We heard from a reader today who said they can't wait to make pumpkin fritters this weekend. Thanks so much for writing in response to our cornbread post. It's funny. When I was at FASHION magazine as the beauty director, I always wondered if any one read our pages. In fact, I used to randomly stand up, pop my head out of my cubicle and, with a laugh, yell to my co-workers, "Does any one read this stuff?!" Obviously, as the most read fashion magazine in Canada, lots of people read our pages. However, when it's your fifth late night at the office and the 600 word story for a new mascara that you wrote, re-wrote, edited, cut and then cut two more times for space has broken your spirit down to a nub you can't help but wonder if any one actually stops to read a story. Your mind plays tricks on you. You wonder crazy things like, "Is all this laborious activity just for one bored soul in a doctor's office who actually hates mascara? Or will people love the fact we've broken down the technology behind this product to give them a snapshot of all the science that goes into the simple tool."
I sometimes have similar moments with the blog. You write a post, publish it and then pray it will help make a difference to someone's meal-time dilemmas. What we learned at the magazine is most only bother to write when they're either really mad or really happy. Otherwise, who has the time to say, "Hey, fyi, I'm going to do that!" As former magazine editors, Ceri and I completely understand it's usually an extreme emotion that motivates a response and, because we're busy parents, we do the same. I can't remember the last time I wrote a comment just for the heck of it. So, to any one who is moved to write us, thank you so very much. We'll take the good and the bad because we know it matters to you. And to the lovely reader who is making pumping fritters, I've been thinking a lot about creating a pumpkin fritter recipe so let me know how it goes with the one you're using.
Since we're guessing you all have a deficit of time but are loving pumpkin right now, here are some more recipes from our archives. However, don't let this list fool you, we've got way more. Just search pumpkin. In the meantime, I highly recommend the pancakes. And please don't bother writing to tell me you liked them too. You've got better things to do and I get that. Read more
You can't ignore the health benefits of pumpkin. It's why you may not want to just leave this fruit on your doorstep. Aside from the fact the vibrant orange orb is packed with beta carotene which is converted to vitamin A in your body and is responsible for boosting immunity and supporting eye health, your friendly neighbourhood pumpkin also has a supersonic dose of vitamin C. It is also stocked with fiber. If you want to hear more about its weight loss benefits and how it may help lower your risk of certain cancers you can check out this CNN article.
I have to admit that I'd rather visit the dentist (um, sorry, to my beautiful dentist, Nisha) then carve one of those sugar pumpkins. They're always so hard to cut and getting the guts out makes such a mess. I don't even like to do it on Halloween. Although, when it comes to soup and pasta dishes, you kind of can't replicate the flavour that comes from roasting. When I'm short on time (which is always) I use canned puree. Like here, for this recipe (and most of my baking), I like to use canned but if you have some time and a sharp knife, carve a pumpkin and roast it with some olive oil then puree it in a food processor. You won't be disappointed.
Laura and I have been thinking a lot lately about the school year and the particular challenges it presents to parents. Because, let's be honest, it's not just our kids who have to tackle school, it's the whole family. There are so many moving parts: the school run, or in our case, the school bus, getting kids, lunches, homework, gym shoes and that freaking science project, all to school along with the child, the after school period of classes, team practices, home work supervision and, yep, dinner and lunch making so you can do it all again tomorrow. Frankly, it's bonkers. And even though we all signed up for bonkers we can still use some help, right?
This recipe is some help. I think this may be my new quiche. Long time readers of SPC know that I had a good, long run with making quiche for my kids' lunches but their affections are waning. Never mind, now we've got broccoli cheese patties to take their place. These are a great vitamin, carb, protein combo that you make ahead, freeze and pull out as you need them. One or two patties, along with some fruits and veggies and you've got a really great school lunch.
Oh, and here's that video we made about lunches again! More coming soon, I promise.
Ceri makes me laugh all the time. It's probably why we work so well together. When you collaborate for a small business, you often find yourself in the weeds, and if you can't laugh while you're in the weeds then you're just, you know, in the damn weeds. Recently, while working on a document we were passing back and forth by e-mail, Ceri wrote the line "Remember that aversion you had to leftovers when you were single? Wasn't that cute?" in a section about dinners that double as lunches. It wasn't just a funny line, it was so me! I used to be blasé about leftovers. (Oh, that stuff in the take-out container, sure I'll bring it with me. Maybe I'll eat it, maybe not.) I grew up in a family who believed in the importance of good food and definitely didn't believe in waste. In fact, we have this inside joke with my parents that they'll eat anything, even if it's long (and I mean looooong) past its expiration date, because they can't bear to throw anything out. There's also the fact they have stomaches of steel. So it's pretty incongruent that I used to turn my nose up to leftovers as if they were a box full of bile.
What do you hear about your kid's day at school? Does the dinner table Q & A about everyone's day get you very far? I used to feel like I knew everything about Esme's day as she was such a detailed reporter on the daily events at kindergarten. In fact, I would let other parents know the scoop based on her accounts. But until recently, I never heard a lot about what other kids got in their lunches (even though I asked ALL THE TIME — have I mentioned I'm competitive?).
**We interrupt this post to ask if you've seen our latest video? It's all about adding fruits and vegetables to school lunch recipes!**
With Julian it's a whole other story. Right out of the gate I was hearing everything about every other lunch at his little senior kindergarten lunch table. Along with a healthy does of incredulity, I might add. "Pudding!" he yelled at me, the other day, "Sam gets pudding!" I hear about the big pieces of bread, the juice boxes, the candy (not sure I quite believe that one), the cookies, etc. What can I do? I've got to play my own game, that's all I can do. I'm trying to add some new recipes to my roster, like this amazing, sweet and salty frittata. It makes a great, light dinner and then it packs really well into a lunch the next day. Who knows, maybe one of Julian's classmates will yell over dinner, "Frittata! Julian had frittata!" Read more