God Damn It: Pumpkin Butter

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


So today - this day that I am writing this and not the day this post is going up - is one of those days. One of those days where a string of unfortunate events all seem to connect and painfully pull each other along like a anal beads out of a virgin butthole. Let us go over the last few hours:

1. Decide to make pumpkin butter.

2. Hack open pumpkin and begin processing it. Somehow completely forget that I am totally allergic to raw pumpkin flesh. Hands, understandably, begin to swell and burn. The skin on my palms begins to peel away as if I have been scourged with leprosy.

3. Wash hands thoroughly with plenty of soap and vinegar - which stings like a bitch when you don't have a lot of goddamn skin - to get the proteins and amino acids that are doing this to me off.

4. Now wearing latex gloves, I rub the pumpkin flesh with olive oil. Pumpkin roasts in the oven. Mini-migraine now sets in. Rest for a while.

5. Dog finds errants pumpkin seed. The dog, apparently, is not keen on pumpkins either and promptly throws it up along with the rest of his stomach contents onto the bathroom rug.

6. The bathroom rug was washed last night.

7. Throw rug in washer. Frickin'. Hell.

8. Juice from pumpkin sizzles off the baking sheet and smokes on the bottom of the oven.

9. Smoke alarm goes off.

10. Panic due to alarm and smell of smoke. Ever since my old apartment burned down I find myself petrified by the black acrid clouds of smoke. Crippling panic sets in as I run around the house screaming at everything.

11. My husband, Brian, takes care of smoke alarm. I take care of pumpkins. All is now well.

12. I realize that I have forgotten to get apple cider for the pumpkin butter.

13. Mother. Fucker.

14. Back from the store I make the pumpkin butter mash in the food processor. Pop it in a pot to cook.

15. The mash is thick and when it bubbles it send searing hot pumpkin lava spewing across the kitchen. A small eruption catches the underside of my wrist.

16. I swear a lot and loudly. I place my wrist under some water and then go back to work after the pain subsides.

17. Another eruption. Why wouldn't it explode all over my new white hoodie from J. Crew?

18. Brian takes over as I put on an apron. Afterwards, I take back the stirring duties.

-Brian puts up with my mood like a saint.-

19. Eruption three. My other hand. This one I feel the molten sugar and pumpkin mash burrow deep into my flesh and eat away at my favorite layers of skin and the nerves that scream underneath.

20. Fuck this shit.

21. My first reaction is to kick the cupboard door. Why not, right?

22. Mid-kick I panic, "Oh shit, what if I break it?"

23. I have learned the cupboard is made of incredibly sturdier stuff than my foot.

24. Fuck balls, I have seriously hurt my foot.

25. Brian finishes the stirring. I go to bed to ice my now rapidly swelling foot and take some Ibuprofen for it. My headache is much worse and feels like I hit the cupboard with it instead. Awesome.

26. Brian informs me there are no lids for the jars now filled with pumpkin butter.

27. *incoherent rage*

28. Pumpkin butter tastes amazing. Sweet and musky with a round and full flavor from the maple syrup and honey. Spices sing eloquently in a lilting little ginger-cinnamon sonata. I am pleased.

29. I am seriously all messed up with burns, a headache, and a foot wrapped up with ice. It has swelled so much that it looks like a giant yam.

30. Crawl in bed with my Kindle. Block outside world out.

31. Cat has thrown up in the bed and I sit right in it.

32. Sigh and resign myself to my lot. Change clothes and bedding. Eat pumpkin butter with spoon.

33. One day before this post goes up I learn that the photos never processed properly from the pumpkin butter. In fact, they completely imploded on themselves like dying stars. Grargh. It looks orange and smooth, you know, like pumpkin butter. I also spent about three days in a splint as the shock from kicking the cabinet bruised all the tendons on the underside of my foot. So there's that, too.

Happy Thanksgiving, all. Hope you survive it.

Pumpkin Butter
Makes 4 cups worth

4 cups pureed pumpkin flesh
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
a good blob of honey
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup apple cider
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Place all the ingredients in a large pot over medium heat. Cook continuously for 10 minutes (stopping causes the bubbling, which can lead to pumpkin lava eruptions and blinding pain). Place into sterile jars. Store in the fridge and eat within 3 weeks.


  1. Poor Garrett! I have never commented before, but you have my sympathies ;) I've had days like that myself, and it's not fun especially right before Thanksgiving. Enjoy your first one as a married dude!

    1. Well, Gloria, thank you for commenting! And yes, I plan to with both sets of parents coming to the table this year. =X

  2. This read like an old episode of The Three Stooges, only there was only one of you. Hope your foot and head are feeling better. I haven't had one of those days in a while, but when I have them, they are a DOOZY. Just so you feel better, I was once shaving my legs with one leg up on the outside of the tub. I slipped, and flew in to the pedestal sink, broke my nose, chipped a tooth, and split my lip so bad I needed 16 stitches. And I wasn't even doing something delicious like making pumpkin butter.

    1. My whole life reads like an episode of the three stooges. Though I never needed 16 stiches so yours reads like a saw movie. O.o Ouch.

  3. Well... Now I HAVE to make this, if for no other reason to tempt Fate, and to make your ultimate sacrifice so worth it!

  4. I loved this because, well, schadenfreude.

  5. Wow! I would never make it again if I were you! You must really love pumpkin butter! :)

    1. Well, it is delicious. I encourage you try it despite my pains.

  6. Garrett, this pumpkin butter must be good, because of all the pain your endure to make it. Happy Thanks giving to you and family.

  7. This was hilarious - because it wasn't me. You poor thing. Feel better. Brian, thanks for keeping him in one piece - as much as possible!

  8. I don't know whether to laugh or cry! I'm a great one for self-injury/allergies (just ask the fiance), but this takes the cake. Next time might I recommend donning the apron and some sturdy rubber dish gloves (maybe even goggles) before doing battle with the pumpkin(butter)? And if you forget again, dish soap strips the fats/amino acids quite well without the burn of vinegar (yes, I have this problem every time I pick strawberries or green beans). Hope the rest of your holidays turn out smoothly!!

  9. Oh Wow!This episode with you had me alternatively at the point of tears in sympathy with your plight and rolling on the floor laughing over the unfortunately series of events(Yes, I am going all Lemony Snicket here).This tempts me to try to make pumpkin butter- and I don't even like pumpkin. Anyway hope you feel better and I hope you didn't break your foot when you kicked the cabinet. Happy Holidays to you and Brian.

  10. I can apple butter every fall, and I don't call it officially fall until I burn myself at least once with that culinary napalm. I do have leftover pumpkin puree from the pie going into the oven right now, so I think I found my use for it.

    1. Hmm... never made apple butter.

    2. Do you have a PO box? If so, a can of it could come your way...

  11. I've had plenty of days like this myself - not that my condolences make it suck any less. At least the pumpkin butter was winning?

    Also, I just discovered your blog on a recommendation from a friend, and I'm loving it. I look forward to reading more from you. :)

  12. This is not a fair day at all! It does seem like when something bad is going to happen, everything ELSE goes wrong too, in solidarity.

    I do hope your foot is better, and your hands are regenerating the lost skin from the MULTIPLE assaults they had to deal with.

    1. Yes. And then shortly after I healed a liter of Pepsi dropped onto my head. =P

  13. This is quite possibly my most favorite blog post of all blog posts ever!#13 is the best...it's what I resort to when swearing must happen.


  14. Garrett, I feel your pain, and admire your dedication to it's documentation. When I have days like this, I think about trying to write things down, but after event 4 I usually blur the details.
    When I used to make apple butter, I would bake it in the oven in a Dutch oven. The smell is heavenly, and you just have to stir it every now and then. No evil burning blops on your skin. Happy Thanksgiving!

  15. Best. Post. Ever.
    (Though I really am sorry you're in pain)
    Omg, hilarious!

  16. oh NO. This, while awful, was terribly funny to read. I personally ended up with Thanksgiving food poisoning, so I feel some of your pain.

  17. Awesome blog post and yes my experience is that animals throw up on the just washed items as well. How do they know!

    Though my first and last thoughts were "what is pumpkin butter?". Never heard of it here in Australia.

  18. You MUST read "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day"...you will love it!

  19. Just found your blog, this was the first read. Must be divine intervention. I had two epic fails this season but at least they were physically pain free.


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