or, "You're a full time homemaker? What do you do all day long?"

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Pumpkin Pleasures

     It should be noted at the outset of this post that I have a great affection for pumpkins. There are several reasons for this abundance of adoration for the festive orange squash, but suffice it to say that it accompanies sweet memories.
My sugar babies

Do you notice my "field pumpkin" off to the
upper left corner?
     This season I successfully grew my first crop of Halloween pumpkins. I was exhilarated to get a dozen beautiful, shapely, lovely-hued orange pumpkins in the rear of my yard. Two vines grew out of my fence and into the field. So persistent! I love it! One pumpkin, in particular, was a special project of mine. A man came to our church about  8 months ago whose sister is a friend of mine. He's a new believer and his testimony of how he came to accept Jesus Christ as his savior involves a pumpkin he stole a year ago. This pumpkin, and all that occurred when his lie was discovered, captured my attention. It was my intention to grow one just for him with his name carved on it. A keloid formed over his name that was carved on it in the early stages of his pumpkin's development. (My kids kept asking me, "Who's Antonio?")The symbolism is that even in his sin, God had his name written in the Lamb's Book of Life, just like his name is carved on the pumpkin. Additionally, our names are carved in Jesus' palms. From our sin, God can cause new life to grow from the very things that caused us to stumble. I gave it to him a couple of weeks back and he seemed very touched by the symbolism.He's really a sweetheart. I believe this gift was from God's heart. God uses everything to affirm his love and delight in us!
       Furthermore, I grew enough pumpkins that the neighbor kids that play at our house picked their own pumpkin. It was a blast. Pumpkins and kids just go together, like peanut butter and jelly.

Daisy's pumpkin might be heavier than she is!

Our neighbor, Olivia, picking her pumpkin

Julia enjoying her pumpkin "purchase"

      I also grew sugar pumpkins for canning, baking and cooking. I got about 24 of these precious little beauties. I saw a "special" in the grocery store today: $2.49 per sugar pumpkin reduced from $2.99. These grocery store pumpkins were about 1/2 the size of many of mine. Imagine how much I saved by growing my own! With the small amount spent on seeds and plants (I did both) and the amount of watering (not a significant cost), I probably saved about $70 growing my own organic sugar pumpkins. I cut them up, baked them, strained the excess water out of the cooked pulp, and then froze quite a bit to use in breads, soups,  pumpkin pies and other pumpkin desserts. I also like to roasted the seeds with olive oil and garlic salt. They were perfectly tasty and crunchy. Quite nutritious, too!

pumpkin fritters - see recipe that follows
     These were packed with squashy, sweet goodness! I used cooked pumpkin and fried them in canola oil. That's why they are more like fritters than "buns." I then dusted them with powdered sugar. Yum!
 What pumpkin-themed post would be complete without pumpkin-carving pictures? Tim and the girls had a creative, pumpkin gut-busting time carving these babies.

Happy Pumpkin Season!

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