It's a hazy afternoon. A little chilly out, the ground moist from the morning shower. October has arrived. And it means I start missing the crackling sound of the fireplace back in British Columbia. Ah, the smell of the cedars that got the fire going. Just around this time of year, we would go out to a farm town to make bottles of apple cider full of car trunk, and on the way home, pick up some pumpkins to curve the end of the month. The apple cider would then make a perfect drink on a very cold day in winter, heated with a cinnamon stick or two. Served hot. Your icy hands turning warm from holding the mug.
Japan is not quite endowed with fireplace, apple cider or pumpkin, but I will not let the fact discontinue my proudly playing my part as a Canadian at heart. S requested that I go with muffins the next time I decide to sift and mix, so I immediately had my pumpkin muffins in mind. They are my autumn limited specials in which a non-pumpkin fan friend of mine actually fell in love with. Simply a divinity.
I was so looking forward to make the magic happen... until it failed. At a very early stage of the process, too.
They don't have pumpkin cans at a major supermarket in Japan...
#('&*@')''$%'&!!! What the flipping hell? Are they crazy?? Wait, wait, wait, let me pull myself together .... (inhale)...ARE THEY FUCKING CRAZY?!??
I thought I was getting somewhat used to the shortage and the sometimes complete lack of my beloved items food-wise (cilantro, turkey, crunchy peanut butter, pastrami, corn bread, sour cream, rice crispy, just to name a few.) But now with no pumpkin cans available in my nearest supermarket, I am seriously considering writing a book titled Tsukiji My Ass -Seriously Behind is Japanese Dining of Today. I shall nicely put it right between my two other books: Unicorns, Goblins and Gentlemen -Mythical Creatures in the Land of Samurai and They Have No Problem Hitting Their Children in Public But They Give Fragile Handshakes. Let me elaborate on the the books sometime when I have the chance. You can pretty much take them literally, though, I assure you.
No pumpkin cans means no magical pumpkin muffins a la sak. But since I was at the supermarket already, and since I still wanted to bake on my day off the next day, I decided to go with blueberries.
To be continued,
p.s. Just to give Japan some credit, I did some research after the saddening experience and turns out, pumpkin cans are available, but they are a rarity at a local supermarket. Never thought to see the day when I have to place an order for pumpkin cans on line would come.