Happy Halloween! Confession: I had to hustle to come up with a blog post for you today. I had written a horror story, for your reading pleasure, except exciting news got in the way of my plans. Intrigued? I will share everything with you in my email newsletter, coming out on Sunday. If you want to hear all the wonderful publishing-type things coming down the pipelines for this soon-to-be author, be sure to sign up right away!
So now, unfortunately, I don’t have a scary fictional story for you. But if you ARE looking for very scary stories that actually happened to people, check out Jezebel’s Scary Story Contest. Every one of these stories is real. Every year I read these at night, then regret it. But then I go back for more because I forget they scare the bejeezus out of me! I’ll share my one and only ghostly occurrence (Beware: it’s really lame. I don’t blame you if you skip ahead for cake!)
The Missing Earring
I’ve never had a terrifying encounter with the paranormal, but I did have one weird unexplained thing happen. It was when I was living in Geneva. I always felt as though there was another presence in our house while we were there: older, female, friendly, and loved children. Doors would often slam when I was getting frustrated with my kids, and I would take it as a sign I needed to chill the eff out. Nothing bad ever happened while we were there. But one day, I was putting on an earring in my bedroom and it slipped from my fingers, landing on the hardwood with one sharp ting, then nothing, as if it had fallen onto something soft. I looked for that earring for hours, but couldn’t find it. I was still holding the backing of the earring, which was distinctive, a large clear circle. I put the backing into my jewelry box, figuring the earring would show up eventually.
Months go by. Every once in a while I would search the floor for the earring, also all my drawers. Sometimes I’d do a full clean, taking out absolutely everything, but still nothing. I would go through my jewelry box as well, always noting the backing was still there.
Then, one day, I opened the top drawer of my dresser, and there, in a cleared out spot, was the earring. Just sitting there all innocent, as though waiting for me. And I had searched this drawer multiple times. And here’s the kicker: the backing was attached!
You might be thinking it was just my husband who did this, but I asked him and he said he had no idea what I was talking about. I believe him, because I never told him about the missing earring in the first place. And I’m pretty sure he’s not messing with me. Not that he couldn’t pull it off, it’s just not his thing. So, there you go. A ghost borrowed my earring for a while, but gave it back when she was done with it. I consider them lucky now!
That was my (lame) ghost story. Do you have any unexplained phenomena in your history? Maybe scarier than mine? I want to hear, write in the comments. Everybody loves a real-life ghost story!
Pumpkin Crumb Coffee Cake
I’ve been working my brand of magic in the kitchen and have found the perfect way to bring even more pumpkin spice to your life. This coffee cake is light and melt-in-your-mouth, the spices mingling with the sugars to create the perfect mid-afternoon treat. Serve with a cup of tea (my preference is chai) or, obviously, a pumpkin spice latte.
I usually roast my own pumpkins. If you prefer to use the tinned pumpkin puree, I am not judging you. If it gets you closer to tasting this piece of autumnal heaven, then I say more power to you. But roasting pumpkins isn’t very difficult, and I find it (maybe bizarrely) a rather sensual experience. As in, you’re using all your senses. Warm puree, with that nutty roasted scent and the vivid orange colour, makes me a little bit euphoric. Now you know all my secrets: I’m really into pumpkins. If you too want to know the joys of roasting a pumpkin, here is the recipe I follow: Minimalist Baker.
Once you’ve got all that gorgeous puree at hand, delicious coffee cake is only moments away! Honest to goodness this is the best coffee cake I’ve ever made. Probably because of the crumb topping, because a crumb topping can only elevate. I found the recipe at Sally’s Baking Addiction. Now, if you are ever in need of a dessert recipe, you need to look here first. Her food blog is amazing, and I always get the best results with her recipes.
She also does some fun challenges, including a monthly baking challenge. Anyone want to do this with me for November? I think I’ll give it a whirl, so let me know in the comments if you want to join me in this!
And I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you that next week is her annual pie week. Pie isn’t my thing so I won’t be taking part, but if you’re into that, check it out.
Now for the actual Pumpkin Crumb Coffee Cake recipe. I followed this religiously, as I normally do with Sally’s recipes. It turned out awesome.
Be safe and have fun while Trick or Treating! And be sure to sign up for the email if you want to discover my exciting publishing news! Happy Halloween.