Confessions (or obsessions?) of an addict

I am officially an addict. For some, it’s Desperate Housewives. For others it’s football. For me, it’s pumpkin.

It all started a couple of years ago when I was pregnant. I called home for Canadian Thanksgiving and my kinsmen Canucks were all gathered around the table gorging themselves on pumpkin pie. My obsession for it was unsatiated after that. I dreamt, slept, lived pumpkin pie. But I would not allow myself to buy it for fear I’d eat an entire pie in one sitting.

Sick of enduring my lamentations, my mother-in-law finally bought me one. A Costco pumpkin pie, no less. Over-sized and over-satiating. I was partly angry but mostly grateful she gave in. I did manage to hold back on it and only ate half the pie the first day and polished it off on Day 2. Now that’s self-control.

Every subsequent year has been the same. The second the leaves change color, my thoughts turn to those glorious orange creations. I have made pumpkin gnocchi, scones, pies, chicken enchiladas with pumpkin sauce, pumpkin soup, ice cream, waffles and just recently, bread. The list goes on.

The History of the Great Pumpkin
My pumpkin pedigree dates back several years ago whilst on my mission. We were living in Switzerland when Thanksgiving rolled around and decided to have a grand Thanksgiving feast. Soeur Ingy and I were assigned to the pies.

We had a some uphill battles: 1) We’d only been in Switzerland for a few months and weren’t fluent en francais yet. 2) No one in Switzerland knows how to make pumpkin pie. 3) Possibly our biggest challenge: we didn’t know how to cook. Yet. We are now Domestic Divas (whose talents are sadly wasted on Southern Redneck hubbies).

Ingy and I somehow dredged up a recipe and hit the marche (market). We made improvisations when canned pumpkin was nowhere to be found and bought fresh. But we got stumped when it came to buying ginger. As the foremost expert on pumpkin, I now know that good pumpkin pie recipes do not call for ginger. But ours did. And unfortunately, we didn’t know the French word for ginger. After a half hour in front of the spice rack, we finally grabbed something that bore a strong resemblance.

To make a long story short, it wasn’t ginger but a very similar-looking, white powdery substance called Anise. Ever had Anise? Picture the strongest piece of black licorice you’ve ever had in your life and that’s Anise. If you’re ever in question: stringy pumpkin + black licorice flavoring does not make for a tasty pie. Or even an edible one.

It was a pumpkin pie-less Thanksgiving that year.

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