Sunday, October 4, 2009

Confessions of a Fall-aholic

My name is Allison, and I’m a fall-aholic.

Hi, Allison.

It started with lattes. The day that Starbucks brought the pumpkin spice latte back, I was traveling. I landed at La Guardia, knew I had precious little time to waste getting to my next gate, so I bolted for the nearest Starbucks kiosk. I threw people out of my way. I pushed old ladies with walkers aside. I kicked puppies. I couldn’t be slowed down until I had a hot, sugary pumpkin latte in my hands.

I quickly moved on to other forms of pumpkin - pumpkin beer, pumpkin ravioli. Pumpkin loaf, pumpkin scones, pumpkin soup. I thought I could give it up any time I wanted. It’s just pumpkin, I told myself. It’s a vegetable. I’m not hurting anyone by gorging on squash.

Soon, it wasn’t enough. I wasn’t getting the same rush from my bowl of three squash soup and a cold Dogfish Punkin Ale. So I did what any junkie would do and went right to the source – real, unadulterated pumpkins.

I found Alton Brown’s recipe for pumpkin bread, and it started to sound like a challenge. I can do this, I thought. Forget canned pumpkin, that’s for wimps and soccer moms. I took a knife and a grater to the flesh of a modest pie pumpkin from Kroger.

An hour later, with pumpkin seeds scattered over the table and the floor, my kitchen looked like the scene of a grizzly pumpkin massacre. And what did I have to show for it? A sack full of discarded pumpkin bits and three cups of the shredded good stuff.

A quick toast on a cup of seeds and I was ready to start assembling the dough. As a proud graduate of the Alton Brown School of Not Over-Mixing Your Dough, I was able to manage a loaf pan full of gooey, pumpkiny goodness. Into our finicky gas oven for an hour and fifteen minutes.

The smell of cinnamon wafted from the kitchen, a constant reminder each time I inhaled that there was something delicious in the oven that I couldn’t have yet. Even when the loaf was baked, and a paring knife inserted in the center came out clean, I still couldn’t have a slice of pumpkin bread. Alton insists that it must be cooled all the way – something important happens to the starches, I don’t know.

Wait I did, and when it was finally time to slice into the from-raw-pumpkins pumpkin loaf, it became clear to me what I would do next.

Eat it with Pumpkin Cream Cheese.

Behold the double-pumpkin overload.

If you too are a pumpkin junkie, you can take a look at the recipe here. There’s a nice video too in which, through the magic of television production, AB grates no actual pumpkins. But if you’re foolish like me and you have an afternoon to kill, it’s one hell of a pumpkin fix.


Matthew said...

Yagoot now has a pumpkin flavor. It is quite delicious! Go get some, it's great with the Teddy Graham topping!

Mattie C.

Allison Johnson said...

I am all about this. Teddy Grahams plus pumpkin can only be amazing.

Lucky Designs said...

This sounds so good. I love Alton Brown's recipes.

Avani said...

I think you might be the only person I know that loves pumpkin more than me but if you ever want to share in the pumpkin extravaganza, let me know!

Tina Lane said...

You had me at "Double Pumpkin Overload." Well played.

Starbuck3733T said...

OH MY GOD. So hungry for this. Right. This. Minute.