10.28.2005

I started smoking when I was 15 and working at Sonic with a bunch of older kids that I thought were cool. I quit last January, so this is my first Fall without. You know how changes in weather make you remember previous years? I remember last year - sitting out on my porch in the nice, crisp weather, smoking cigarettes and talking to B. I also remember sitting outside of my work with friends and hot tea and having a nice break. So even though I am past the physical addiction to nicotine, the mental addiction is still there, and I REALLY want a cigarette. B quit at the same time, and I wonder if he is feeling the same thing, because he got a package in the mail yesterday - apparently he went on the internet and bulk-ordered about 20 packs of Altoid mints and candies.

Quitting smoking requires massive amounts of things to put in your mouth. So in honor of having not smoked for 300 days (not that I'm counting), here is a recipe for Spicy Sweet Pumpkin Seeds.

Ingredients:
1 medium pumpkin
4 tablespoons sugar, divided
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
Heat oven to 250 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the pumpkin open and remove the seeds with a long-handled metal spoon. Wash the pumpkin seeds to remove all the pulp, and shake in a sieve to remove excess moisture. Spread the seeds on the prepared baking sheet in an even layer. Bake until dry, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour. Let cool.

In a medium bowl, combine 2 tablespoons sugar, cumin, cinnamon, ginger and cayenne. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add the pumpkin seeds and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Cook until sugar melts and pumpkin seeds begin to caramelize, about 45 to 60 seconds. Transfer to bowl with spices, and stir well to coat. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper. Set aside to cool. Makes about 1 cup.

2 comments:

TRANQUILLITY BASE said...

I CELEBRATE YOUR NON SMOKING...I HOPE YOUR FRIEND THROWS THAT PACK AWAY!!! YOUR RECIPE SOUNDS GREAT!!...Lj

Jill said...

I also celebrate your non-smoking and thank you for the recipe.

One on the things that I tell myself is that the craving for a cigarrette will go away whether I have one or not.