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A Poem and some Pumpkin Pancakes

“And all at once, summer collapsed into fall...” - Oscar Wilde

We're chopping wood, the aspens are golden, and the wildflowers are puffing up their seeds as if they were fluffing pillows, preparing for a long winter's nap.

It's fall, and yes, I'm one of those people who loves pumpkin foods - during pumpkin season that is. Pumpkin creations in May or August don't interest me, yet late September through Thanksgiving, with their warming spices and earthiness, pumpkin delights feel both scrumptious and sensible.

These pumpkin pancakes are an adaptation on our usual buttermilk pancakes. In fact, if you wanted to make them you could just omit the pumpkin and cinnamon and be good to go. They're light yet hearty - the perfect long john wearing morning grub.


  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon or pumpkin spice

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (Most cans of pumpkin are 15oz so you'll have extra. You can keep the remaining in a sealed container in the fridge for cookies or muffins - several recipes use about a 1/2 cup, or you can freeze it if using further than a week away.)

  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, if you don't have buttermilk just use milk and add a splash of lemon juice or a drop of vinegar and let it sit on the counter for 15-30min.

  • 3 eggs

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • 1tbsp sugar - optional -(I just drown the finished product in syrup, yet if you're making these to eat plain, you may want a little sweetness to balance the pumpkin)

  • 1/2 tsp of baking powder

  • 2/3 cup flour - You can mix flours adding a little buckwheat or spelt, I usually use 3/4 all purpose flour to 1/4 buckwheat/spelt as the whole meal flours do affect the texture and lightness. I grew up thinking carob chips were a chocolatey treat, I have a recovering healthy palate and oddly prefer the taste of something other than straight white flour, that being said, use what you have. All purpose is just great, your guests may even thank you.)

  • 1tbsp melted butter

  • 1/8 tsp or a pinch of salt

Separate the eggs, place the yolks in a large mixing bowl and the whites aside. Add to the large mixing bowl with the yolks the vanilla, cinnamon, salt, melted butter, and buttermilk. Mix well. Add in the flour, baking powder, and sugar if using. Mix gently as to not toughen the batter. In a standup mixer beat the eggs whites to soft peaks, fold in the egg whites to the batter. With a griddle on medium heat, melt some butter, and add about 1/4 cup of batter. Once you see a few bubbles coming through it is time to flip.

These are delicious with maple syrup and walnuts, which is how we eat the 98% of the time. If you are making these more for a dessert or any time treat, you can also go all out and add to the batter chocolate chips, toasted coconut, walnuts, and yes, mini marshmallows that have been carefully cut in half to be even smaller. Pancakes are joyous and by all means should be enjoyed.

Song for Autumn by Mary Oliver

In the deep fall

don’t you imagine the leaves think how

comfortable it will be to touch

the earth instead of the

nothingness of air and the endless

freshets of wind?

And don’t you think

the trees themselves, especially those with mossy, warm caves, begin to think

of the birds that will come — six, a dozen — to sleep

inside their bodies?

And don’t you hear

the goldenrod whispering goodbye,

the everlasting being crowned with the first

tuffets of snow?

The pond vanishes, and the white field over which

the fox runs so quickly brings out

its blue shadows. And the wind pumps its


And at evening especially,

the piled firewood shifts a little,

longing to be on its way.

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