Making Family Memories Each Fall
As a corn product specialist, I always look forward to fall harvest. It brings closure to the growing season as I get to see how some of my favorite products performed plus get a sneak peek at products that could potentially become part of Latham’s lineup in the future. I also greatly enjoy riding in the combine with customers because I believe the “best seat in the house” is next to them.
But as much as I love farming, fall wouldn’t really be complete without a visit with my family to a pumpkin patch! It’s become a family tradition for my wife, Meg, and I to take our kids to Pinters Pumpkin Patch just west of Decorah in northeast Iowa. (By the way, Decorah is a beautiful town in any season. You can experience the area’s Norwegian heritage while site seeing. I’d highly recommend a trip there if you’ve never been – or a return visit if it’s been a while since you’ve been there. I know that I’m biased, but even Midwest Living magazine named Decorah as one of the top 100 best small town getaways!)
Each time we visit the pumpkin patch, our kids are sure to have a fun time. They especially love the Giant Jumping Pillow and playing in the Corn Bin (like a sandbox but with corn kernels instead). Other family favorites include taking a wagon ride to the pumpkin patch and feeding the goats. There is also an amazing bakery on site. (Just thinking about those baked goods makes me want to head there now!)
In addition to visiting the pumpkin patch, we make an annual trip to the apple orchards in Gays Mills, Wisconsin. We enjoy making our own homemade applesauce. This year we pressed our own apple cider for the first time! Also this fall our family entered Clermont’s Great Pumpkin Contest for the second year. Our pumpkin wasn’t the biggest, but it was the brightest. That counts for something, right? 🙂
Other favorite fall activities are wild mushroom hunting and raking our leaves – and then jumping in them, of course! We also enjoy tasting the fruits of the season. Our pre-schoolers love to snack on roasted pumpkin seeds, and our entire family enjoys relaxing weekend mornings when we can savor pumpkin pancakes. That’s why today we’re sharing our favorite pumpkin pancake recipe with you. Hopefully, you’ll enjoy it as much as we do!
- 1 C all-purpose flour
- 1 C whole wheat flour
- 3 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp white sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp ground allspice
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 ½ C milk
- 1 C pumpkin puree
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 Tbsp canola oil
- 2 Tbsp vinegar
- In separate bowl, mix together the milk, pumpkin, egg, oil, vinegar and vanilla. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, allspice, cinnamon, ginger and salt. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture just enough to combine.
- Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop batter onto the griddle, using approx. ¼ C for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.