Sunday, February 19, 2017
Monday, February 13, 2017
|Replacing broken glass in the window panes to make this a little greenhouse|
|Bamboo bin to put food scraps in for worm compost|
|Some of the worms at work composting food scraps|
|Bin made of bamboo to contain leaves while they rot down for part of our future potting mix|
|Some of the fruit and nut tree scion wood ready for grafting onto our trees and other people's|
Hattie has been reading through Little House in the Big Woods this winter and in the first chapter young Laura Ingalls describes her log cabin home: “The little house was fairly bursting with good food stored away for the long winter. The pantry and the shed and the cellar were full, and so was the attic.” She goes on to talk about playing in the attic: “The large, round, colored pumpkins made beautiful chairs and tables.” Nearly 150 years later, we've got a pile of pumpkins in our attic, too (though we haven't been letting the kids play on them!). These are the heirloom pie pumpkins we've been growing and enjoying the last 3 years. They've been keeping well and are tasting as sweet as ever. Here are some ways we've been enjoying them lately.
|Roasted pumpkins ready for the pulp to be scooped out. The juice in the jar is pumpkin juice which is a delicious treat.|
Roasted pumpkin cubes - I was planning to roast some peeled butternut slices for dinner the other day when I remembered there was part of a pumpkin left over in the fridge. So I peeled and cut this into one inch cubes and added this to the tray with the butternut. I tossed everything with melted butter and salt and baked at 400 degrees until everything was well cooked. The butternut squash was really good, but at the end of the meal, it was the pumpkin cubes that were all gone!
|Roasted butternut on the left, roasted pumpkin on the right|
Pumpkin butter – Simply, pumpkin butter is sweetened spiced pumpkin pulp that has been thickened. It is delicious as a spread on toasted bread or pancakes, mixed into yogurt, or put on top of a bowl of oatmeal. We roast a pumpkin in the oven until tender then we scoop the pulp into a colander to drain overnight. (Don't forget to drink the juice, it's a real treat!) The next day we put the pulp in a pot and use a stick (immersion) blender to turn it smooth. Then we add honey and pumpkin spices to taste and then carefully cook the pulp until it is thicker. It stores about a week in the fridge or freezes pretty well.
|Sauteed grated pumpkin|
Sauteed grated pumpkin - This worked out quite well as a quick side dish. Grate raw pumpkin then saute in a frying pan with a generous amount of butter until soft.
Pumpkin pie – makes 2 pies
3 cups pumpkin pulp
9 oz (¾ cup) honey
2 ¾ cups whole milk
½ cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp. Cinnamon
¼ tsp. Allspice
1/8 tsp. Nutmeg
¾ tsp. salt
Use immersion blender to mix all the ingredients until smooth. Pour into unbaked crust. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until done.
Pumpkin muffins – makes about 24 muffins
3 cup whole wheat flour
6 oz (½ cup) honey
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
1 cup milk
1 cup mashed pumpkin
½ cup butter, softened
2 eggs, beaten
Put all ingredients in bowl and mix just enough to blend. Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 min.