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Ah, the glorious weekend brunch. Fat flecks of snow drift outside, bathed in a shy morning sun. Our house is filled with beautiful light and the bright scent of spiced pumpkin pancakes. I want to eat them and crawl back under my comforter, and then start again. That’s how delicious these are.

A perfect fluffy consistency with a sweet, smooth, robust blend of flavors and warmed maple syrup (and nutritious!).

(This post merits better pictures, alas, take my word!)

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See below for "Freezing and Storing Pumpkin and Squash"
See below for “Freezing and Storing Pumpkin and Squash”

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Freezing and Storing Pumpkin and Squash

This of course must be done in the fall, when pumpkins abound. Planning ahead has big rewards.
  
Follow the steps in Feast for All Hallows Eve for carving and preparing your pumpkin. Roasting adds more flavor, but boiling is quicker and just as effective.

Follow the steps in for making Sea Salt and Cinnamon Roasted Pumpkin Seeds.

When the pumpkin is cooked, mash in a large bowl or puree in the blender. Let cool on the counter top until it reaches room temperature. Fill sandwich-sized Ziplocks (a nice portion) with the puree. Plastic Tupperware also works. Best to add the date so you know how long it’s been lurking in the freezer!

Use on a winter day for any of the following dishes (replacing the roots listed with squash or pumpkin!)

More to come (think dessert!)

 

Spiced Pumpkin (Chocolate) Pancakes!

Yield: About 6 medium pancakes. I suggest doubling this recipe and freezing leftovers for another morning.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg, literally one tilt of the spice jar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 3/4 cup 2% reduced fat milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1/3 cup mashed pumpkin (or butternut squash!), canned, defrosted, or boiled and mashed into a puree
  • 1 tablespoon butter for the pan
  • maple syrup, for drizzling
  • optional
  • 1/4 cup (or more!) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients.
  2. In a smaller separate bowl, combine the egg, melted butter, milk, vanilla and squash. Stir well.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and "fold together." This means, using spoon or spatula, turn the ingredients over (in the motion of a spinning wheel) until they are lightly mixed. Try to mix in any dry flour, but don't beat or overwork. This is key to fluffiness! You want your pancakes to be LIKE THIS!
  4. Let the batter rest for five minutes. Meanwhile, heat the maple syrup.
  5. In a cast iron skillet or non-stick pan, heat 1 tbs. of butter and spread evenly. When hot, drop a heaping spoonful of batter onto the skillet. When the pancake begins to bubble, use the spatula to peek at the other side. If it's nicely browned, flip! Repeat until the batter is finished.
  6. Serve with butter, syrup, fruit piled on top, crispy bacon, an egg, coffee, a hot toddy, or by itself!
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