Instead, I allow myself a few simple concessions that facilitate my fantasy but prevent the wrath of the home owner's association. I pull out one single, pumpkin scented candle that fills a room with it's spicy aroma. The wreaths and Indian corn stay tucked safely away until September but one lone candle comes out early every year like a harbinger of Autumn tranquility.
As much as I want to make a big turkey dinner or a steamy pot of potato soup, I resist that too. The soaring mercury does help to quell the urge to spend a day in a hot kitchen. I do however pull out a couple of recipes and make a dish or two, better suited for a crisp, chilly night than a humid, sticky afternoon. Sometimes, like yesterday, I will take a favorite Autumn ingredient and translate it to a Summery dish.
This pumpkin milkshake is cool and refreshing after a July barbeque but it's flavor envokes memories of a November night.
- Instead of vanilla, try pumpkin, toffee, cinnamon, coffee or honey flavored ice cream. The more interesting a flavor of ice cream you use, the more interesting a flavor the milkshake will have.
- For a malt, add a tablespoon or two of malted milk powder
- If you like your shakes really thick, use less milk or more ice cream.
- For best results, chill the canned pumpkin puree for 2 hours before making milkshakes.
- The maple syrup is added to enhance the flavor of the pumpkin. Honey or even brown sugar can be easily substituted.
- This milkshake is also great during Indian summers and/or the temperature is still in the 80s on Halloween (welcome to Texas).
4oz pumpkin puree (like Libby's)
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
In a blender, add all ingredients in order above. Blend for several seconds until well combined and desired consistency is achieved. Pour into glasses and top with a sprinkle of additional pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon.