Pumpkins: A Story For a Field by Mary Lyn Ray, illustrated by Barry Root.
You may know Mary Lyn Ray’s work from the marvelous book, Stars. I first fell for Pumpkins. It was published in 1996, but new to me two or three years ago. It’s about an old man, so that’ll get me every time. And it manages to tie together the most rooted, earthy stuff with the most magical.
Here’s the story. A field next door to the old man’s house is for sale. He knows that’ll mean development. He loves the field. So he sells everything he owns to buy it. But it’s still not enough money. Here’s where the pumpkins come in: he decides to grow them and sell them to pay for the field.
And here’s where the magic comes in: he sends the pumpkins all over the world. (The process is where imagination takes over.) People everywhere discover jack-o-lanterns and pumpkin pie and the wonder of these orange gourds. This book is very like a fairy tale. A man saves something he loves by fairly impossible means. He loves a field that he can look at.
So in the spirit of pumpkin season, I give you two things.
1.) My new favorite vegan pumpkin muffin recipe. Can’t you just smell the pumpkin spice through the picture? I can. I’m drooling a little.
I adapted these from this oatmeal pumpkin bread at Lunch Box Bunch. Delicious! You can follow the recipe over there except the batter goes in a muffin pan and cooks more like 30-40 minutes. I also made the following substitutions:
oat flour (vs. homemade)
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (vs. combination)
rice milk (vs. almond)
and I opted for agave syrup as sweetener and lemon zest and skipped the topping. The results were scrumptious. So much so that think I’ll make these again this weekend.
2.) A jack-o-lantern! This year, my guy and I made one with a sugar skull design. It’s kind of a Halloween/Dia de Los Meurtos two in one. And while it may be a skull, it has hearts for eyes! Here it is looking sweet.
And here it is looking scary-cool!