An Ode to a Cabin in Autumn: Pumpkin Waffles

September 2012

A humble poem for a magical cabin…

When I was a child,
I dreamed of fall,
The way I wanted it to be,
With firesides, fresh warm cakes
And mugs of steaming tea.

Then I met my special one
Who took me to his special place,
The place he loved from deep within,
And when he took me there,
My love of fall would truly begin.

Behind the grains of wood,
There’s a hush interrupted
By the crackle of a flame.
As the creek flows quietly,
This place remains not the same.

The hills are a palette in flux.
The window a canvas
Of an ever changing view.
With neither tool nor toil,
Each season builds this house anew.

From blankets of white,
To a scarcity of greens,
To shimmering willows filling the skies,
His place is a portrait,
With many a disguise.

One day, an older me,
Will sit and dream of fall,
The way it was there,
With firesides, fresh warm cakes
And the love between that pair.

I first met my special one’s cabin in the winter, and each visit has been a response to the season and a new experience. Though I loved swimming in the creek, fall might be my favorite! The combination of lingering summer breezes and fall flavors is so fleeting, but the cabin offers the perfect embrace of this transition, especially at the brunching hour.

Whole-Wheat Cranberry Pumpkin Waffles
w/ Caramelized Pears & Bourbon Whipped Cream

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup packed organic light brown sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

4 large eggs (local/free-range), separated
2 cups organic buttermilk, well-shaken
1 cup canned organic pumpkin pie filling (you could use regular pumpkin puree)
1 stick (8 tablespoons) organic unsalted butter, browned

1 cup organic dried cranberries, soaked in bourbon

Melted Butter for brushing waffle iron

Directions

Preheat waffle iron.

Whisk flour, brown sugar, baking powder and soda, salt, and spices in a mixing bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks with buttermilk, pumpkin, and browned butter until smooth.

Whisk in dry ingredients until just combined.

Drain and reserve the bourbon from the cranberries. Fold in the cranberries.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until they hold soft peaks.

Fold them gently into the waffle batter, until just combined.

Brush waffle iron lightly with oil and spoon batter into waffle iron, spreading quickly.

Cook according to waffle iron maker’s instructions.

Transfer waffles to rack in oven to keep warm and crisp. Repeat with the rest of the batter.

Serve with cooked pears, toasted pecans and bourbon whipped cream.

Bourbon Whipped Cream

Ingredients 

1 cup organic heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
Dash of cinnamon
2 Tablespoons bourbon (use the bourbon reserved from the dried cranberries)

Directions

Combine everything except the bourbon in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Use an electric mixer to beat until peaks form. Add the bourbon and continue to mix until combined.

Caramelized Pears

Ingredients

2-3 Tablespoons organic, unsalted butter
2 red pears, sliced
remaining bourbon from cranberries
1-2 Tablespoons organic brown sugar, to taste
cinnamon

Directions

Heat butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, add the sliced pears and brown sugar. Dash with cinnamon, and stir occasionally until tender. Add the bourbon, and let the liquid reduce slightly. Remove from heat. Serve warm on waffles.

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