On a 90 degrees Fahrenheit July day, driving to run regular errands through familiar roads dotted on either side by yard sales, lemonade stands manned by eager little hands, and pumpkin farms abuzz with every conceivable vegetable and fruit save for the pudgy old pumpkin..we begin to ogle longingly at the Fall board that has gathered dust, while the Summer one, announcing the arrival of fresh produce and prismatic flowering plants in alluring little pots flickers in our collective peripheral vision. With the sound of “Oh me..” by King of Prussia, a delicious little afternoon shift discovery from a few weeks ago, reverberating from the speaker, we head out, zipping past the blur of green and gold around us, to the frozen yogurt shop to cool off. With a few lists effectively tackled, we set out for home when, of a sudden, one of us remembers a forgotten item on a list – cilantro. So, we slip into a tiny street that curves around the Indian grocer’s and end up acquiring more than just the cilantro – some raw mangoes, ripe mangoes, guavas, plantain, and sweet pumpkin cut conveniently into quarters and sealed in plastic-wrap. Sharing a knowing smile, we head home, thoughts of the dusty pumpkin farm board trailing above us like a blimp. And here’s what became of that rare chunk of pumpkin, as if Fall had stealthily woven itself into the gauze of Summer..
- 1 Cup all-purpose flour
- 1 Cup multi-grain flour
- 1/2 Teaspoon salt
- 3/4 Cup sugar (brown or white)
- 1/2 Teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 Teaspoon ground cloves
- A dash of ground cardamom
- 1/2 Cup Kefir or yogurt
- 1/4 Cup vegetable oil
- 2 Large organic brown eggs, at room temperature
- 1 Cup freshly pureed pumpkin
- 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4-5 Dried apricots and a 2 inch piece of candied ginger, crushed fine in the food processor
- A handful of oats or rye flakes for topping (optional)
Pre-heat your oven to 375 F. Line a muffin tray with paper cups or grease with baking spray.
Mix all the dry ingredients with a whisk or fork in a wide-mouthed dish. Stir all the liquids together. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ones, one by one, mixing and folding them in gently. Don’t stir briskly or for too long, just enough to get the batter well mixed and then pour into prepared muffin cups. Top with oat or rye flakes and bake for 25-30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean, off any muffin.