When I fall in love with books and songs, I fall hard and fast and deeply. Belonging and acceptance can be a feeling so rare at times. When I find something that I can identify with, I draw myself into its world, surrounding myself with pages of words and looping tracks. Books are devoured in days, the written words joining me during spare moments throughout the day, at the dinner table, and late into the dark night. A single song may be put on repeat for weeks, meaningful for far longer than the few minutes it plays.
I breathe it in, taking in the experience and the moment, and I take and I take and when there's nothing more for it to give, I share it with someone else, hoping they will find the voice and spirit in it as I had.
And I ran back to that hollow again
The moon was just a sliver back then
And I ached for my heart like some tin man
When it came oh it beat and it boiled and it rang
The Stable Song by Gregory Alan Isakov is one of the few songs that speaks to me in a way so many others cannot. When it plays, I find myself stopping whatever I am doing and listening. Listening with ears-wide, mind-open abandon. A hundred listens later, I still get the chills, still find the words speaking to me. Each time the guitar tells a slightly different story, the chords evolving with my life and its changes.
Yesterday it was about loss, tomorrow it is about self discovery.
With my eyes shut tight, I imagine myself in the mountains on a warm summer night, the smell of green, of life in the air, the feeling of peace and sadness and emotion, and it somehow all fits together. The chords on the guitar allow me to live outside myself for a moment, live another life before my eyes open and I'm brought back to my kitchen table and my computer and an empty coffee mug and a distinct awareness of feeling drained but in a way I would never change.
I never want that moment to end.
Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts are moist and spiced with the scents of autumn. Pumpkin is baked into a cake doughnut, adding a bright flavor to match its bright color. The doughnuts and glaze complement each other well, providing the right amount of sweetness when paired together. A cup of coffee in one hand and a doughnut in the other is the best way I've found to enjoy these.
One Year Ago: Peanut Butter Cup Cookies, Pumpkin Waffles, and Black Velvet Cupcakes
Two Years Ago: Pumpkin Spice Latte, Oatmeal Raisin Crisps, and Red Wine Chocolate Cake
Three Years Ago: Banana Nut Bread, Apple Tart with Almond Cream, and Pumpkin Alfredo
Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts
Yields 1 dozen
1/2 cup (113 grams) butter, melted
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (100 grams) brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 cups (390 grams) pumpkin purée
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 3/4 cups (220 grams) all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Grease a standard-size doughnut pan.
In a large mixing bowl, beat together the melted butter, eggs, and vanilla until thoroughly mixed. Mix in the sugars, pumpkin, spices, and salt until smooth. Fold in the baking powder and flour.
Transfer the batter to a pastry bag (or large kitchen bag with the corner snipped off). Fill the depressions in the prepared pan with the pumpkin batter until even with pan for best results. Alternatively, if appearance does not matter, you could spread the batter into the pan using an offset spatula, but this results in more unevenly shaped doughnuts. Bake the doughnuts for 15-18 minutes, or until puffed and browned. Cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.
1 cup (125 grams) powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 tablespoons milk
In a small bowl, stir together all ingredients until smooth. If the glaze is too thick, thin with a teaspoon or two of milk.
Take the cooled doughnuts and dip the tops into the glaze, allowing any excess to drip off before righting them and placing them back on the cooling rack. The glaze will take 10-15 minutes to set, depending on the thickness.