Of all the American classics, pecan pie might be my favourite. Its warm, buttery comfort sometimes lured me to Oxford’s famous ice cream parlour, G&Ds, on cold autumn evenings. I’d sit by the window, late into a Sunday night, with forkfuls of warm pie and sips of ice-cream-blended-hot-chocolate, alone with my essay deadline. There was something peaceful and detached about watching rain-blurred fragments of people and lights and umbrellas and colours smear past the steamy windows in the darkness and the rain. Pecan pie, like the parlour itself, was both a part of Oxford and an escape from Oxford. I felt about G&Ds as Holly Golightly did of Tiffany’s; nothing very bad could happen to you there. Not even Monday morning could come for you there.
Fast forward a year, to a different autumn and a different place, pecan pies remained an occasional Sunday evening escape. 10 degrees below freezing and three thousand miles from home, I watched a different blur of people and lights hurry home through falling snow, and felt faraway.
Even the best food grows heavy in a mouth that cannot swallow. But though pecan pie may never have solved any of my problems, it provided moments of warmth and respite in harsh climates. And sometimes that’s all a pie needs to do. View Full Post
If I could pick one food to represent my three-and-a-half months in the US, it would undoubtedly be pumpkin. You Americans are crazy for it at this time of year! I lost count of the amount of things it cropped up in. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin lattes, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin pasta, pumpkin ice cream, it seems there is truly nothing it cannot be squeezed into. Then there’s Halloween and Thanksgiving, both essentially glorified pumpkin festivals.
An American friend is in London this weekend, and I cannot wait to catch up with her. It was this time last year that I was studying on the east coast, and her visit, combined with the serious onset of autumn, has brought the many fond memories of my time there to the fore once more. Although I was based in Princeton, New Jersey, it’s proximity to New York meant I made several trips there, including for a week in October when my family came to visit. In addition to several days in the City, we made the five hour journey up to the top of New York state to stay with family friends, where the scenery and vivid autumn colours that surrounded their lakeside home were just spectacular.
I decided to create my own pumpkin spiced muffins in honour of her visit, based on my carrot cake recipe.
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