Pumpkin Cake (That’s Soo Good AND Non-Dairy)!

Like most Americans, I am a huge fan of Thanksgiving. It’s basically Christmas without gifts. You can get together with your family and/or friends and eat until you have to loosen your trousers. What’s not to love? What one my favourite things about Thanksgiving is the dessert – and lots of yummy pies. Sadly, my children do not like pie. So a few years ago I had to come up with the perfect pumpkiny dessert. And here it is – a pumpkin cake so delicious and moist, plus it’s dairy-free.

My kids ask for this cake, even when it’s not Thanksgiving. I made one at the weekend to bring to a Friendsgiving celebration. My family were sad that they didn’t get enough, so I will be baking more this week. I like to bake in a bundt tin, because bundt cakes look fancy. It’s gratifying baking a simple cake and having people think that it’s more effort than it is. And this is seriously the easiest cake ever!

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Pumpkin Pie vs Pumpkin Cake

Pumpkin Pie vs Pumpkin Cake

I love pumpkin pie. I couldn’t celebrate Thanksgiving without it. But, my children are not fans. But I figure if I make it every year, they will grow to love it. This year, I had planned on cooking my usual Thanksgiving feast: turkey, roasted sweet potatoes, mash potatoes, corn bread and green beans. And of course pumpkin pie. But my sinus infection had other ideas. I’ve been poorly for over a week. And with Husband working late every night for the past two weeks (and working on the weekends), I decided that there would be no Thanksgiving feast this year.

But even without a feast, I needed my annual pumpkin pie fix. So this year I thought I would try baking a pumpkin cake alongside the pie, and see if either could tempt my children. So, which one will they prefer? I normally buy a pre-made pie base, but this year used the recipe from Flora for a base (and the pie itself). I was quite pleased with the results.

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Being Thankful

Being Thankful

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I was thinking about what I am thankful for in my life. I went through a tough time during the ages of 13-14. I had always known I was adopted, but at this time it really weighed upon me. I suspected that most of my family didn’t love me. That, in fact, I was merely an obligation. I thought even my father, who I was really close to, might not really love me. And probably not my mother or my aunts, uncles and cousins.

I was a lonely child. With little friends or family around at the weekend, I would be lost in my thoughts. And I think too much introspection wasn’t a good thing in my case. I figured that since my biological parents did not want to raise me it meant that they did not love me. They kept their first seven children, how could another child make so much difference? And since they gave me away as an infant, there must be something unlovable about me. Something they saw in my eyes, or knew to be an inherent characteristic. And if the two people who made me could not love me, how could anyone else? What could I do to make myself lovable? Why even bother?

So I would keep people at arm’s length. I used sarcasm. I put on a mask of cheeriness. I knew I would never have one of those ‘great loves’ or the house and kids. I would just get along in life, achieve my career goals. And maybe when I reached my 40s I would meet someone I could settle for, because I didn’t really deserve anything more. 

But somehow, somehow, I met the love of my life when I was only 24. And with him, I finally felt completely and truly loved. I knew I wanted to have a child, to make a human being. Someone who would be part of me, who I would be part of. And my daughter and son have added another depth of acceptance and love into my life. And for that, I am beyond thankful. 



Turkey Day

Thanksgiving is tomorrow. I have celebrated each Thanksgiving that I have lived in the UK. This will mark my 12th. We normally celebrate at the weekend, with a big (but simple) dinner with family or friends. I cook a turkey, and we go crazy on cornbread, stuffing, green beans and sweet potatoes. And as a homage to my adopted land, and my British Husband, we have parnsips. For pudding we have pumpkin pie and/or apple pie. 

But this year, I am not in the mood. This year, I don’t feel like all the trimmings. It’s the first time we haven’t invited family or friends. It would be nice to have it just the four of us. But I am not sure I can even be bothered for that. It’s been a busy year, especially with the rigmarole associated with buying a new house, moving and doing renovations. 

Thanksgiving is such a nice time to celebrate what we are thankful for, without the added pressures of gift giving. That is one of the reasons I love it. But I think this year I will be thankful while eating pumpkin pie and save the big meal for Christmas. If there is a Scrooge-equivalent for Thanksgiving, then I’m it. Bah hum-turkey.