By Rebecca Meyer

The day arrived and the weather was perfect at the park. After all, it was October, which meant rolling in the leaves, pumpkin picking time and of course, time to make favorite desserts with both pumpkin and chocolate. Nestled high on top of the mountain was our favorite park, which was the best place to see all of the spectacular colors of fall in Tennessee. The surrounding valley and river below seemed to twist and turn around every corner that could be seen. With a clear blue sky, we could see for miles on that perfect weekend day. 

Suddenly, Grandpa whistled and announced that Grandma was ready to roll in the leaves and anyone who wanted to play with Grandma had to give a shout out. Of course, there was shouting, hooting and hollering and everyone ran to Grandma, who was standing at the top of the hill ready for fun. After all, she was an expert at rolling in the pile of fall leaves and had been doing it for at least 10 years. She taught the grandkids how to do it when they were little and had to always do it herself. One by one, each of the kids rolled down the hill with their hands folded on their chest as they landed in the pile of leaves. 

At last, it was Grandma’s turn and the family cheered her on with whistling, clapping and shouting for her to go. She made it look so easy as she slowly rolled down the hill covering herself in the colorful leaves. As she stood up, she brushed herself off and always managed to have some leaves stuck in her hair. As soon as everyone was finished, she opened up containers of pumpkin muffins, cookies and drinks and said it was time for a treat. 

It was a fun and memorable time and we enjoyed each October in the park with the family. The most popular treat seemed to be the chocolate chip pumpkin muffins covered with cream cheese icing. They were the first treats to be snatched up and of course disappeared quickly. This fall, give your family a treat and be sure to try out these delicious muffins. ◆ 

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins 

1/4 cup vegetable oil 

2 eggs 

¾ cup canned pumpkin 

¾ cup white sugar 

1/4 cup water 

11/2 cups all-purpose flour 

¾ teaspoon baking powder 

1/2 teaspoon baking soda 

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves 

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg 

1/4 teaspoon salt 

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease the muffin pan or use paper liners. 

Mix oil, eggs, pumpkin, sugar and water. 

Use a large bowl and mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. 

Stir in wet mixture and add chocolate chips. 

Fill muffin pan 2/3 full with batter. 

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.