September 22, 2017

Welcome Fall

By: Mary Pellegrini

Welcome Fall

Bring in the pumpkins, apples, pears, and plums.  Fall is here!  

One of the many things we love about living here in the Hood River Valley is that we have 4 distinct seasons.  About the time we've grown weary of one another glorious one begins.  We've had a lovely warm summer.  Lovely until the end when our wildfire smoke about choked us out and kept us from hiking the many trails in the Columbia River Gorge.  The rains have come, the fires are all but smouldering, and the air is crisp and clean.  The Gorge will heal, the trails will reopen.  In the meantime we'll focus on the abundant harvest in the Hood River Valley and wait for the color show as the acres of fruit trees turn along with a variety of deciduous trees in the Mt Hood National Forest

Pumpkin Cake 


3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup pumpkin puree


1 (8 ounce) brick cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 375° F.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and salt in a large mixing bowl until combined.  In a separate bowl, whisk eggs and granulated sugar for 1 minute until thick. Add in the vanilla and pumpkin, and whisk until just combined. Fold in the flour mixture with a rubber spatula, and stir together until just combined.

Line a 15 x 10-inch jelly roll pan with parchment paper, leaving an extra 1-inch of parchment sticking up on both 15-inch sides of the pan so that you can easily lift the cake out after baking.  Spread the batter evenly into prepared pan. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, or until top of cake springs back when touched. Carefully lift the parchment paper and cake out onto a flat, and heat safe, surface. Then slowly, use your hands to roll the cake with the parchment paper, rolling from the short end to the short end, until it is completely rolled up. Transfer the cake roll to a wire rack, and cool to room temperature.

While the cake is cooling, make the cream cheese filling: Whisk together cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl until smooth. You want a medium consistency so that the filling is easy to spread, but not too warm or thin that it will ooze out of the cake when you’re rolling it up. If the filling is too thin, add more powdered sugar. If it is too thick, add a half teaspoon or two of water.

Once the cake has reached room temperature, transfer the cake roll to a flat surface, and carefully unroll until it is flat again.  Spread the cream cheese mixture evenly over cake, leaving a 3/4-inch border on all sides. Then carefully re-roll the cake, gently peeling away the parchment paper as you go. Tightly wrap the pumpkin roll in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour.

Remove and unwrap the pumpkin roll and transfer it to your serving dish. Lightly dust the pumpkin roll on all sides with powdered sugar. Then slice and serve.

Reserve your stay now

Let the Old Parkdale Inn be your home base when exploring the Hood River Valley, Columbia River Gorge or the Mt Hood National Forest. Whether your idea of a good vacation is fresh tracks on Mt Hood or relaxing in our gardens with a good book and your favorite beverage, there's something near by for everyone.

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