Monday, November 19, 2012

Playing with Pumpkins

Food gets me so excited!  Especially fresh produce.  The more the merrier!  Recently I purchased, ready for this…400 pounds of produce!  All at once!  Wanna see? 

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I got 4-50 # bags of acorn squash and 2-50# bags of butternut squash.  I also got 100# of potatoes and 20# of onions.  I  guess that’s a little more than 400 pounds huh?

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I’ve been reading about the Pilgrims and the incredible trails they encountered when coming to America, about how they had to grow and store all their food over the winter in order to survive.  It may sound funny, but they really inspired me.  Surely if they could do that, survive that, thrive in that, I can take care of and manage 400 pounds of produce. Surely.

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I was honored to be able to purchase this food from a farmer, what I bought was part of his left overs from the year.  I spent a total of $148.00 on all this food, which still just sets me at awe!  All the produce came in burlap bags like the squash photo from the top.  It’s a handy way to transport them, but not so handy to retrieve, especially if I’m sending children out to get them.

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  So in my garage I set up a table and portioned out some of the food into boxes.  All the potatoes are in a box so they stay nice and dark.  I also put the onions in a box.  One bag of acorn squash was divided between my big pantry in the house and chicken box from Sam’s Club.  All the produce is off the floor and covered with a sleeping bag in order to keep out the frigid winter air.

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It’s not very attractive but I don’t care. (grin)

Since I’m showing you around my ugly garage I might as well show you my other food storage.

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Buckets with bags of dry goods.  Mr. Taffy and I  feel pretty passionate about having a little bit of food on hand for eating and for emergencies.  We don’t live in fear, but I feel like part of my job as resident Homemaker is to make sure that there is food here, continually and Mr. Taffy always encourages me to stock up a little bit here and there. Plus it’s such a blessing to be able to go shopping in my garage and not be at the mercy of grocery store prices and the fluctuating market.

Along with the produce I ordered, the farmer gave me some canning pumpkins, or sugar pumpkins or pie pumpkins, not sure exactly what they are called, but they are the kind of pumpkins that make delicious pies.  I don’t really make pumpkin pies but I love to put pumpkin in EVERYTHING else.  So even though it was a stretch for me, I spent an evening “processing” those pumpkins.  With a little help from my best girls of course!

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I figured out it was easier to sort of “milk” the seeds out of the center of the pumpkin, rather than scoop out everything  all at once and separate the seeds afterward.  (I washed, soaked and roasted the seeds. My husband LOVES the salty pumpkin seeds to snack on!)

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So slimy!  I think we processed 8 pumpkins, I still have 2 more, but I’m going to use them for my Thanksgiving Table.

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I got to wondering if I could just bake the pumpkin pieces in my roasting pan.  Guess what?  It worked, beautifully!  I roasted them in two layers, with a sheet of tin foil in between.  I baked them at 325 for about an hour and the pumpkin came out of those shells as easily as could be!  After it cooled I ran the pumpkin through my Squeeze-O and then froze the pumpkin in one and two cup portions!  No added sugar or preservatives, just look at that lovely color!

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It was a pretty messy job but I’m glad we took the time to do it.

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Off to make some Pumpkin Bread

 

Joyfully,

Mrs. Taffy

7 comments:

  1. that looks good! I think you can put a cup of pumpkin into any cake mix for extra moistness and goodness. Love those acorn squashes!

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  2. What do you use the butternut squash for? We had them for the first time in our garden, but I didn-t know how to use them.... We are not Americans, we don't use much pumpkin, but I wanted to try something new.

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    1. Hi Eszter! For the butternut squash: First I will peel off the outer the skin, with a vegetable peeler, then I will chop the squash up. Scooping out the seeds. If you chop in little cubes you can then just put them on a pan and roast them with salt and pepper, in your oven. If you chop them big, you can either steam them, or boil them and after they are soft, mash them up with butter and salt. Just eat it with your dinner that way. My sons like to drizzle honey on top. You can add small squash cubes to soups or casseroles. I add mashed squash to rolls and soup, even pancakes! It's so good for you! After you've peeled and either roasted or boiled the squash, you can mash it up and freeze for later too. I hope you like it!

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  3. Ohhhhh...I made your pumpkin rolls today...froze them like you suggested in your post. I also kept six out so we could try them...WOW! They are delish!

    Hugs to you and yours...Happy Thanksgiving dear friend!
    Hugs...Mrs. Griffin

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  4. One more thing..forgot to say that I tried your idea of roasting the pumpkin instead of peeling and then steaming...turned out fantastic! It was nice to have the stove top for other things...
    Hugs,
    Mrs. Griffin...

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  5. Wow, 8 pumpkins! I bought 3 to put in the freezer - that was a lot of work, but like you I will use it in lots of baking.

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