Honestly, it wasn’t until I married Rod, whose favorite season is autumn, that I really started to care about it. And even then, while I appreciated the beauty of crunchy-colored-fallen leaves and the smell of spicy candles, in Illinois, fall was mostly a reminder that the bitter, cold, looooong winter was coming, or in some years, when we went straight from AC to heat, already upon us.
Like many things, it’s a little different here in South Carolina. Fall means that the beaches and restaurants and Walmarts are less crowded and that we can open our windows. It means that I laugh about once a day when we’re outside with no shoes or I read a little article about making a funny scarecrow and then realize we’d have to use newspaper instead of leaves.
these are the times I realize how much I love it here.
A few of my favorite bloggers (Martha, one of my best friends and Kelle, who will be if we ever meet) are obsessed with fall. Kelle lives in Florida but is a Midwest-to-beach transplant like me, and last week she mentioned having a box of leaves mailed to her house. While I haven’t requested anything like that yet, I did find myself Obsessed with pumpkin muffins upon reading Martha’s FB post about pumpkin-flavored-everything.
I’m not a big fan of pumpkin pie or coffee, but I love pumpkin soup and pumpkin bread-like things. As Martha wrote about her pumpkin cream cheese and pudding, I had one thought: Panera Bread’s pumpkin muffies (basically, big muffin top, but the non-embarrassing kind. Well, one probably contributes to the other but that’s another story). With Panera and Martha, sadly, far away from me, i turned to Yahoo, found this recipe, and dreamed about it.
1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix (a standard box of Butter Recipe Yellow was 15 oz)
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree (I used half of a 28 oz can)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 12 cup muffin pan or line with paper liners. I used 36 mini muffins…bite size, 67 cals each
In a large bowl, mix together the cake mix, pumpkin puree, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves until smooth. Spoon equal amounts of batter into the prepared muffin cups.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, until a toothpick inserted in the center of one comes out clean. it took about 18 minutes
Sprinkle generously with powdered sugar, and if your hankering is as strong as mine was, eat a few right there over the kitchen sink, and smile at the influence your friends still have on you from a thousand miles away.