Flavors of Fall

Do you think some foods belong to a season? In my house a lot of different foods make a return visit for the cooler time of year. Salads as a main course disappear, which allows chili, stews, and hearty thick soups to make an appearance on the menu once the heat is out of the air.

Another seasonal food is pumpkin. I love pumpkin bread, muffins, pie, bread pudding, pumpkin dump cake, and best of all – a pumpkin concrete (a mixture of pumpkin pie blended into frozen vanilla custard).

Anyway, now that I have your taste buds warmed up I want to tell you a little story about a chocolate zucchini pumpkin cake. My memory was stirred by a sign over a gas pump advertising pumpkin flavored coffee inside. This did not sound appealing to me but it did make me smile as I recalled a memory from over twenty-five years ago.

My friend Rhonda is a wonderful cook and if we are invited to dinner I look forward to the meal with anticipation. She is not afraid to experiment with new recipes that intrigue her. Most of the time the results are a culinary delight.

“I just saw a recipe for a chocolate zucchini pumpkin cake, doesn’t that sound good?” she tells me over the phone. Before I can respond she continues, “And I can bake it in two round bowls, then when I frost it I will put the halves together and it will look like a pumpkin!” She was so excited at this fun cake she could envision, I hated to express my true feelings. But inside I was thinking chocolate and pumpkin? Not two flavors I want to blend. And throw in zucchini? I am thinking this is a disaster waiting to happen. But, I will wait until I taste it, maybe it will be good. (I have my doubts.)

So, on the evening I know she is baking this concoction, my husband and I walk over after dinner, with a bit of trepidation. I don’t want to hurt her feelings if I don’t like it. That was not going to be a problem. The sight that meets our eyes is one I will never forget. Rhonda is no where to be seen although it is evident she has been working in the kitchen. Mixing bowls are strewn across the counter, canisters of sugar and flour are open, and the cake is there on a cake stand. The cake has been attacked by a spatula. The weapon impaled ┬áthe baked batter of a chocolate zucchini pumpkin cake. Orange icing oozed down the sides of the half-sphere, it refused to stay put.

Rhonda’s vision of a pumpkin shaped cake never came to be. Although we never ate it, we will never forget it.