Thanksgiving is coming up. I’m sure we are all more than aware of that. This year I’m not cooking at home or going to a relatives house to spend time with family. We are victims of the ever increasing push and desire for consumerism that states that stores should open on Thanksgiving night. Who am I kidding? We’ll be at Wal-Mart at 6:00, two hours before my boyfriend needs to be to work at 8:00. But that is neither here nor there. I hear Cracker Barrel makes a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner and this year we will find out if that is true.
To get into the spirit of the holiday, I had my son write a list of things that he is thankful for. I’m sure that this list is in part influenced by the fact that it is Sunday and I’m sure that at some point in primary today they talked about Thanksgiving and being thankful. I played with worrdle a bit to make a fun graphic of his list. To be safe, here is his list, in order:
- Cheese Cake
Yes. You read that right. Cheese is the first thing that he thought of when he made his list. This is above computers, and Jesus, and Moms. Cheese. And cows because you can’t have cheese without cows. That is the mind of a 10 year old for you. He makes me laugh.
So my daughters first grade class went to a pumpkin patch this year. She’s in first grade and as this is our first year in Virginia, so a pumpkin patch visit for kids this age might be the normal thing to do. But I’ve never seen it. Anyway, since this was more of a fun field trip I had to pay (another thing I’ve never had to do, but I’m getting over it) and so I got what has to be the most expensive pumpkin I have ever purchased.
Before we even got out of the car that day Boo proclaimed that she wanted to make something with her pumpkin. So, instead of carving it for Halloween, we simply put it outside our front door, and a few days after Halloween we roasted it in the oven and mashed it into a lovely bright orange pulp. And then we froze it. Because I honestly had no idea what to do with the pumpkin other than make a pie.
So I went on a quest at the local library for things to do with pumpkin. I’ve always had a hobby of reading cookbooks (which should be evident by the number of cookbooks I’ve reviewed on this blog) and so I figured that I might actually be able to do something with them now. I checked out a few books and finally found a recipe that I thought I’d be able to try.
The book is “Whoopies!” by Susanna Tee. And the recipes are simple, but not stupidly so, and are sorted by season. I found the pumpkin whoopie pie recipe in the fall section with the note that it would be wonderful for Halloween or Thanksgiving. Since Thanksgiving is just next week I figured it was perfect.
The first thing we did with our cookies (because they are basically just very cakey cookies) was eat them. They tasted very good on their own. I added chocolate chips to half of the batter because I’ve been missing the pumpkin chocolate chip cookies that one of the grocery stores back home sells. I also only had pumpkin pie spice. Because, while I would prefer to have the individual spices, I know I was going to be doing a lot of pumpkin baking and figured this was the best way to go about it. We used store bought frosting, because I’m lazy and didn’t want to have to wash more dishes than absolutely necessary. Boo thought that they were the best thing ever and Bud, who had a more refined pallet, also thought they were really good. I’m sure had we used the “real” frosting that the recipe suggests they would have been even better.
1/2 cup butter, softened1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/3 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp allspice or nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
pinch of salt
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 tbsp buttermilk
chocolate chips to taste (optional)
Cream cheese frosting
- Preheat over to 375. Line baking sheets with parchment, or just grease well with cooking spray.
- Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla together until light and fluffy.
- Sift together the dry ingredients and add to the cream mixture. Mix well.
- Add pumpkin and buttermilk and mix until combined.
- Use an ice cream scoop or rounded tablespoon to drop mounds of dough onto cookie sheet, make sure to leave 2-3 inches between cookie for spreading. I used my smaller cookie scoop, the recipe calls for a larger, 2 inch one. The choice is yours.
- Cook for 10-12 minutes (mine were done in 8-9) until firm to the touch. Remove from cookie sheets to cool.
- When cool, match up cookies of similar shape. Frost one half and then sandwich with the other.
Pumpkin whoopie pies
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Whoopie Pies
Carl Rogers father of “Person Centered Therapy”
The other night in my Counseling Theories class we had the pleasure of watching what is commonly known as “The Gloria Tapes”. They are a collection of three therapy sessions conducted on the same woman by three pioneers in the therapy field, Carl Rogers (person centered therapy), Fritz Perls (gestalt therapy), and Albert Ellis (rational emotive behavioral therapy(REBT)). It was fascinating in the way that learning and seeing your heroes always is. However, I learned a few things from this experience, one of which is the topic of discussion for today.
I’ve always be taught and believed in the idea that the therapeutic relationship is one of the most important, if not the most important, aspects of therapy. I’ve grown up on the idea of unconditional positive regard. I’ve studied Rogers and worshiped him almost as the first “psychotherapist” to put his methods and ideas to the test. His ideas and methods have been scientifically proven to be effective in treatment of a wide variate of mental health conditions.
And after watching him and Gloria I realize that I can’t stand it. Person centered therapy as Rogers envisioned it makes me want to pull my hair out. I wanted to reach through the screen and slap him, or shake him, or something. It was mind numbing. Had I been sitting across from him I would have probably gotten up and left.
Oh, don’t get me wrong, I still appreciate the ideas behind person centered. But I will never be able to do straight up person centered therapy. I am entirely too solution focused for that. I loved watching Alfred Ellis work. I absolutely loved it. But, Carl Rogers…not so much. I’m glad I realized this now. It will make life much easier later.