Pumpkin Blight

I didn't miss pumpkin over the summer. But then its absence began slowly revealing itself. First, I was testing a recipe from Anna Thomas' new vegetarian soup cookbook, Love Soup, for an upcoming 805 Living column—a recipe for her Great Pumpkin Soup. Central Market had no fresh pumpkins; I chalked it up to being too early in the season (it was August, after all), and made the soup with butternut squash instead; it came out beautifully, and I forgot all about not being able to find pumpkin. A couple weeks later, I went looking for a can of pumpkin puree to make my favorite pumpkin bread recipe—a must for when school's back in session and we're all willing the long, hot summer weather to end. Again, I went to Central Market, and again, no pumpkin. What was left on the shelves seemed more befitting a convenience store than my favorite grocery store: Just a few banged-up cans of pumpkin pie MIX, which is not what I reach for when baking. I pulled aside a Central Market Foodie, and he confirmed my fear: Last year's pumpkin crop failed, so there's no pumpkin to be found—anywhere. They're expecting this year's crop to be in stores later this fall; when it's really pumpkin season again, and I'm looking forward to that. While it's stylish (and smart) to talk about eating seasonally, I'll admit that being forced to follow through stings a little. This year's pumpkin is going to taste that much sweeter. Bring on fall! IMG_2478