Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. I have so many things for which to be thankful. My health, my family, my house, my things, my blog, my opportunity to chase my dreams, waking up every single morning and being pretty much completely happy, something I thought just a few years ago I feared I’d never get to say.
Nearly everything I’m thankful for all leads back to what I’m most thankful for: my parents. While I haven’t spent my entire life thinking they’re totally and completely perfect, it’s been pretty close. I never went through that teen phase where I hated them, locking myself in my room as much as possible to avoid contact with them or, heaven forbid, speaking to them. I never talked badly about them to my friends, partly because they were my only friends, partly because I didn’t have anything very bad to say. Grounded is a word that has never been uttered in our house. Yes, there were arguments, still are sometimes, but nothing huge. We simply get along, connected on the deepest human level possible.
Now that I’ve somehow gone from straight A student who should be working toward a master’s degree for some fancy job to a college dropout (a somewhat scary realization) chasing crazy dreams as her job, I couldn’t be more thankful for them. They are allowing me to do this, while supporting me emotionally and financially. My blog would not be possible without Mom’s help, and I’m not sure I’d have any likes on Facebook without Dad rallying the troops at his work.
My thankfulness for my parents grows with each passing day, as I become more and more aware that not every day and certainly not every Thanksgiving will be spent with my parents. Whether life or death takes us in separate directions, something will, though it hopefully won’t be for years.
Tomorrow will be a fun day, free of stress, with a mixture of emotions. Happiness that I have the day with my parents, a fully decorated house, and a delicious meal. But also sadness that the moment has to pass, a sadness I’ve felt too many times before. I hope you get to spend Thanksgiving with people you love and that it is a great day for all.
I have one more pumpkin recipe for you just in time for the holiday where dessert is all about pumpkin. Double pumpkin muffins. Because one kind of pumpkin is never enough. These have both pumpkin puree and shredded fresh pumpkin, along with traditional spices and pecans. You can make these today to impress all your Thanksgiving guests tomorrow. And they will impress with a moistness unparalleled by other pumpkin muffins and some crunch from pecans. Forget pumpkin pie, double pumpkin muffins will be your new go-to Thanksgiving dessert. Add a little whipped cream, buttercream, marshmallow, or cream cheese frosting, and you’ve got a cupcake. I just like calling them muffins, because then it’s okay to eat them any time of day, like for breakfast. Enjoy, and Happy Thanksgiving!
- 2 ½ – 3 cups shredded pie pumpkin
- ½ cup pumpkin puree (preferably homemade)
- 1 cup pecans
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¾ cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 16 muffin cups with paper liners.
- In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves.
- In a large bowl, stir together sugar, oil, vanilla, and eggs until fully combined. Stir in shredded pumpkin and pumpkin puree. Stir in flour mixture until just combined. Fold in pecans to distribute.
- Using a regular sized ice cream scoop, scoop batter into prepared muffin tin cups, filling all the way to the top.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffins comes out with only a few moist crumbs, rotating halfway through if necessary. Cool completely in pan.
- May be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 4 months. Thaw at room temperature or in a 350 degree F oven for about 20 minutes.