Growing up in Arizona, I never felt the pressure to claim a season my favorite. More or less because only 2 seasons exist in Arizona, chilly and sweltering hot. Now you see in Arizona ‘chilly’ means jeans and a sweatshirt and ‘sweltering hot’ means well…sweltering hot. Upon moving to Seattle a year ago I have been able to witness first hand 4 whole different seasons, I am so amazed and delighted by each one that I feel compelled to declare my loyalty to one.

Winter has its charm, the cold days that entice to you retreat home, cuddle with your hunny under a warm blanket with cup of peppermint tea in hand. To simmer a big pot of chicken soup and with a bowl of that and some warm bread you are somehow completely satisfied. Winter gives you the chance to put up a ton of little twinkle lights, place a woodsy smelling tree in your home and a douglas fir wreath on your front door. Winter is a time when families come together, families from all over come together to celebrate Jesus, it’s a magical time of memories, life, generosity and love.

Spring has cool nights and days where the sun is really trying to earn back your trust by seducing you with its warmth. And there’s the fact it’s staying around long enough to see 5pm. Spring has the flowers, the cherry blossoms that bloom in early April that litter its pale pink petals on the very ground you walk on. Then of course there is the bulbs a plenty, the tulips, daffodils and crocus’ that seem to somehow show there glowing faces overnight in a way we only wished we looked in the morning. Not to mention the produce spring brings you, delicate lettuces, crisp sugar peas, asparagus, fiddleheads and cherries that never seem to make it from the market to your kitchen, almost demanding to be devoured right away.

Then along comes Summer in all of its glory. Summers here are long awaited, anticipated and enjoyed to the fullest. It’s a time the rain goes on vacation and the sun takes center stage. A time when the grass is green, the windows in every apartment are wide open, hoping to catch a moment of the cool breeze. Summers are a magical time here, a time where it is pretty hard to find something to put you in a sour mood. Picnics under a cool shaded tree, the sundresses, the berries, the ferry rides like I said it’s pure magic. The problem with loving Summer is that you know it’s a short lived romance, only lasting a few short months before a hard, complicated break up takes place, causing you to put away the cute sandals you bought especially for the season and the sunglasses you just had to have.

Before you know it Fall is here and the days get shorter and the nights longer, as almost putting you in a sleepy daze to help you cope with the sudden, rude, uninvited departure of Summer. The leaves begin to fold into themselves and fall to the ground in a crispy crunchy brown pile. You begin to layer, warmer socks, jacket, dare I say gloves and a hat! Soon you begin to see the root vegetables at the markets, carrots, baby potatoes, parsnips, and then there are the pumpkins. The pumpkins come out with there bright orange, as if trying to put you in a better mood with it’s mere presence. The pumpkin I have to say is one of my favorite parts about fall. Pumpkins can be made sweet or savory, elegant or unfussy. I have long wanted to roast my own pumpkin, but never had the time nor willpower to actually do it. Roasting it’s succulent seeds sufficed me for years. Until this very fall at the farmers markets the small, gorgeous, sugar pumpkins were piled high in a old brown wooden crate and I decided to give it a go.  And I am so glad I did. Maybe I am still an Arizona girl at heart since I am still finding it ever so hard to choose a season, or maybe it might just take a while.

Alas, I know we are 2 weeks away from Christmas and I am just now pulling out the pumpkin!? I know I am late, but I blame it on November, has anyone seen November, I think it skipped town on us – or maybe that’s just the way I feel. So it’s December and I am making pumpkin bread.

Pumpkin Puree
Recipe from Martha Stewart

  • 1 sugar pumpkin (3 1/2 to 4 pounds)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Snap off the pumpkin’s stem and halve the gourd lengthwise. With a spoon (or your hands), remove seeds and rinse for roasting. Place pumpkin halves cut-side down on a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast until tender, about 1 hour. When cool enough to handle, scoop out cooked pumpkin flesh; discard skin. Transfer pumpkin flesh to a food processor (or blender in my case!); process until smooth. Set a colander in a large bowl and line with a double-layer of cheesecloth. Place pumpkin puree in cheesecloth. Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator to drain, at least 4 hours.

Images: sammyw

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