"Each year, the Great Pumpkin rises out of the pumpkin patch that he thinks is the most sincere. He's gotta pick this one. He's got to. I don't see how a pumpkin patch can be more sincere than this one. You can look around and there's not a sign of hypocrisy. Nothing but sincerity as far as the eye can see." - Linus
It's the night before Halloween and I've finally finished sewing the kids' costumes (he a knight in shining armor, she a medieval damsel in distress). The dinner dishes have been cleared and the pumpkin takes center stage on the countertop, ready for carving. Will it be a funny face? Or a scary face this year? Dad helps bridge a compromise (and carve the pumpkin) after much arguing, and the jack o'lantern is set on the stoop outdoors, while the salted seeds roast in the oven. They're done just in time to munch while watching "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" on TV - a tradition we'd no sooner miss than skip trick or treating.
Yes, it's the night before Halloween, but for years now, there have been no costumes to stitch, no arguments about what to carve on the pumpkin. And I'm watching TV alone while Linus waits in vain for the Great Pumpkin. Somehow it feels like shouting in a vacuum.
The years have flown by faster than Snoopy's dogfight with the Red Baron and nostalgia could threaten to take me down. But no, I'm remembering the good times, and remembering that while there is no pumpkin on the counter to be carved, there is a pumpkin spice cake that is calling my name.
And a darned good one too, even if it's not a great looker. It's baked in a plain Jane rectangular pan, with a cream cheese frosting sprinkled with nuts. The kind of thing you'd find at a bake sale - or in my kitchen tonight.
It doesn't make the pretty statement like the circular pumpkin coffee cake I made earlier in the week to serve to my Italian chit-chat group (photo below), but the rectangular recipe tastes a whole lot better. If you really want the recipe for this one, email me and I'll send it to you, but once you've tried the pumpkin spice cake, you won't want any other.
Don't get me wrong - the crumb-topped pumpkin coffee cake was good, but not nearly as moist and tender as I wanted.
So more "research" was in order. That's when I found this recipe on Mary's blog, "One Perfect Bite." As Mary states on her post, the recipe is a gem of simplicity and feeds a lot of people. She was so right. But even more importantly, it tastes terrific. I know I'll be making this one again and again now that pumpkin season is here.