Granted, I realize for those of you living in Florida, Texas, Arizona, or even some parts of California, this is probably typical weather.  But for me, I feel like we should be smack dab in the middle of autumn - which includes autumn like temperatures.  Nothing like the crisp breeze in the air while your senses are tickled with the scent of freshly fallen leaves.  Fall is definitely my favourite season of the year.  I just hope we don't end up skipping it altogether with an extra long summer combined with an extremely early winter.  Why, that would just break my heart if we skipped fall!

Okay, I admit I'm being overdramatic here.  I just hate humidity.  Especially in a month in which we aren't supposed to have any.

So, why don't I open up discussion by talking about fall foods.  After all, today is Friday, which means it's time for a FOODIE FRIDAY post!  And in the spirit of fall, I thought I would choose a food that is a symbol of autumn.  A prominent gourd that has made its way into the hearts and homes of many good people in this world.  A food item that people line up at places like Starbucks just to have a sample of it added into their caffeinated beverages every October.

It's also a food item that I myself am not a huge fan of.  However, that's not to say that I don't like having them around.  They provide a multitude of different uses.  They could even double as a flashlight if an emergency ever occurred.

Of course, I am talking about the great pumpkin.

No, not the one that Linus stayed up all night long to greet.  I mean an actual pumpkin.

Let's face it.  Aside from apples, pumpkins are the ultimate fall fruit (and yes although pumpkin is a member of the squash family, scientifically speaking, a pumpkin is definitely a fruit).  And October is definitely the month in which the most pumpkins are purchased in any given year.

I suppose one of the reasons why is fairly obvious.  One of the most common uses for pumpkins is carving them out, pulling out the pumpkin guts, and designing spooky faces on the front of the hollowed-out pumpkin to be displayed for Halloween.  Believe me, I have probably massacred quite a few pumpkins for that purpose alone.

I remember when I was still in elementary school, our teachers would bring in pumpkins and the whole class pitched in to help carve a very special pumpkin for our classroom.  One of the few positive memories that I have of first grade is all of us in the class taking turns to reach into the pumpkin to clean out the pumpkin guts inside.  I loved the experience, but some of the other kids in the class found it disgusting.

We of course threw out the orange pumpkin guts - well, not before a couple of kids in the class tried to eat it like they would an orange only to get a rather interesting surprise upon tasting it.  Let's just get it out of the way.  Pumpkins may be orange in colour, but they sure don't taste like an orange!

Now, the seeds on the other hand.  We saved those.  Later on in the day, a group of kids were selected to go to the school's kitchen and bake the pumpkin seeds for us to snack on later in the day.  And, no, I was not a part of that group.  Stupid teacher.

But you know, pumpkin seeds aren't too bad toasted.  Truth is, they're probably the only part of the pumpkin that I can actually stand eating.  Of course, I'd have to salt them first before I eat them.  Mind you, some kids in my class were afraid to eat them because some of the other kids heard stories that if you ate pumpkin seeds, you could grow a pumpkin inside of your stomach.  This of course is not true, but the fact that some people actually believed that was quite funny.

Of course, this discussion leads to all of the different food items that pop up during the month of October that have pumpkin as a key ingredient.  And, I'll be completely honest with you.  Pumpkin is not a favourite of mine.

It's funny though.  Whenever I tell people that I'm not a fan of pumpkin flavoured goodies, they stare at me as if I have three heads or six arms or something like that.  One thing that I've learned is that people who are passionate about pumpkin will defend their stance to anyone who will listen.

The way I see it, they can have my share.

But seriously, just have a look around supermarkets, coffee shops, and fast food outlets and just see the amount of pumpkin flavoured goodies available for purchase.  At Starbucks, you can grab a pumpkin spice latte.  At Tim Hortons, you can purchase pumpkin cookies and donuts.  I'm almost positive that you can find at least one pumpkin pie at every Thanksgiving table across North America. 

And, just to show that I'm not entirely against the pumpkin, I thought I'd end this blog off with a recipe for pumpkin pie, courtesy of Canadian Living magazine.  Just click on the links below, as the recipe is in two parts.

Happy baking, everyone!

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