Friday 19 February 2010

Back in December, I popped some hyacinth bulbs into a bowl of compost and then shoved them away in a dark cupboard, promptly forgetting about them. Occasionally I would give them a little water, but . . . for the most part they have lain there forgotten and almost totally neglected.

Imagine my surprise when I finally remembered them, and went to have a look in early January . . . the impossible had happened. There they lay . . . the compost in the china bowl, pierced by several green tips.

I am always a bit sceptical when planting indoor bulbs. I have tried growing avocado pits into trees . . . lemon and orange pips into trees . . . and I must have the blackest thumb in the world, because nothing ever happens. Bulbs look like such dark, dry, unpromising things that it is hard to imagine them bursting out into a blaze of colour . . .

But they do, and they did . . . what a surprise! A holy mystery, inspiring me to take the bowl and plant it on our kitchen window sill.

Miracles my friends . . . inspire reverence, and this . . . was a miracle.

"Whither shall I go from Thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from Thy presence? If I ascent up into heaven, Thou are there; if I make my bed in hell, behold, Thou are there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall Thy hand lead me, and Thy right hand shall hold me.
~Psalm 139:7-10

Thou art even in highly neglected muddy bowls of seemingly dried up hyacinth bulbs . . .

I found a cake mix in my cupboard with a date set to shortly expire the other day . . . and I just happened to run across this really delicious looking recipe in The Gathering of Friends cookbook, volume one. These are great cookbooks, created by a couple of ladies in Utah, just chocker block full of delicious and tempting recipes and party ideas. Anyways, this pumpkin dessert caught my eye and it happened to use a cake mix so I went with it.

What a delicious decision I made! It's quite similar to a recipe I posted late last year, but slightly different at the same time. This has a lovely pumpkin custard on the bottom, and a moreishly crunchy layer at the top. It is some good!

*Pumpkin Surprise*
Serves 6 to 8
Printable Recipe

Delicious sweet pumpkin custard baked beneath a sweet crunchy topping. Serve warm or cold, cut into squared and topped with some spiced whipped cream topping.

2 cups canned pumpkin
1/2 tsp salt
1 can sweetened, condensed milk
1 cup white sugar
3 large eggs, beaten
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 white or yellow two layer cake mix
3/4 cup of cold butter
Spiced Whipped Cream:
1 pint whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg (to sprinkle on top)

Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F. Butter a 9 by 13 inch baking dish. Set aside.

Whisk together the pumpkin, salt, milk, sugar, eggs and pumpkin pie spice. Make sure it is well combined. Pour this mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the dry cake mix evenly over top. Slice the cold butter and lay this evenly over top of the dry cake mix.

Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a time before serving. It should be served warm or cold.

Whip the cream for the topping until stiff. Fold in the sugar and vanilla.

Cut the dessert into squares to serve. Top each serving with some of the whipped cream and garnish with a bit of freshly grated nutmeg.

It's Cheesy Rigatoni Bake over on The English Kitchen today!


  1. Everything is delicious here today...the flowers that can knock you over with such a sweet smell and the YUMMY recipes..thanks! Come say hi ;D

  2. Yum, Marie! This looks alot like the pumpkin dessert I made up a few years ago--delicious! I'll have to try yours, too!

    And your flowers...oh how beautiful! I don't have that much luck with indoor plants, either--but it looks like your luck is changing, my friend!

    Lots of almost springtime love sent your way today!

  3. The hyacinths are beautiful Marie and there perfume is wonderful.Well done growing your own(clap-clap).Another talent to your list he-he.Enjoy them on your windowsill.I adore them but I wish they would last longer in bloom.I ma not a lover of pumkin but I know your many friends will enjoy this recipe.Have a lovely day.Take Care God Bless Kath xx

  4. Those flowers are beautiful. I'm pretty sure there's a parenting lesson hiding in your experience. Probably about benign neglect. :)

  5. How lovely to have flowers blooming! Even though they are indoors they do smell so good. Hyacinths are one of my favorits and have some come up outside every Spring. Have a wonderful Friday!

  6. Oh I love hyacinths - I have just bought a cute little wrought iron basket full of hyacinths with 'welcome' written across the top for outside my front door -Happy weekend Marie x

  7. BEAUTIFUL hyacinths, Marie! Don't you just love surprises...The do add sweetness to life. :o) This pumpkin treat looks wonderful...mmm... I just love anything with pumpkin! A treat would go well just now... We had a HUGE dump of snow last night, and it's to snow off & on the next days... So we'll be semi-hibernating this weekend--LOL! Hope you, Todd & Jess have a lovely one. LOVE YOU HEAPS, dear friend :o) ((BIG HUGS))

  8. I could almost smell those hyacinths! Isn't it always the same though? - we do something half-heartedly which turns out fine. We don't have enough fsith in ourselves sometimes.

  9. Oh WOW!!! This look so DELICIOUS!!! Thanks for the recipe and great photos...and thanks so much for stopping by!

  10. That pumpkin custard looks amazing!

  11. Hello dear Marie,
    I am so happy that I have a little time today to get back into blog land. I have been so busy since Sunday that I have not had a single minute to visit. I have really missed dropping in on your blog this today I treated myself to read all your posts since Monday. I am glad that your hyacinth bulbs have bloomed so beautifully. What a joy. I just love having pretty blooms around me. I planted a bunch of pansies in the patios this week. Looking at them makes me smile.

    I am glad that you liked Avatar. I did not get impressed when I saw the ad on TV about the movie...but with your good recommendation I hope I can see it sometime. I also still want to see Blind Side with Sandra Bullock.

    I just got a call from Dathan telling us that Lynell has been really sick with very bad abdominal pain and throwing up since the middle of the night. They don't have insurance but I hope Dathan will take her to urgent care soon. Please say a prayer for her.

    I think that I will get busy here in case we need to hop in the car and drive to Utah. Must, Lura

  12. sweet and inspiring today. I adore hyacinths and you've given me one more reason to love them ~ they will forevermore remind me of you.

    Gerushia's New World

  13. Your hyacinths are so beautiful and remind me of the poem "Hyacinths for the soul"
    When I look at your blog and read your recipes, I get hungry. Can't wait to try the pumpkin dessert!

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  15. Wow, Marie that black thumb is gone! Beautiful! I have a friend that one day went around to several of her friends homes and planted bulbs, we were all unaware until one day in February they started to bloom...tulips, and daffodils coming up all over the place. My friend has since moved to Canada (Fort Mac Murray)but every year she comes back to us in the spring. One of the nicest gift I have ever gotten from anyone! Your cake looks amazing. How do you do it Marie and still lose weight? You are amazing!


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