When I was a little girl I loved celebrating the different seasons. There was so much joy and wonder in the sights, sounds, foods, and activities that came with each turn of weather and upcoming holiday. I always felt a sense of nostalgia when we would open up the boxes of Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter decorations.
I owe a lot of this to Mom who really got into holiday decorations, activities, and cooking. She organized parties & costumes, baked Christmas cookies with me, helped me address my valentines, etc., over the years.
Living in Minnesota where there is such a stark contrast in the seasons (fall colors and white Christmases) also added to it for me, as well as the fact that I loved school (which is all about seasonal crafts and parties).
Sadly, I went through a phase in young adulthood where I found these sort of celebrations a waste of money and time. Thankfully, that has come to an end in the last few years. Marriage has especially brought it to my attention, as Jason & I have talked about what traditions we each had growing up and which ones we want to continue.
Finding joy in the seasons doesn’t feel altogether new, but rather like a possession you put away years ago, thinking it was childish, only to rediscover you like it now just as much or more.
As for this season, I’ve been savoring the crisp weather and the fall colors that seem to be especially bright around Seattle this year. Mother Teresa came for a visit last weekend and we hiked Twin Falls, with perfect clear skies and sunshine. It reminds me why so many people say that fall is the best time to come here for a visit.
I bought a pumpkin last week which sits on our front steps and after stumbling upon an apple tree in Discovery Park, I made it a goal to go apple picking. I don’t think we’ll have time to do the apple picking, but I’m going to carve the pumpkin, do some cooking with the innards and roast the seeds.
When Mother Teresa came last Friday she came with her own agenda (how surprising) of certain fall recipes she wanted to try out–Pumpkin Pie Squares and Autumn Apple Cake. We spent Monday afternoon in the kitchen, also adding caramel apples to our repertoire.
I’ve been thinking about what this has to do with this lesson of childlikeness vs. childishness that I’ve been working through. For me, my childishness has been the act of foolishly throwing away joyful memories and traditions (all for the sake of self-perceived maturity). For some time, it was slightly shameful and felt wasteful to get to excited about such things.
Childlikeness for me now is savoring God’s grace in allowing me to rediscover those things that I enjoyed so much as a child and joyfully passing them along to my husband and son in the future.
It turns out that the Pumpkin Pie Squares were a hit at the mom’s gathering I went to today, so I thought I would share the recipe.
Pumpkin Pie Squares
- 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
- 1 (12 oz) can low fat evaporated milk
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 c granulated sugar
- 1/2 t salt
- 1 t ground cinnamon
- 1/2 t ground ginger, optional
- 1/4 t ground cloves
- 1 c flour
- 1/2 c old-fashioned oats
- 1/2 c packed brown sugar
- 1/2 c butter, softened
- 1/2 c chopped pecans
- 1/2 c brown sugar
- 2 T butter
- whipped cream, optional
- 1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 13×9 inch glass baking dish.
- To prepare crust, combine flour, oats, brown sugar and butter. Using pastry blender, fork or food processor, stir until crumbly. Press into prepared pan and bake 15 minutes or until partially set.
- To prepare filling, combine pumpkin, evaporated milk, eggs, granulated sugar, salt and spices. Pour over crust and bake 30 minutes.
- To prepare topping, combine pecans, brown sugar and butter. Remove from pan and sprinkle topping evenly over filling. Bake 15-20 minutes, until filling is set. Cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares. Serve with whipped cream, if desired. Makes 30 squares.