Autumn…the year’s last, loveliest smile.
~William Cullen Bryant
I wish I could tell you that I’m one of those people who loves fall and smiles my way through it. I have so many friends who embrace the cooler temps and the shorter days and look so beautiful in their muted rust-tone sweaters and boots. But being allergic to late trees and ragweed, it’s a pretty tough sell for me. As a teenager, I could set my calendar by the first tickle in my nose—it was always August 15th. When I resumed getting allergy shots as an adult about 12 years ago, I can now go until about September 15th. Sniffling and hacking and a-choo’ing my way through a season hasn’t exactly endeared it to me. One of the things I inherited from my mother is my ability to sneeze. Growing up, we used to be able to hear her sneeze all the way up at the Hill’s house which was a quarter of a mile away—uphill. It’s a wonder she was never arrested for disturbing the peace. I’ve learned to set up an early warning system of an oncoming sneeze, otherwise I’m peeling a poor unsuspecting soul off the ceiling. Lovely.
Fortunately, my mom instilled a bit of a sense of humor in me about it. Back in the late ’60’s and early ’70’s she belonged to one of those Children’s Weekly Reader Book Clubs and once a month a new book would come in the mail. How I loved those deliveries. I credit the smell of the fresh paper and my mom’s intonations as she read them to me as to why I love books so much to this very day. Anyway, one of them was called: “Stand Back,” Said the Elephant, “I’m Going to Sneeze!” I wish I could show you a picture of my tattered and torn copy, but I keep it at school to read to my kids this time of year. Here is a picture that I pulled off of Amazon.
So October has been made more bearable to me by the rise in popularity of pumpkin. I love pumpkin anything. The other night the Tall Texan and I went to our favorite little Italian restaurant where we always sit at the same table and the wait staff are so mindful of my celiac. After dinner a friend joined us for a drink, and he ordered pumpkin beer. It came beautifully rimmed with cinnamon and brown sugar. What I would have given for just one gulp. Instead, I sat there like one of Pavlov’s dogs…he’d raise his glass and take a sip and I’d take my napkin and wipe the drool from my mouth.
I left there that evening with pumpkin on my brain and couldn’t wait to find something I could eat to satisfy that craving. So yesterday I set out to make the Flourless Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies that I had put in my archives since my diagnosis. Sadly, they were not just a fail, but an epic fail. They looked like something you would dig up on an archaeological site. Oh well, you’ll have those days…
This morning when I woke up and saw the leftover pumpkin in my refrigerator, I remembered a recipe for pumpkin crepe-cakes. I almost did a cartwheel across my kitchen and got to work. Of course I had to make a few adjustments because I didn’t have the protein powder that she calls for, but you can find her original recipe here. They were delicious.
With just a dusting of cinnamon and some pure maple syrup:
Just what the doctor ordered:
Here is the recipe, with my minor tweaks:
Pumpkin Protein Crepe-Cakes (by the time I was done with them, let’s just call them Pumpkin Pancakes)
1/4 c canned pumpkin puree
1 banana – mashed
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 eggs – whisked
2 tbsp of your favorite protein powder *I didn’t have any protein powder so I just added 1 TBS of flax meal and 3 TBS gluten free pancake mix
1 tbsp coconut flour
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
1-2 tbsp butter
In a medium sized bowl, mash your banana with a fork.
In the same bowl, add the vanilla, whisked eggs and pumpkin and stir to combine.
In a separate small bowl, whisk together the cinnamon, coconut flour, protein powder. *Flax meal or simply gf pancake mix
Add the dry ingredients into the wet and stir to combine.
Preheat a griddle or a large saute pan on medium heat.
Add 1 tbsp butter and allow it to melt.
Pour small pancakes into the griddle or pan and cook on each side for about 3 minutes or until golden
With each batch, add more butter to prevent too much sticking if you are using a non-stick pan
Serve with butter, ground cinnamon and a drizzle of pure maple syrup or honey.
Breakfasts like this pave a much smoother October road for me.