Hello, my name is Jen and I’m a pumpkin-aholic.
No really. I love all things pumpkin. OK, wait … everything but pumpkin pie. I’m not sure why, but that pumpkin thing I don’t care for much.
OK anyway, come the end of summer I usually mourn until I realize all the pumpkin products I love are coming out. This is a fairly new luxury for me too. In my early 20’s I came across a fairly large amount of pumpkin recipes in a magazine. I cut them all out and made them my own, tweaking them here and there, over the next two plus decades (YIKES, that makes me sound old). Back then, you couldn’t just buy the pumpkin products you can today, and certainly not to my chemical and preservative free standards. But now, places like Trader Joe’s and Sprouts have a huge selection of tasty pumpkin foods. You can find pumpkin cookies, bagels, cereal, yogurt, tortilla chips, tea, coffee, waffles, muffins, and ravioli! HECK, YOU NAME IT, and it’s probably out there!
But early on in my adulthood, I had to “work” to feed my pumpkin addiction. It definitely didn’t come easily packaged. I had to shop for individual ingredients, wait for seasonal items, create and bake my own pumpkin treats … and I enjoyed every bit of it. Many of the recipes I found all those years ago are tradition for us now … and THAT brings me to my point.
It’s amazing how one year of trying something new can turn into 5 … 10 … 15 … 20 years of traditions. Who knew that something so simple, as cutting out fall recipes, could turn into things my own children would grow up on. Things that they have come to expect at holiday celebrations. Things that they too may bring into their own families.
I remember the first time Sidney asked to make our pumpkin coffee cake that I serve every Thanksgiving morning. I cried. I know it sounds silly, but it meant something to me. I remember the first time I baked it with her. She was just a baby … and then years later … she asked to be the one to make it. Goodness, I’m crying now!
But I guess all traditions are like that. The good ones are anyway. They evoke emotions and fill your heart and head with tender thoughts of times past. Traditions allow us to look back but also allow us to look forward into our unknown future with a sense of something constant. No matter how much life changes around us, no matter what directions it may pull us in, we will always have the wonderful traditions that we’ve shared together as a family. And for this, I am truly grateful.
Well, I hope you all had a day where you created some beautiful memories!!!