thank you, isa!

i grew up in a basically pumpkin-free household. we carved pumpkins at halloween, and my dad always roasted the seeds (yum!), but other than that, we didn’t have much pumpkin exposure. my parents both hate pumpkin pie, so that seemed like "old people food" to me… plus i always thought it looked so gross (and i still kind of do). no one in my immediate family made things like pumpkin bread (or zucchini bread, or banana bread), and we never had muffins or things like that.

as a result, i grew up never considering pumpkin as food. since going vegan, i’ve become rather adventurous (well, relatively speaking), so i’ve tried lots of new things. i did try pumpkin pie once, a few years ago–i was at a friend’s house, and it was the only dessert, and i am well-known for adoring dessert, and i would have felt bad refusing it–and while it didn’t bowl me over, it didn’t gross me out either. it probably was an experience that at least cracked the door open for pumpkin in my life.

jen’s pie may have cracked the door open, but it was isa who blasted through it and offered up pumpkin on a heart-shaped pillow. after hearing a million trillion times about how great her pumpkin muffins are (from vegan with a vengeance), i decided to be brave and make them. i had never made muffins before, and i had certainly never made anything with pumpkin before, but a million trillion compliments can’t be wrong, can they? i went to the store, bought pumpkin and the relevant spices, and whipped up a batch. i’ll be honest–i was hesitant to lick the bowl, and i was afraid the muffins might not be to my liking. the whole time they were baking, i thought, maybe i can take them to work if they’re gross. grownups like pumpkin.

well, they came out of the oven, and they cooled on my cooling rack, and then i ate one. i was amazed at how much i liked it! they are freaking awesome, i swear to god. we ate the entire dozen (no sharing!) and each time i ate one i gave myself a pat on the back for being so brave. they’re good plain, they’re good with whipped earth balance, and they’re scandalous with vegan cream cheese frosting (i had some leftover once and i went for it). if you haven’t made them yet, you really should. i’ve made them several times, and i’m planning to make them again this week for a meeting. i can’t wait!

my success with the muffins pushed me toward something else i would never have considered a couple of years ago: the pumpkin chocolate chip cupcakes in vegan cupcakes take over the world. i had my second thanksgiving today, and i had offered to bring dessert, so i was browsing the cuppers looking for the right choice, and pumpkin chocolate chip seemed to fit the bill. i whipped up the batter and it was ridiculously good. then i made the cinnamon glaze and, well, you can’t go wrong when it comes to cinnamon glaze, can you? i mean, cinnamon glaze! it’s destined to be awesome.

anyway, i took them to dinner and i was nervous because i’d never made them before, and you never know how a new recipe will turn out… but i shouldn’t have stressed because they were fabulous, if i do say so myself. everyone liked them, and i was all proud because these were only my third cupcakes ever in my life. yay me! yay pumpkin!

and most importantly, yay isa for bringing pumpkin into my life. that’s what i’m thankful for this thanksgiving.

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