On the second weekend in October, I sat on the back steps with my Grandfather and talked about the coming of Winter. There was a chill in the air and I button up my sweater. 'You cold, honey?' Grandfather said. 'A little,' I admitted. 'Well, that's the work of Jack Frost,' he said. 'Who?'
'With long icy fingers, he touches the branches of every tree turning their leaves to colors of gold and orange and then Jack calls the wind to change into a chill,' he said.
As a child, I could just see Jack Frost... a small man dressed in dark green with a pointed nose and long icy fingers. In my mind's eye, I could see he had ice dripping from his green jacket and wore a pointed crooked hat.
'Have you ever seen him?' I asked. 'No,' Grandfather said. 'He works at night.' Dismissing my questions Grandfather said, 'There will be frost on the pumpkins in the morning and if you want pumpkin pancakes for your breakfast we need to get going.' So out to the field, we went to pick a sugar pumpkin
Now, back in the kitchen, my Grandmother waited for us to bring in the pumpkin. 'What have you two been doing.' she asked? Then looking at my Grandfather she said , ' telling tall Irish tales?' 'Oh, no, we were talking about Jack Frost,' I answered.
Taking the pumpkin Grandmother cut it in half cleaning out the pumpkin halves. Then placing them half side down on a cookie sheet to bake to make pumpkin puree. In the morning she would make pumpkin pancakes. Oh, so good with spiced honey.
Today, I still make pumpkin pancakes always on the second weekend in October, but I do it the easy way. Let me tell you how:
Cut one sugar pumpkin in half. Remove stem and clean out pulp and seeds.
Heat oven to 325 degrees.
Cover pumpkin halves with foil. Bake in the oven for 1 hour or until tender.
Scrape out pumpkin meat and put in a blender and blend until smooth.
Puree may be put in jars and frozen for later use.
I like to use Bisquick Pancake and Baking Mix.
1 large egg beaten.
1 1/4 cup milk.
2 cups baking mix.
1/2 cup puree.
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon.
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice.
Mix well by hand. Batter will be thick.
Use butter, oil of your choice or cooking spray on frying pan or griddle.
Heat frying pan or griddle to medium heat. Use 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake. Batter will make about 14 pancakes or 8 very large pancakes. Serve with butter and spiced honey.
To make spiced honey:
Add 1 tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice to 1 cup of honey. Use on pancakes , toast, ice cream or on just about anything you want to add a taste of goodness.
Make some pancakes this weekend and celebrate the start of Fall - a beautiful time of the year!