Being ‘paleo’ (whatever that term means anymore) in today’s world of fast food and grain subsidies is not easy.  But, as the idea goes, ‘scarcity is the mother of invention’.  And when you are desperate for something you’ll find a way to get it.

There isn’t much I miss by way of food anymore.  I think it’s safe to say I’m clean over sugar, as well as grains by now.  But there is one thing that’s irreplaceable in my food book.  And that’s plain old toast with butter.  That, with a cup of strong, black coffee in the morning was my lifeline in college.  My crunchy, caffeinated explosion to ignite my day.

Summer brings the humid heat,
Fall brings loads of squash to eat.

For the last two years squash has served as our staple carb substitute.  Something to help fill out those meat and veggie dinners, and stretch those food dollars.  But, as with any other food, too much of it becomes repulsive after a time.  As much as I love those sweet as pie Long Island Cheese Pumpkins, my body eventually screams, ‘No more!’

I’ve been finding that these leftover mashes of squash and butter sit in the refrigerator untouched.  They are unsure of their place in life.  Doubtful of their eternal destiny.

Recently, though, through what I deem nothing short of divine inspiration, a recipe for squash cakes materialized in my mind’s eye one morning upon opening the fridge and seeing these sad leftovers.

*      *      *

Pumpcake Recipe


  • 4 C pumpkin
  • 1 C butter
  • vanilla
  • maca powder (optional, but very expensive these days, for added sweetness)
  • dash of salt


  •  2 C tapioca flour
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 tsp baking soda

Add more butter/fat to pan and fry those cakes up.

*      *      * 

Okay, so maybe it wasn’t divine inspiration, and maybe these cakes are ‘nothing new under the sun,’ but they are my new bread.  My carrier for butter and salt.  The missing half of my morning brew.  The marriage is restored.  The love is born again.

And I’m not the only one in love.  I can’t fry these things up fast enough for our brood.  Talia double-fists them, cheeks popping, apron on to catch the dripping butter, and cinnamon smeared, goatee style, around her lips.

This recipe is forgiving of a little smudging, and highly adaptable to all manner of use.  Whether as a carrier for butter, maple syrup, and cinnamon, or if you just want to wrap up some savory leftovers, crêpe style.

These cakes literally melt in your mouth.

They reheat better than cold toes by the fire, and you can crisp up the leftovers to get that old toast feeling back in your mouth.  Pair with strong coffee and your morning is made.  Your day is set.  These cakes will take you back to Saturday mornings with dad at the frying pan, without all the physical pain induced by Bisquick(R), or the insulin spikes of Aunt Jemima(R).


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