The first time I can remember connecting with food was when I was about eight years old. My sister and I would walk home from elementary school (back when kids still did that), through the Brennan’s backyard, past their rotted treehouse and down the hill to our yellow brick home. On a cool fall day, my sister and I could smell the pumpkin, clove and cinnamon from the sidewalk and we’d race to the door to find my mom pulling a dozen freshly baked Pumpkin Spice Muffins from the oven.
It was this repeated act of kindness that taught me what it truly means to cook or bake for someone. I quickly learned the subtle way it says, “I care about you,” and “I was thinking about you today.” It wasn’t long before I found myself in the kitchen attempting to make scrambled eggs with tomatoes for my mother. Before I realized how important food is to family and how it unites us.
I think food’s ability to bring nourishment and comfort to another person is why I love cooking in the first place. The connection to the earth, our farmers, the flavors, the process - the rest is just a cherry on top.
It’s like Maya Angelou once said, “I’m just someone who enjoys cooking and for whom sharing food is a form of expression.”
We take care of one another through food. It’s how we get through the moments in life when there are no words and how we celebrate the moments when no words could possibly express our joy. To this day, these Pumpkin Spice Muffins are my family’s way of greeting one another. Of saying, “I care about you” without having to say anything at all.
I hope you’ll carry on my family’s tradition of making these for someone you care about. I can promise you they won’t forget them as I still have many childhood friends and neighbors who remember and request this recipe to this day!
Pumpkin Spice Muffins
*I made 1.5 batches for the above photos to produce 12 “jumbo” muffins. Below recipe will produce 12 regular muffins.
- 1 1/2 c flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. cloves
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup canned Pumpkin
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line your muffin tray with paper cups.
- Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices in a medium bowl and set aside.
- In another bowl, beat together the eggs, sugar, pumpkin and oil using a hand mixer.
- Next, pour the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until just blended. (Note: using a hand mixer or over-stirring may cause muffins not to rise.)
- Fill muffin cups 2/3 full and bake for 15 minutes.
- Check muffins with a toothpick around 15 minutes. The muffins are done when the toothpick comes out clean and the muffins are golden.
These Pumpkin Spice Muffins are just as good for breakfast as they are for an afternoon snack. I like them with a hot cup of tea, my sister likes them with a smear of cream cheese. You’ll find they’re good any ole way. Enjoy!