Spotlight Archive

Pumpkin

Yes, that's right, pumpkin.  September is here, and for many of you that means that things will start cooling off, and the leaves will be changing colors.  The air will start smelling all crispy, and the pumpkin latte will make its appearance in Starbucks.  Sadly that is not the case here.  Cyprus manages to completely avoid fall, just like it manages to avoid other things (such as toilets you can flush your paper down) through sheer determination and orneriness. So in defiance, I am bringing pumpkin to Cyprus.  I have been single handedly trying to make up for Cyprus's lack of pumpkin consumption, and I thought that I would share two of my favorite pumpkin recipes with you.  Sadly I will no longer be making these throughout my pregnancy due to the fact that I am beginning to look like a pumpkin, but for those of you who can actually lose weight when you go to the gym, enjoy!

 

Pumpkin Pancakes

 

Wisk together

1 1/4 cups of flour

2 tbsp sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp each: cinnamon, ground ginger, and salt

1/8 tsp nutmeg

a pinch of cloves

Mix

1 egg

6 tbsp pumpkin puree

2 tbsp melted butter

1 cup milk

Fold into dry ingredients

Heat a buttered skillet over medium heat; pour in 1/4 cup batter, cook about 3 minutes per side.

Serve with butter and syrup, and  I like to put whip cream on mine so that they are like a little, tiny pumpkin pie.  Make sure that you cook them long enough, over a low enough heat so they are cooked inside.

 

Pumpkin Bundt Cake

 

Spiced Streusel

1/4 cup light brown sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp nutmeg

1/8 tsp ginger

1 tsp frozen butter

Cake

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 tsp salt

2 large eggs room temperature (ok, I never do this and it turns out fine)

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1 cup plain flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp ginger

Mix ingredients for struesel and cut in frozen butter

Cream butter, sugar, and salt until light and fluffy

Beat in one egg at a time until well combined

Using low speed beat in the pumpkin puree and sour cream.  Lastly beat in the flour mixture.

Pour half the batter into a greased and floured bundt cake pan, spoon in the struesel and take caution not to let the streusel touch the metallic part of the cake pan.  Top with the remaining batter.

Bake at 350F for 45-55 minutes.

It will actually come out of the bundt cake pan after it has cooled, that is pretty rare for me.

 

Birth

Just in case anyone wants to know how the birth went, I will share with you, but not all of the nasty parts because frankly no one wants to know that, not even poor Jason who had to be there for it.  Basically I started having contractions on Monday, and went in to check with the doctor on Monday night to see where we were in the process.  He said that I was not dilated and that I would probably come back in around 6 in the morning.  He also called my epidural person to put them on call.  This is important because most women in Cyprus do not have epidurals.  My contractions got worse until about 3 in the morning at which point they were really painful, and then they slacked off and I was kind of able to doze off between them.  The bad part about labor is that you are tired and you can't sleep because those contraction really hurt! 

My doctor actually called me at 7 in the morning and told me that I should go ahead and come in.  I went in, and they checked me and I still wasn't dilated.  Basically that means that if I were in the wild that my labor could have just gone on for a couple of days until things started to progress.  Instead they gave me an epidural and gave me pitocin to help labor along.  I really didn't mind because I really wanted the baby out.  Unfortunately the epidural didn't get all of my right side so the contractions became pretty painful and they said that they couldn't give me anything else.  I don't think that they are terribly advanced in the pain relief for birth department here.  Anyway I actually ended up dilating pretty fast, about 5 hours, so it wasn't unbearable after they topped up the epidural. 

At about 1 they took me into the delivery room, and told me to push when I felt the urge.  No one told me that your contractions actually stop hurting if you push. Why is that?  I was terrified that it was really, really, going to hurt but it didn't.  I am sure that the epidural helped.  The doctor brought her out with forceps because he was concerned that she was distressed over the induced labor.  It only took about 30 minutes from when we went into the delivery room until she was out.  It was a very strange experience.  I felt like they just hooked me up to the drugs and then the doctor did the rest.  If we hadn't gone to the hospital I don't know how I would ever have delivered. 

It hurt and was pretty messy, but it did not end up being as painful as I was afraid it was going to be.  All I really have to say is thank goodness for hospitals.

 

stroller.jpg

The BOB Revolution 2007

Dum, dum, da-dum!  Yes, I knew it was over when I heard the words, "I am really excited about my new stroller", come out of my mouth.  You know as soon as you utter those words that your idea of "exciting" has really changed since you had the baby.  But folks, check out this stroller.  It is a work of all-terrain art.  Not only is it pink and brown (a major selling point), but you can also steer it one handed.  You can turn this baby 360 degrees while still wrangling with a restroom door.  When you spend much of your time carrying a small person from place to place, a good stroller is important.  It is also important to have an attractive stroller if you are going to start a strollercise class.  Competition is fierce in the mommy world, and you wouldn't want your precious bundled denied playdates because you didn't have the right stroller, would you?  Would you?! Sheesh