All posts tagged: Pumpkin

How a Single Can of Pumpkin Followed Me for Years

It started innocently enough: one simple can of pumpkin. I had graduated from college a few months earlier, put all my worldly possessions in the back of a truck and moved to Chicago to start Grown-Up Life. This Grown-Up Life involved moving in with my boyfriend and two housemates. Each weekday I’d get dressed in one of two mix-and-match Gap suits each morning to go to my temp job du jour. I was playing the part, and I was not giving a stellar performance; there was a constant possibility that my understudy might be called upon in the hopes that she’d pull this off better. Our housemates were old hands at this maturity thing — they were already planning their wedding and saving for a house. They shopped at Budget Grocery, and since they seemed to have adulthood down cold, I figured it must be the responsible place to shop. I have no idea what else I bought, but it was autumn so pumpkin was everywhere. I spotted the can and thought, “Adults do things like baking! If …

Welcome to the Smelliest Time of Year

I love fall. It’s my favorite season. And I know what I’m talking about: I grew up in New England and live in Upstate New York, which makes me a bona fide autumnal expert. It is the most glorious time of the year around these parts. It’s also, unfortunately, the most intensely scented. I’m not talking about the natural scents of sweet ripe apples waiting to be picked or smoky leaves crunching underfoot. I’m talking about the olfactory assault of artificial fragrance that fills pretty much every public space from September through November. Normally I avoid stores that specialize in home fragrance or perfumed lotions, but this time of year, the scents spill over their normal boundaries and I have to steer clear of entire wings of the mall. Craft stores display fragranced candles and incense at the front end; bookstores sell autumn potpourri on racks near the checkout. Even my local grocery store has a display of seasonally scented wreaths by the entrance. And the most pervasive seasonal scent of all is Pumpkin Spice. …

Boys Will Be Boys — If We Say So

When I was kid, I lived in a suburban neighborhood, down the street from a boy in my class. He was an athlete, crude and a bit rowdy — the kind of kid who gets his name written on the chalkboard. Though we went on to become friends in high school, we weren’t close as kids. My family has a tradition of carving pumpkins for Halloween, and I remember this one year in grade school, my younger sister and I were particularly proud of our little jack-o-lanterns. My mom placed them on the steps in front of our house with candles inside, and as we trick-or-treated around the neighborhood with friends, we couldn’t wait to walk by our house later to show them our pumpkins. But when my sister and I returned home, the glowing faces of our jack-o-lanterns were nowhere to be found. Instead, the splattered remains of our pumpkins were strewn across the sidewalk and the street. Someone had kicked them off the stairs and stomped them to pieces. There had always been rumors about …

My Secret to Dominating the Neighborhood? Pumpkin Bowling

Suburbia, circa 1994. We’d moved out of the New York City right about the time our daughter was to start kindergarten, seeking the bucolic childhood that my husband and I had deluded ourselves that we both had: house in the country; 2+ acre lots; great public schools; supportive, tight-knit community. While we moved back to an area very close to where I’d grown up, it had been a good 10 years since I’d left for college and I no longer had a circle of close friends. Barely 30 and working long hours at a New York City law firm, with my husband traveling all over for his sales job, we wanted a shortcut to meet people (just like us) with whom we could share stories of new parenthood and go for beers and burgers. So, at our 75-year-old realtor’s urging, we joined Newcomers. The Newcomers’ Club was just that: a club (with a small yearly membership fee) for people new to the community. There were mom reading groups, mom social hours, mom’s night out and the occasional …

I Don’t Fit In. And Neither Do My Halloween Costumes.

My motto for Halloween costumes is: If it fits in the car, it’s not worth doing. I go big or go home, and it MUST be made with my own two hands. Since I was little, I’ve loved making things. It doesn’t matter what – cookies, a sweater, a film. I was the kind of kid who spent hours alone building sandcastles on construction sites or crafting elaborate fantasy worlds inhabited by Barbies and Star Wars action figures. The kind of kid who devours a Nancy Drew in one sitting. The kind of kid you don’t realize is actually in the house until she shows up gushing blood from her head or finger. To me, these wounds were minor sacrifices in the pursuit of making stuff. So when it comes to Halloween, I don’t bother with your gypsies Roma, your bums, your girl in a poodle skirt. I was born to eschew store-bought costumes — partly due to my creativity and partly due to my weirdness. I didn’t really fit in as a kid. I spent hours analyzing …

Pumpkin Pie Cookies for Those Who Want to Eat a Whole Pumpkin Pie

I’m a firm believer in cooking things from scratch, except when it comes to baking. Boxed cake mix is my best friend, as are those break-and-bake cookies and pop-open cinnamon rolls. I am, however, always looking for new ways to make my pre-made baking look fabulous and homemade. (Because no one has to know my secrets!) Autumn is my favorite time to experiment with baking. It’s cooling down just enough that you want to warm your house up by turning on the oven, and everybody is talking about their love of pumpkin — pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin donuts, pumpkin pasta and, of course, pumpkin pie. These Pumpkin Pie Cookies are just the right portion of pie to pop one or two in your mouth (if you can stop there!) and feel satisfied. They pack a whole lot of flavor in a little bite AND look super fancy while being incredibly easy to make. Just cut, fill and bake. Make a batch for your Friendsgiving dinner or gift a dozen to your kid’s teachers. These mini …

Margit’s Note: Orange You Glad Our Theme Is…

Choosing our  TueNight themes is not quite an exact science. We Tuenighters, Adrianna, Karen, Darian, Justine and myself — a handful of Gen-Xers and a couple Millennial allies — meet via Zoom video conference weekly for a virtual brainstorm. What are we personally dreaming, mulling, posting and talking about? What matters to those of us over 35? What have our formal and informal surveys told us that you want to read about? In the last one you told us: Do-Over, Best Friend, First Job, Mourn, Renovate, Siblings, Aging. Check. Check. And stay tuned. Some themes we like to do over and over like Sleep. Or Sleep. Never too much sleep. Occasionally, the spirit just moves us to a word or phrase. Hence Tasty, Prince, Period, Vice, Wife, Boobs and, who could forget, Shart Week — an issue devoted poop. (Maybe we wanted to forget that…) This week we wanted a word that combined Halloween, costumes, the omnipresent waft of cinnamon-and-pumpkin-infused items and, of course, orange-y politicians. Adrianna piped up, “Pumpkin?” We had that collective head nod. And so, Pumpkin was born. (Along with a quick search to realize Trumpkin …