38/52: Baking Pumpkin Muffins

Friday, October 2, 2020


Little by little, we've been harvesting the winter squash and giving most of them to the CSA. But the kids have been begging and begging to process some of the squash themselves, so I let them take ownership of a Hubbard squash with some yucky spots, promising they could bake pumpkin muffins if they roasted, seeded, and pureed it themselves. And they did a great job! John Paul did the roasting and cutting, then decided there were far too many cooks in the kitchen, so he decided not to help with the baking. Later in the week he roasted and pureed a Jarrahdale pumpkin (one of the blue ones at the bottom) and made pumpkin baked oatmeal AND pumpkin chocolate chip muffins by himself, so I'd say he's redeemed.

Every single child had to make their presence known in the kitchen (Lucy was napping, or at least in her crib and out of the way), and they very sweetly washed hands and put on aprons while I figured out how to appropriately divide the baking tasks without anyone feeling slighted and with minimal mess. It actually worked remarkably well! I'm still impressed that Cecilia happily seeded and peeled that entire baked squash, it smelled pretty icky. Lucy was still awake for that part, and kept eagerly nibbling chunks of plain cooked squash. I don't understand it, Andrew and I both detest winter squash in all forms! She tends to try new things more happily when she's on my hip though, so I suppose that was it.

Everybody else got a turn measuring spices, mixing dry ingredients, mixing wet ingredients... Well, I jumped in to mix the melted butter with the eggs because I worried that they'd pour too fast and scramble the eggs! But that's all the hands-on helping I did! They baked up beautifully, and I told them that if they wanted to bake, they also got to clean the kitchen afterwards, including washing the dishes! Weirdly, this resulted in Mary Claire discovering she adores washing dishes, and now she's taken charge of the breakfast dishes and Elizabeth is washing the lunch dishes each day? Well, it lasted a day before they started complaining, but I'm not caving. I spend FAR too much time washing dishes every day, it's time for them to start pulling their weight a little more with an easy task like this!

We took the muffins as a snack when we went apple picking later that afternoon, and everybody (except me, because I refused to taste them, they smelled like PUMPKIN, ick) decided they were the absolute best muffins they've ever had. They really did look impressively moist, so I think this is a recipe we'll be using again. Lucy didn't love hers, but she doesn't have the patience to eat cupcakes or muffins in general. She much prefers munching on an entire giant apple and spitting the whole thing out!

(Affiliate links! People have asked about the girls' sweet pinafore aprons, and I'll admit I just got them on Amazon... They needed SOMETHING to protect their clothes after all their berry picking adventures this summer, and I didn't have the budget to go on etsy and order handmade aprons!


  1. Your pictures are awesome! May I please have Lucy's curls? Please? :) The one picture with you in it? At first I thought you were one of the kids! So young! I actually like the smell of squash and pumpkin, weird, right? I couldn't wait for Fall and the opportunity to clean out the pumpkin and carve faces. The smell always reminds me of Fall.

    It's not too early for the twins to do dishes, not at all. Funny story. My oldest brother is 6 years older than me. I was around 6 or 7 years old and he was the main dishwasher. He kept going on and on about how much fun washing dishes was. Well, I just had to try it. So he dragged a kitchen chair over to the sink for me to kneel on, and from that time forward dish duty was mine. That is, until the 4 younger ones got older and I Tom Sawyered them...lol.

    1. That is too funny!!! Some of the kids still think washing the dishes is fun, and then I catch them playing with the dish soap and blowing bubbles with their hands, so... It's definitely fun for them, but not much is getting washed!


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