'Tis the season of pumpkin spice latte
If you're not from North America, maybe you don't know about this. Autumn arrives and, with it, the pumpkin spice trend, and it's no longer just one coffee shop...
Looking back, I spotted the signs. It was inevitable that pumpkin would be added to coffee. I was young but around when the baby boomers, back then called "hippies," first discovered gardening. It's not like gardening was new, but there was a big, back to the land movement by people who had not a clue what that meant.
Zucchini was so easy to grow and has what the agriculture people euphemistically refer to as "a significant yield" so it was a first vegetable for many. Soon, zucchini was everywhere and these new gardeners were getting rid of it in every way possible. I'm not a fan of zucchini blandness and even back then thought it perverse to make loaves out of it, but they did. Maybe we should give thanks that nobody thought of adding it to coffee...
My butternut squash story
If you're current on your squash knowledge, you're probably wondering why I have mentioned pumpkin, zucchini, and butternut squash while clearly displaying a butterkin squash, above. Bear with me.
I was in college when one Valentine's Day, my mom's coveted package arrived in the mail. I, and subsequently my classmates, knew that within the shoebox there would always be her chocolate chip cookies. I took the parcel home, removed the brown paper wrapping, and found...
Nestled tightly in the shoebox were two butternut squash! The cookies were there too but wtf? So I picked up the phone and called her to thank her and
It turns out, they had a bumpercrop that year and to quote her, "I had thirty of them underfoot and you just go a little crazy."
Squash is the secret
ingredient of pumpkin recipes
ingredient of pumpkin recipes
That fall, I started making "pumpkin" loaves. However, you must realize that it takes about one cup of pumpkin per loaf. My recipe made two and I had only two loaf pans so I was cranking them out two at a time and distributing them to my grateful classmates. (I doubt they would have been grateful for zucchini loaves.) Anyway, I learned the lesson early of only getting a tiny squash.
'Tis the season
One day a week, a farmer sets up a stall near my local convenience store. There is something about cooler weather that brings out the cook and baker in me and I checked out the butternut squash, looking for a small one, of course, but they were gigantic!
I think the most flavorful squash are butternut, acorn and hubbard, so when the farmer suggested the butterkin, saying he liked it best, well... it wasn't a tiny one and I knew better, but I was curious about that flavor.
At this time of year when North America goes pumpkin crazy, I joined the fray with my secret ingredient, and the farmer was right about the butterkin -- it's delicious. There is just that one problem...
I have made pumpkin cookies, pumpkin tea biscuits, pumpkin biscuits, and eaten it on its own several times AND I STILL HAVE MORE! I should see if I'm turning orange yet, actually more of a golden colour...
You know, with all this squash to use, you just go a little crazy. I wonder how much I could hide in coffee?
All photos were taken by me with my Canon SX620 HS or iPad in Kanata (Ottawa), Canada
Still contemplating the coffee thing...