These foggy days are just that, foggy almost to the point of day after day blending into one another, without a distinction. I can totally relate. One thing is for certain: it is Fall outside. The trees are so lovely right now against the low riding grey, and you can watch the season change, right before your eyes. My little one and I stare in silence at the big maple let go of it's leaves as we wait for the bus in the morning. We watch the low clouds roll through in ghostly waves, pulling those orange leaves down, our big puffs of breath, mimicking the fog. It is quiet. Peaceful. Beautiful.
One thing I love about fall, even though it is a painful time of year, is pumpkins. Pumpkins make me very happy. I love, love, love them.
Someone once asked me why I like pumpkins so much. I couldn't find an answer, except, that " I like everything about them. I just like to look at them, I suppose". She nodded, and said she understood liking something just because it makes you happy, but you don't exactly know why. Doesn't need a reason.
Pumpkins are not only good for my soul, but they are also food for my soul. No surprise, I like to eat them, too. And so, if you do too, here is a weekend project for you. Make some yummy Pumpkin Butter. Please feed your soul, too. Especially, if it is hungry for pumpkin.
So, the great thing about this recipe, is that it only dirties one pot. I like that in a recipe, easy peasy clean up. The bad thing, if you can call it bad, is having to man the stove for a bit. And for my gf friends, I think this might be gluten free? Please correct me if I am wrong! I don't want to make anyone sick, but the ingredients seem pretty gf friendly, yes?
One 28 oz. can of pumpkin puree ( I used Libby's)
1 Cup of apple cider
1 Cup of packed brown sugar
2 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
couple pinches of allspice
couple pinches of cloves
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 Tbsp. pure maple syrup (optional)
So, whisk up those ingredients, and slowly bring it to a boil over medium heat. ***Warning!!*** When that sucker starts to boil, trouble will follow! That pumpkin when it boils, becomes a big, hot, gloppy mess!
Here is where that handy dandy lid comes into play. Immediately cover that sucker with a lid, and lower the heat to a simmer, somewhere between low to medium-low where it will sit and thicken, and soon turn into golden spreadable goodness.
I simmered my butter for about thirty minutes or so, stirring it every four or five minutes, making sure that it was simmering, and not burning. Watch carefully, you don't want to burn the butter! When I stirred it each time, I took it off the heat, because I didn't want the big, hot, bubbly, glops to burn me. You should do this, too.
The color gets a little darker, and the consistency a little thicker, when your butter is done. Once it is done, ladle the hot, delicious mess into sterilized jars, or tupperware containers. Pumpkin butter is not for use using the hot process method, so keep the jars in the fridge, or freeze the rest to eat throughout the season.
The pumpkin butter tastes the best when it is cold. It tastes like cold, spreadable, pumpkin pie. My daughter and I can polish off a whole jar of it smeared onto graham crackers in one sitting. It is good on pancakes, too.
So, that is your assignment for this pre-Halloween weekend. Pumpkin butter. Make it. Eat it. Love it.