I have a few accomplishments in my life of which I am extremely proud. As previously mentioned, I learned in my early twenties that I can consume an entire Chipotle burrito in 6 minutes. I taught myself to whistle at 17. In the sixth grade, I charged my parents and brother $10 each to attend my fall piano concert, which I held in the same living room where they had heard me practice the same six songs for a month straight (which is part of my upcoming blog post titled: How to Tell if You Should Send Your Daughter to Business School).
But in the fourth grade, I won our school’s spelling bee. I had spent months sitting at the kitchen counter with my mom while she prepared dinner and listed random words for me to spell: deodorant, yogurt, bouquet. When the school spelling bee came around, as shy as I was, I stood in front of everyone and spelled every word correctly. It had to be one of my best days ever – kids that never spoke to me came up to me to say congratulations, I had a little trophy to carry around all day, and we celebrated at the happiest place on earth, Cici’s Pizza.
The next step was the Regional Spelling Bee.
I sat in a chair next to two kids I had never met on a brightly lit stage where I couldn’t see any of the judges. Round 1 came and went, then Round 2…and then 6 rounds later there were only a handful of us left. When my turn came, I stood up and was asked to spell contradiction, which I misspelled as contridiction. I sat down in the audience with my family and watched as I sadly realized that I knew how to spell every other word that remained. The winning word? Pumpkin.
And every year when the fall recipes start popping up and pumpkins are everywhere, I fondly think back to that day where that little girl learned her first life lesson – though she felt defeated, she was still proud of herself knowing she had done the best she could.
- 2 (15 oz) cans pumpkin puree
- 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
- 3/4 cups brown sugar
- Combine all ingredients in the slow cooker. Cook on low for 4-5 hours, stirring once every hour (or more) to prevent burning.
- Spread over baked pumpkin bread and enjoy!
- 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 2/3 cup water
- 3 cups white sugar
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour three 7x3 inch loaf pans.
- In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into the prepared pans.
- Bake for about 50 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.