September 29, 2010

Mystery Solved! It's Pumpkin!

The last time we emptied our compost bin (about 1 1/2 months ago), there were lots of little seedlings growing inside. They were so cute and my curiousity took hold, so we planted them in a pot to see what they were. Lots of seeds end up in the compost and these little guys were so small it was tough to tell. My hope was for canteloupe. One seedling flourished, so we planted it in the empty spot of the garden where we had just harvested the potatoes. Mystery plant started to grow bigger. And bigger. And then on to HUGE.

 The plant is longer than both our gardens combined.

This pumpkin solved the mystery of what kind of plant it was.

It has taken over the world.

This pumpkin got too big for the slot it decided to grow in. I moved it and it just keeps getting bigger!

See the battle scars the poor thing got from fighting with the wood frame?

I still had pumpkin puree leftover from last year in the freezer. Last year, I bought 1 pumpkin, baked it, pureed it and froze it in 2 cup portions. Read that again: 1 pumpkin. And I still had a bag now, when the new pumpkin plant (grown out of the seeds from that 1 pumpkin) is promising many many pumpkins. So I made cookies and experimented with a pumpkin spice latte. It was ok but the pumpkin sort of sunk to the bottom. I wonder how Starbucks and the Cocoa Beanery do it? Probably fake pumpkin flavoring. Argh. According to this copycat recipe, they use pumpkin spice syrup.

Pumpkin Spiced Latte
adapted from TipHero
Makes 1 drink. (I think their recipe was to make 2 but I only wanted 1.)

1 c Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze milk
1/2 c very strong coffee
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon
1 T (heaping) pumpkin puree

Mix together in a small pot over medium heat until it starts to steam. Pour into a big mug and savor the delicious smell.

I would recommend putting the milk and pumpkin into a blender and pureeing it extra fine so that your pumpkin doesn't end up in the bottom of the mug when you're done drinking. I think mine just wasn't pureed quite enough. This may not be an issue if you're using the canned kind.


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