Mother’s Day

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Mother’s Day. It’s a day that makes many people think of flowers: roses, lilacs, peonies… you name it. If you don’t know your mama’s favorite flower, you had better get to know it, because it could easily become a life or death matter for you. The woman who gave life to you is also capable of taking it from you. Just saying.

I saw a saying the other day: “You’re the reason she pees every time she laughs, buy the woman some flowers!” That’s a really good marketing technique, I must say! (And true.)

It’s day to honor the sacred beauty, powerful calling, unconditional love, and boundless sacrifice that is called Motherhood. The very word, “Motherhood” makes me pause and makes my soul feel like it should bow in reverent response of the holy sacredness of the word and all it connotes.

Yet at the same moment, I know the messiness, the bitter sweetness, even sadness and deep pain that Mother’s Day can bring. Or for that matter even the word, Motherhood, can trigger mixed emotions for many of us.

I think of several women near and dear to my heart, who have borne babies who never took a breath in this world. Others who have suffered the trauma of miscarriage. Yet more, whose deepest longing is the beautiful privilege of childbearing, but for whatever reason, are denied of it. It’s pain that I can’t quite wrap my mind around. It’s a pain known alone to those who walk through it. But know this, if this is you: I see you and I care. My heart hurts for you.

I am not familiar with that pain. But there is another one that I am familiar with. For the longest time, Mother’s Day was a blank slate. A day that I really didn’t know what to do with.

My mother died when I was a baby. Aside from a few weeks after I was born, I never knew her. By the time I was old enough to remember, I had a new mother. My earliest childhood memories are of being told that “Mom” was not my “real Mom.” My “real mom” had died when I was a baby.

I remember not having any feelings about it and not knowing HOW I should feel about it. But having a deep, deep longing to KNOW what she looked like. Because of the culture I was born in, there were no photographs to show me what she looked like. I was told to look in the mirror. Because apparently I was the spitting image of my mother. But looking in the mirror, only showed me, ME.

My growing up years remained mostly the same. Rather numb, because how was I SUPPOSED to feel about someone I had never known. Yet a deep, aching, empty void, of something that was supposed to be there, but wasn’t. When I was getting ready for my wedding, was the first time that I missed her. I needed her! I needed a mother’s help navigating the crazy stress and emotions of planning a wedding.

The birth of my first child was the next time that I was again made deeply aware of my need for a mother. I wanted her there by my side for this passage into Motherhood.

Motherhood was my redemption in so many ways. The birth of my first child was the birth of me. And yet it was like plunging off the deep end. I had NO idea how to be a mom. I knew well enough how to care for a baby. That’s a given with six younger siblings and being in an anti-birth control culture. Aside from that I really didn’t know, except I desperately didn’t want to raise my children the way I was raised. Motherhood was the unraveling of me and the making whole of me all in one. And still is.

And so, as Mother’s Days have come and gone in the last years, it’s no longer as blank of a slate. I am thankful for my mother. For giving me life. For her spirit that lives on in me. I truly don’t know much of what she was like. Except that she had to have been incredibly strong to fight cancer and carry and birth a child at the same time. (She lost her battle for her life but at the same time, WON, by giving birth to a new life. And gaining eternal life in heaven.) She had a great sense of humor and a strong faith. And I do see her face sometimes when I look in the mirror.

I wonder about her. If she was still here, would we be friends? I don’t kid myself about that part, because I left the Amish culture. Something that could have had the power to destroy a mother/daughter relationship if we had one. Would she love my children? Her grandchildren? Would I be able to call her about questions of motherhood and life? I don’t know. It’s one of the great unanswered questions of this life for me.

And also on Mother’s Day, I pause and am incredibly thankful for the women who have been pieces of a mother to me over the years.

From the very beginning: My Aunt Mary who took that tiny baby and poured all the love and nurturing she had into her. Loved her and raised her as her own. And when she had to give her back to the “new mom” it all but tore her heart out. But it turned out ok, Aunt Mary, didn’t it? Despite the brokenness. Beauty came out of the ashes. A lot of it due to you. Thank you.

My Grandma, she was always there. My rock.

My oldest sisters. You mothered me more than you know.

Anna Marie, Katie, Ruby, beautiful women I worked with. You didn’t know it, but the love you gave me went straight to the place in my heart that needed mother love.

Shirley, Gwen, Cate, Deborah N. Penny, who have loved on me and my children in a way that has healed me. Shirley, give my mama a hug for me, will you?

Misty, who I have watched mother with grace and wisdom. You have taught me more than you will ever know.

Jenn, who was there for the birth of my first child. I can never put into words how grateful I am that you were there. Having a you there was a beautiful, beautiful gift. Thank you.

To all of you…. Thank you for impacting me in profound ways and giving me pieces of a mother’s love. God truly does place the lonely in families.

Happy Mother’s Day. May you be as blessed with Mother love as I am. And if you have a good Mother, treasure her.

Don’t forget the flowers!

Ann L.

Walking the Walk

imageAbortion. That word is going to cause some to hurry on past this post. It’s probably one of the most controversial words in our society today. It evokes strong emotions. Some don’t want to touch the subject with a ten foot pole. Others can’t wait to jump into a hot debate on rights. Whether it’s rights of the woman or rights of the baby.

Im usually one who doesn’t voluntarily bring up the subject. Especially to write about. I much prefer nice, easy, even humorous conversations. But here I go, jumping in feet first and who knows, I may end up in a manure pile. Well, sometimes you gotta write what you gotta write.

Here’s the thing friends, I’m not going to write about the evils of abortion. I’m not trying to address the world and try to convince them it’s wrong. Today I’m addressing a different group of people: my fellow pro-life Christians.

You see awhile ago I had the pleasure of attending a Life Walk. It’s a yearly fund raiser for a local pregnancy crisis center. This center offers alternative options to abortion. They offer medical services, counseling, etc, all free of charge and they don’t get paid for any service they provide. They are a wonderful, caring facility for those who’ve made unfortunate decisions and find themselves faced with life altering decisions.

This walk was to raise awareness and funds for the center. And something happened to my heart that day. When I arrived, I expected a pretty big crowd. I had attended some of these walks before and they had, had pretty decent turnouts.

But not so much this year. It was a rather sparse crowd that gathered and I was rather surprised. At the beginning of the walk, we heard a few words from the center directors. I recall one speaker got very emotional as she described how some of previous months had been extremely hard financially for the center.

They went on to thank all the financial contributors. And again I was shocked. The church I attended at the time had donated more money than any other church in the area. What was upsetting is that this church is a small church. And quite frankly I didn’t think we had raised a huge amount. (I knew the number) I felt like something was seriously wrong here. If that number was the biggest number that they got… Well that meant they sure didn’t raise the amount of money they should have.

Over the next few days, I couldn’t get it out of mind. There is something so WRONG with this picture. You see, every day my newsfeed is filled with articles and posts screaming out about the evils of abortion, posted by pro-life people, mostly Christians. And I came to the realization: many want to offer their opinions on how wrong it is, but few want to get out from behind the screens and do something about it.

Ouch.

Then I ran some numbers. I live in the Mid-West. The small, rural area is quite conservative. In the small town of Warrensburg, approximate population, 19,000, there are around 30 churches. From what I could tell on google anyway. I suspect there are more.

But let’s go with 30 churches in Warrensburg for starters. And let’s go really, really modest with numbers and say each of those 30 churches have 20 regular members. That makes for 600 church goers out of 19,000. Now I know that number is ridiculously low. But let’s just go with it. And not to mention, there are more than likely quite a few more who consider themselves Christian/pro-life, but either don’t go to church or not regularly.

Now let’s say each regular member of these 20 churches donates only one dollar a month towards a pro-life cause. That would be $7200 a year. Just from those 600 people. And like I said, LOW BALL numbers. The number of people who consider themselves Christians/pro-life more likely make up about half the population of the town. Just my guess. I don’t know.

I’m not a highly educated person. I have an 8th grade education and GED. That’s the level of my education. I’m not a math genius like my engineer husband. But I really don’t think it’s rocket science, people. (Obviously not, if I can figure it out.) And perhaps I’m thinking too simplistic here… But this is the conclusion I came to. If every self proclaimed pro-life person and professing Christian would give $1 a month. One. Dollar. A. Month. Abortion would all but cease to exist here in America. Unrealistic? Perhaps. But a person can dream and I love to dream.

Here is something I would love for you to ponder before you hit the post button on another passionate pro-life message or rant.

1. Am I willing to put my money where my mouth is? Am I willing to invest in LIFE?

2. Am I just as passionate about the life of the mother of the baby as I am about the life of the baby? I believe many times, in our rush to save the innocent, we abort the not-so-innocent. Aren’t we all not so innocent?

3. Am I just as passionate about saving the life of the baby after its out of the womb, as I am while it’s still in the womb?

You might say, “but it’s not MY problem. I didn’t make the wrong choices .”

I beg to differ. The moment you take the responsibility to post your opinions, you’ve picked up the problem. Now, are you going to pick up a solution? And for the love of God friends. Don’t pick up stones. Jesus didn’t. The only stone He ever picked up was the one He shoved out of the way in His victorious defeat of death, as He stepped into LIFE.

And let me say, I am as guilty as anyone when it comes to this. Social media makes it so easy FEEL righteous without DOING righteous. So can I ask you? Would you like to walk with me in love and BE the change, not just preach the change? I believe it would be a beautiful, world changing, thing.

If you read to the bottom of this touchy subject, thank you. I would love your thoughts, but keep respect, honor, and kindness at the foremost. Most of all, if you want to give a big Amen to this, or it hit a chord with you, I would be ever so honored if you hit the share button. 💜 Thank you.

With love, Ann L.

 

 

Delight

img_9539-2Delight. Isn’t that such a pretty word? I delight in the very word itself. It’s just full of light, life, joy, & childlike enthusiasm.

I enjoy BEING delighted. I enjoy taking delight in many things. One of the things I find myself delighting in the most is the beauty of nature. And I’m not just talking about spectacular mountain or ocean views. Although they do delight me to no end.

I also love finding the little, simple beauties in nature as well. Such as dew drops on a spider web, a bird song, the intoxicating smell of spring, a tiny sea shell, icicles dripping from a roof… All of these things nestle themselves into my senses and breathe life into my very soul. And I linger over and treasure them like precious jewels.img_9532

Right now it’s January here in southeastern Missouri. There’s been very little snow and while we had some ice last weekend, that had vanished within a day. So that means the landscape around here is pretty blah. Gray and brown, brown and gray. It can get depressing. Yet I find myself delighting in the rolling hills, curving back roads, and little ponds nestled in the valleys.

To someone else, this could be the most depressing, drab, place. They might not be able to see what I see. But the thing is, here’s what I see: I see spring and summer coming along and turning all this drabness into absolute loveliness. When the brown hills and gray trees will be twenty different shades of greens and the little ponds, a deep blue. I see what it’s going to be.

This morning when I got out of bed, the sun was just starting to lighten the sky. I looked out my kitchen window as I was getting coffee and saw the most delightful misty morning sunrise.16215744_10211622645583203_822249435_n

So I grabbed my camera and went out on my porch, (in my bathrobe) and tried to snap a few pictures. Which of course don’t do justice. You just can’t capture these things. The mists were rising from the valleys, the morning was 45 degrees, holding all the promises of spring, the birds were twittering all around, and the glorious sun that hadn’t shown its face for days was coming up. So I didn’t care how ridiculous I looked in my bathrobe standing there on my porch at 7 am. I soaked it all in and tucked away the promise of spring for the cold days that are sure to still come.16237095_10211622643863160_1215622985_n

I went back inside to have my morning coffee time with Jesus. I sat there for a few minutes and thanked my Father for the wonderful gift of the misty morning. Then He said something to me, something that broke off some old religious thinking and replaced it with a profound truth. (Profound to me anyway)

He said to me: I love the way you delight in the beauty of nature. The way you find the beauty in the little things. And in that you are delighting yourself in Me.

Ohhhh…. “Delight yourself in the LORD, And He will give you the desires and petitions of your heart.” (‭PSALM‬ ‭37‬:‭4‬ AMP)

See I had always thought that meant digging into Scriptures, delighting in them. Working hard at it! Making sure I’m doing everything right. And yes it does in part. But when I delight in His creation, I am also delighting in the Creator. When I delight in my husband, children, friends, beauty… I’m also delighting in Him. Never to put them above Him, but to delight in these gifts He’s given me, as my child delights in the gifts from me. I believe it brings pleasure to His heart to see us notice and delight in the gifts He put here for us to enjoy. Like any good, good Father would.

And I also think it hurts Him when we don’t notice the beauty and good gifts that He has put right in front of us to enjoy. As parents we have probably all been there at Christmas or at birthdays and our child is wanting everyone else gifts but their own. I believe God feels the same way when we don’t open our eyes to notice what He does for us and the gifts He gives.

One of my goals in this new year of 2017 is to be more intentional to look for God in the little things and to keep my eyes open for what He’s doing for me and to delight myself in it and in Him. Because He’s here, all around me, in the very air I breathe, in the very beat of my heart, in the laughter of my babies, and in the promises of spring. May you be able to see Him too.img_9537

Amish Coffee

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Genuine Amish Coffee Maker 

As some of my followers know, I was born and raised Amish and left the culture when I was 21.

I have lived in the lap of modern conveniences for the last 10+ years now and I am quite spoiled and I really take these luxuries for granted… Until I spend a week on my Amish in-laws’ farm.

Most of my immediate family, like me, no longer live in the Amish culture. Even my parents are now “Beachy Mennonite.” Which basically means they look a lot like Amish still, but have the modern conveniences, such as electricity & cars.

So when we go visit my family, we rarely experience the Amish lifestyle firsthand. But not so much with my husband’s family. His parents are semi retired farmers, faithful Amish congregants in Northern IN. And we spent the past week there on our Christmas vacation.

It’s pretty amazing how simple every day things can become a daunting task in a world with no electricity. Such as brewing coffee…

Every morning I stumble into my kitchen and push the button on my coffee maker and five minutes later I have my hands wrapped around a wonderful hot cup of steaming, liquid,motivation. My little bit of daily heaven.

Well the first morning on the farm I woke up with a sinking realization: Crap! No push a button and have coffee in a minute deal at this place. I let out a little moan of desperation.

I stumbled into the kitchen, rummaged through the cupboard and came across this “packet coffee.” Kinda like tea bags, but coffee instead. Great! I only need hot water and I’m good to go. Got the tea kettle whistling, poured water over that baby, let it steep, and viola! Coffee… Which was so weak it might as well have been hot water, which was followed by a killer headache later that day. (I may or may not have a slight coffee addiction problem.)

My mother inlaw, (bless her heart!) took pity on my caffeine deprived state and dug out the “Amish Coffee Maker.” The next morning when I woke up, she had some of the best coffee waiting for me! Thank you Jesus! Then she showed me how to make it myself should she not be around when I wake up.

Easy peasy I thought. I can handle this. Water, coffee grounds, cook it. How hard can it be? I was about to find out.

The next morning I dragged myself into the kitchen and the first thing I did was locate the coffee maker. It ended up being a treasure hunt… I searched and searched, fumbling around in the shadowy kitchen, dimly lit by the solitary gas lamp on the far wall. (Because heaven knows! Brightly lit kitchens are a sin!) My bleary eyes peered through all the cupboards. Occasionally I flicked on the flashlight on my smart phone, shining it into the dark corners of the kitchen. At last! I located it in pile of clean dishes still on the counter from the night before.

I grasped it like you might grasp a life line and headed for the faucet. Turning it on I stared in disbelief, not one single drop of water came out of that darn faucet. It only gave a little gurgle like it was laughing at my desperation.

I knew immediately what the problem was. The water had run out and now the generator (out in the barn) that powered the water pump needed to be started. I knew my inlaws were in the barn, starting morning chores and I knew they’d be starting the generator at any time.

I crumpled onto a pitiful heap on the couch and waited with bated breath to hear the roar of the motor. Agonizing minutes ticked by. FINALLY! I heard it. Now for coffee. I hurried to the sink and watched as the faucet reluctantly spat the water out at me until the pot was full.

Next the coffee. I pulled it out of the cupboard and with it came a open seasoning/salt shaker, that seasoned me and everything in reach with a liberal sprinkling. Salted caramel coffee anyone?

At last I had it prepped and on the stove. Friends I’m convinced nothing takes longer to bring to a boil than an Amish Coffee Maker. While I was waiting for it to boil, my youngest woke up and wanted oatmeal. While I was cooking his oatmeal, the coffee chose that moment to “perk,” and it perked right up out of that coffee pot, completely dousing the gas burner it was on.

And that my friends, Is how you make Amish coffee. At least I didn’t have a caffeine headache that day.

And I had the thought go through my head: I just got my butt kicked by a non-technological coffee maker. I felt incredibly smart.

The Naked Eye

Before today, I had heard of the phrase, “the naked eye,” but I really never paid too much attention to it. That was until this morning, I had a rather “eye opening” experience in regards to that matter. An experience that brought a whole new meaning to that phrase.

I love being a stay at home mom. Part of that is due to the fact that I don’t have to wear make up every day. I greatly enjoy getting pretty and wearing make up. I equally enjoy getting pretty and NOT wearing make up. I wear make up 2-3 times a week, sometimes only once a week. I love it that way. Best of both worlds. I wear the very basic make up; eyeliner, mascara, a little liquid foundation for my the dark circles under my eyes (thanks kids) and I’m out the door.

What does all this have to do with the naked eye? Well, you see this little instrument?

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If the first thought that came to your mind was: instrument for torture. You are partially correct. It is called an eyelash curler. But don’t kid yourself, I’m more and more convinced that these were invented in some dark torture chamber. My little ones even look at me a little askance whenever they see me use it. Like, Mom? Are you trying to take your eye out?

Just in case you have never seen these nifty little things in action, here is an illustration:eyelashcurler

You clamp your eyelashes into it’s jaws and bear down on the handles until your eyelashes have the desired curled affect. The price of beauty my friends. You can see why my boys would get the idea that I’m trying gauge my eyeballs out.

So it really is not a good idea to be absent-minded while using this torture device. But absent-minded was exactly what happened this morning. Why was I absent-minded? Hmm, let me see, maybe it was because I was trying to apply make-up; at the same time trying to get my oldest to stop beating up on the youngest. While my mind was scrambling to what I could get done before I left for a lunch meeting, to remembering that I still had to cook lunch for my husband before I left to EAT lunch… This, my friends is exactly why I wear minimal make up.

So I was leaning in towards the mirror with the curler firmly clamped on my eyelashes and then it happened. It’s one of those things where you really can’t quite figure out how it happened, but it just did. Somehow my hand slipped sideways, but I managed to keep it clamped together. (Gotta get that curl, whatever the cost!) And the next thing I know, I am staring in utter disbelief at the torture instrument in my hand and I’m feeling a strange, burning sensation on my eyelid.

Y’all. I YANKED out half of my eyelashes on my right eye. One clean smooth yank. Didn’t even hurt at first. I would make a good dentist. I have heard of people singeing off their eyelashes by getting too close to a flame. But I have never heard of anyone YANKING them out. img_9937

This. This is 30+ years of eyelash growth. I am still in disbelief. And also mourning. Is it going to take 30 years to grow these babies back?? Am I going to have to get some fake eyelashes.

Or I could just go without mascara until they grow back. I have light eyelashes, so unless I’m wearing mascara or there’s really good light, it’s really not that noticeable. Or as my baby sister suggested: I could wear an eyepatch… My sisters, by the way, were completely heartless and thought it was hysterical. Until I convinced them that I passed out from the pain. Then they were very sorry for laughing. (I did not actually pass out. But what does that matter. Imagine! Laughing at such a tragedy as this. Ahem.)

So, until I figure out what is the best course of action, I will be doing the best I can with my “naked eye.” img_9938

P.s.  I do believe, henceforth my eyelashes will have to remain uncurled. I have paid my dues on the price of beauty, thank you very much.

Apple Dumpling Memories

img_9849So here I go, blogging about food again… But this time there’s no recipe. (Sorry. Maybe some other time.) Just a warning for you, most likely many of my blogs will be food related, but not all will have recipes. A lot of times inspiration to write hits me while I’m cooking or baking. Some of my happiest moments have been while gathered around a table with family and friends. And when you grow up an Amish woman, thoughts of cooking, baking, growing, canning, and freezing food occupy your brain pretty much full time.

Lucky for me, I happen to love cooking and baking. And even though I’ve left the culture, making food has stayed an integral part of who I am. A social event is planned: first thing I think about: making food. Someone has a baby: take them food. Someone is sick: take them food. Life takes food. And someone to make food. Food brings people together. I am a firm believer that most things are made better with… wait for it… FOOD. Ha! But really.

A friend of mine dropped off some locally grown apples the other day and I have been itching to bake something with them. Today, I unexpectedly found myself at home alone, well kinda alone. The baby was napping and my husband and oldest son were out. I had this whole list of things blow through my mind of what I could do, all by myself, in a peaceful, quiet house, with no interruptions! Every mom knows what gold that is. And I found myself almost in a tizzy trying to decide what to do first.

I came very close to just taking a nap and forgetting about the to-do list. But those apples kept beckoning me to rendezvous’ with them in the kitchen. I was torn between apple pie and apple dumplings. The apple dumplings won. And I’m talking homemade crust and all. Best decision ever. The house smelled like heaven. And the dumplings tasted like heaven.

img_9835And thinking of heaven always makes me think of my grandma. As I peeled the apples, I saw again her hands, hard working, capable hands, peeling apples. She could peel an entire apple with the peel coming off in one long, perfect spiral. Never breaking until she was done. How I admired that little feat of hers! And to this day, I still have not mastered it.

I would often slip over to see her in the evenings and she would be sitting in her chair reading or writing. I would beg her to peel an apple for me and she would eventually sigh and tell me to go to the pantry and get an apple. I would watch in fascination as she peeled, then often ask her to play a game of “Memory.” Sometimes she shooed me off, but more often than not, she would play with me.

As I rolled out the crust, I heard again the thump, creeaak, thump, creeaak, of her rolling pin as she rolled out the dough for pie or dumplings. She was a master at pies. Her fingers flew deftly as crimped them. She whistled a lot as she worked, or hummed. Sometimes she sang in her creaky, breaky voice. But mostly she whistled. img_8089-3-copy

I wanted to be like my grandma. One of my earliest memories is of walking behind her, imitating the way she walked. She had an almost limping gait that I, in my childish innocence, admired. I wanted a “kapp” (amish woman’s head covering) like hers. I think she made me one to play with at one point! I wanted to whistle like her, talk like her. Heck, I even wanted false teeth like her.

And I wanted to be with her all the time. Every chance I’d get, I would slip away to be with her. I must have pestered the poor woman to death at times, especially since there were 9 other siblings (yes 9) of mine that I think liked to do the same thing. Yet I remember very seldom being shooed off. If I was sent away, it was usually because she knew I was supposed to be doing something else.

She passed away over three years ago. I still miss her. I miss her laugh. I miss hugging her neck. I miss sitting on the porch swing beside her in the evening and watch the fireflies wink. I miss her loving on my babies.

It’s beginning to dawn on me now after all these years, I have indeed become a lot like my grandma. I have inherited her sense of humor, her love of people, her knack for having some of the funniest dreams at night, her tenacity and stubbornness, her incredibly soft heart, and most of all her love of creating wonderful dishes and loving on those around her with food.

And in that, I will always have her with me.

My Pumpkin Roll Obsession

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So I have a rather shocking confession to make. I almost don’t dare say it out loud because I fear the backlash it would bring. So maybe I’ll just whisper it here very softly: “I don’t like Fall.” There. It’s out. I’ve finally said it. And I can hear the shocked gasps and horrified looks. But hold on guys, before you unfriend or unfollow me, let me explain. 😉

Perhaps it would be more correct to say that I have a love/hate relationship with Fall. I really seriously love a lot of things about Fall. I love baking yummy pumpkin things, apple things, cider… Apple picking, colors of Fall, crisper air, the lifting of the central Missouri humidity, crunchy leaves underfoot, the smell of wood smoke… the list goes on.

But I always have a bit of dread and sadness in the midst of it. Sadness that the beloved summer warmth and green is coming to an end. I love the heat of summer! Call me crazy, but I do. Now the oppressive humidity, I could do without at times. But I would be happy with warm sunshine all year round. (Yes, I left my heart in Florida 7 years ago.) And dread that I’ll soon be having to deal with cold and snow and all that yucky stuff.

Anyway! I digress! Like I said, I love baking pumpkin things. A few weeks ago, the idea came to me to make pumpkin roll. But not just any old pumpkin roll. Pumpkin roll with SALTED CARAMEL CREAM CHEESE FILLING. And that wasn’t a Pinterest idea either. It just came to me one day while I was craving anything pumpkin. So of course, there was no rest in my brain until I got to try it.

And try it I did! Three times in one weeks time to be exact, thankfully it all went out the door for social gatherings or I would be in a coma right now. You guys! It was so good I wanted to hide myself in a closet and eat it all by myself. With coffee of course. Don’t forget the coffee.

I’ve had quite a few requests for the recipe, so without further ramblings, here it is:

 

Pumpkin Roll With Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Filling

Cake:

3 eggs (separated)

  • 1 cup white sugar, divided in half
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt

 

Filling:

  • 4 oz. softened cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1/2-3/4 cup chilled caramel sauce* See note.
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp salt ( depending on how salty you want it. I do 1/4 tsp)
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar.

Cake directions: Preheat oven to 375. Prepare a 15×10 inch cake pan. Grease the pan and line it with parchment or wax paper. Grease the top of the paper.

In a small bowl sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and spices. Set aside.

In a large bowl beat the egg yolks until thick. Add in 1/2 cup sugar and the pumpkin. Set aside.

In a smaller bowl, beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. See the picture below. Slowly add in the sugar and beat until the sugar is dissolved. Fold the egg whites into pumpkin puree.

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Gently fold the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture and stir until it is well integrated. Pour it onto the prepared pan and bake for 12-15 minutes or until the cake springs back when touched. Let it cool for five minutes.

Sprinkle powdered sugar on to a kitchen towel and turn the cake over onto the towel. Gently peel the paper from the cake and roll it up in the towel. Cool it completely.

Filling directions: Using a mixer on medium high speed, mix the butter, cream cheese, and caramel sauce until creamy. Add in the salt and powdered sugar.

Unroll the cooled cake from the towel and spread however much of this mixture you want onto the cake. On my last go around, I used about 3/4 of the amount. When I used all the filling, I thought it almost overpowered the cake.

Roll the cake up again. (Without the towel) Place it on a plate and chill it for at least an hour before serving. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and drizzle with caramel sauce for garnish if you like.

*A note about the caramel sauce: I prefer to use homemade sauce and after trying several different recipes, I have settled on this one as my go-to recipe. It’s fairly easy and it has very well explained directions. The only thing I do different is I use only one TEASPOON instead of TABLESPOON vanilla. In my opinion you ruin the caramel taste with that much vanilla. http://www.averiecooks.com/2014/06/the-best-and-easiest-homemade-salted-caramel-sauce.html

If you don’t want to bother with making the caramel sauce, you can buy it and save yourself time. I have used Schmuckers salted caramel with success. It works when you are in a hurry. I recommend making the sauce at least a half day ahead of time. I chill my sauce in order for me to keep from having to add tons of powdered sugar to get the consistency right.

Best of luck and ENJOY. (But I don’t recommend hiding yourself in the closet and eating all of it by yourself. I am not responsible for what happens if you do.)  😉

Much pumpkiny love,  Ann L