Here in the United States, it’s almost Thanksgiving. The grocery stores are full of turkeys, cranberries and Florida oranges are showing up in the produce section. The air is crisp and there’s a scent of wood smoke from fireplaces in the neighborhood.
One ingredient that I’ve been seeing over and over again is pumpkin! While walking around the store and then on Amazon, I caught sight of a TON of items containing essence of pumpkin (or most probably, a chemical derivative!)
Sugar free Pumpkin Spice Coffee Syrup
Sugar Free Pumpkin Oatmeal Butter
Werther’s Original Pumpkin Spice Soft Caramels
Pumpkin Spice Coffee (there are about 10 different kinds!)
Pumpkin Pie Protein Bar
Pumpkin Spice Flavored Yogurt Pretzels
Pumpkin Pie Sauce
Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer
And Amazon even has a Pumpkin Spice Hoodie!
If you’ve ever wondered about what goes into pumpkin spice, I looked it up for you! It’s usually a combination of nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, allspice and ginger. Not one bit of pumpkin to be found in the spice. But adding that combination to a can of real pumpkin produces a magical combination in this family! Our favorite is pumpkin cake made with a can of Libby’s 100 percent pure pumpkin). This is a staple for us during the holidays and there are a couple of cans waiting in the pantry to be stirred into the the batter for Thanksgiving.
It made me wonder, when the cooler days of fall begin, why certain things come to mind. Did you know that smell is the only one of our senses that is transmitted directly to the amygdala, which is the emotional center of our brains? So when we catch a scent in the air, or taste some food, we immediately are drawn back to a specific time and place. Growing up in Florida, my sense of smell is affected most strongly by the scent of oranges. To this day, if I’m ever lucky enough to drive down Hwy. 27 through Lake Wales, I roll down all the windows as I pass the concentrate plant. And I’m overwhelmed with nostalgia! My children, growing up in North Carolina, don’t have that same reaction. But they do have warm memories of fall family times at Thanksgiving with lots of cousins and aunts and uncles – so this holiday is their 2nd favorite, if not their first! They want exactly the same menu year after year – no substitutions. I remember the year one of the cousins brought a green bean and tomato dish. No matter that it was delicious, I didn’t dare look at my children because I KNEW what they were thinking!
Below you’ll find two of our favorite dishes that are always served on our Thanksgiving table. And for that matter, on our New Year’s Day table, too!
I read back through a blog that I wrote a couple of years ago and the following is the way I ended it. I feel the same way now.
Though we come from different countries and celebrate in a variety of ways and traditions, we can all be thankful for similar things; faith, family, friends, health, experiences, and strengths. These are blessings that we share.
I am grateful to all of you who have faithfully tuned in to Pixels2Pages for the past 9+ years. You’ve supported us, cheered us, encouraged us and helped us to keep exploring because of your passion to learn new techniques to help you preserve your memories.
And I am thankful for the friendship of our p2P team – now, women from New York, California, Texas and North Carolina. But, originally, we were women from all over the world who came together to help others celebrate their photos and life stories. When I think of our team, a quote from Albert Schweitzer comes to mind, “At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” That spark has come from fellow team members and it has also come from many of you too. Thank you.
Content used: Autumn Breeze Digital Kit, Recipe Book Digital Kit by Storybook Legacy: Font: A Year Without Rain