Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Great Pumpkin Shortage!

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So back in May my mom told me she found 2 cans of pumpkin at the grocer and snatched them up. It didn't even register that this was a significant find. I had no idea at that very moment, all of my local grocery stores were out of canned pumpkin...until this week. I was thinking about those leaves falling, the AC is cranked down to 65° so I am chilly (even though it's in the 90's) and I thought it needed to smell like fall, and that naturally means pumpkin muffins.

Forever an optimist, I strolled into Schnucks and the grocery guy said nope, hasn't had any all year. They are being told it will hit around November 1. So, Kroger. Same story. I thought maybe Walgreens since they have random food for old ladies but no. Then Fresh Market, and a glimmer of hope. The grocery guy there said they got 1 case in and one lady bought it all. ARGH! A hoarder!

So my next stop was a small independent grocery. For those of you oblivious to this industry, let me say it like this. There are chains like Kroger, Publix, Schnucks (regional), all falling under huge corporate umbrellas. And then you have a little chain that has maybe 2 or 3 stores in an area. They pull from food wholesalers who are able to acquire smaller more regional brands of food since they don't have thousands of the same stores whose shelves have to look identical. A blog on my great finds at this local dandy is coming. But even the independent had no pumpkin.

My last stop of the day was Whole Foods. I figured I may at least be able to score a real pumpkin. But karma was working and there on the very bottom shelf was organic canned pumpkin, 4 cans. All mine. On ebay, I could get about $15 for them, can you imagine being that desperate for pumpkin? As a matter of fact I can. But for now, I am a happy baker. Time to fire up the ovens.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
1 2/3 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup pumpkin (half a can, although I have dumped the whole thing in before)
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 350. Mix flour, sugar, spices, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
Break eggs in another bowl and whisk in pumpkin and butter. Fold into dry ingredients, don't over mix. Add chocolate chips and walnuts if using.
Scoop batter into muffin tin lined with papers. 12 regular sized or 24 mini muffins. Bake until puffed and springy but no longer gooey. About 20 minutes. Cool completely before storing.

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