pumpkins and fall scenes of the farm

some of the pumpkin collection

I warned you. It was a bumper crop! In this picture we have melonette de jaspee vendee (little yellowish ones). And Winter luxury pie pumpkins. So far, I’m made pumpkin bean soup, pumpkin leek soup, and a maple pumpkin pie. Sheesh, it’s not even Thanksgiving yet! Yes pumpkin will be on the menu this sunday! Thinking to do maybe a pumpkin spinach gratin, and of course a pie, probably my regular one.

Here’s the rest of the collection.

grand entrance to casa turdacres!

Don’t ask about the ladder!! These big ones are musquee de provence. It said they would be about 20 lbs, but these are more. Yikes! Hard to lift them. I’ve given away a few of the bad boys, but clearly need to start delivering them to unsuspecting neighbors or something!!

Yep, we’re working on our trashy yard vibe this year. Here’s our new patio arrangement…

casual seating plus water garden!

Featured in this area is our *new* aluminum glider (2.00 and came with free cushion!), alongside part of our 150.00 haul of old metal furniture. The water garden is a new thing. Notice the white pipe at the top left? That’s draining water off a flat roof over the patio which, for some unknown reason, was never fitted with a drainpipe! Water just accumulates up there and then it runs off on in one corner–rotting the roof line! Well now, we fixed that!

Water now runs out the pipe and into the galvanized trough which our neighbors had discarded. The plastic bit of gutter guard is in there, can you guess why? It’s an animal escape system. We learned the hard way that animals can’t get out if they fall in. RIP squirrel buddy 2010.

Yep we’re doing crazy rustic round here. Including a newly installed hoop house (cost 10.00 for a screen door). We made this bad boy from a trampoline frame, plastic sheet, some rebar stakes, plastic electrical conduit and…binder twine! It still needs some work, but we were happy to test the design. It gets pretty hot in there. Clocked it at 122 one day!!! So we’ll need some venting options.

dad likes to do a project when he comes down. this was a doozer!

While we have a lot of projects on the go (I won’t even show you the cardboard mulch project in the lower garden, or the new brick project for the potager)..one thing remains the same. Sure love that barn. It’s just so pretty!

barn with new hoop house neighbor


how to use up all that pumpkin? pumpkin pecan rolls
October 24, 2010, 3:22 pm
Filed under: dessert, gardening, pasta, pumpkin, recipe

We’ve got three Musque de Provence pumpkins size large sitting in the house. They’re begging to be used.

Alas, we’ve still got aways to go with this pumpkin usage situation. I’ve got a freezer full of pie pumpkin, butternut squash. And two big butternut squash sitting next to these musque de provence ones. Maybe we overdid a bit?

I’ve got some extra puree from this morning but we’re still hardly putting a dent in this bad boy!

a lot of pumpkin!

Last night we had pumpkin and goat cheese penne. Easy recipe.

To serve two.

Roast a cup or two of pumpkin cubes with olive oil and sage (about 2 tsp fresh), and 1/4 cup of red onion diced.
Cook up enough penne for two people.
Mix together and add in some goat cheese (about 1/2 cup). Season with salt and pepper.

Keeping with the pumpkin theme today I made some pumpkin cinnamon rolls!

one of two pans of goodness!

I roasted another big chunk of a big pumpkin–450 for about 30 mins. depending on size of chunks. Just roast it peeled, plain, and then, when soft take it out and throw it into the food processor. Whirl until smooth. You’ll need almost two cups for this recipe (15 oz).

This recipe was for no knead rolls. I mixed these in the stand mixer. They were good.

Pumpkin Pecan Rolls with Brown Sugar Glaze

Makes 16-18 rolls

For the dough:

1/4 cup water
1 scant tablespoon yeast (1 package)
1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree or fresh pumpkin puree
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

For the filling:
1/2 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 cups pecans – toasted, chopped, and divided in half (optional)

For the glaze:
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup milk
1 cup brown sugar
pinch salt
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

(i’d half this glaze recipe next time–it made an insane amount of glaze!)

Sprinkle the yeast over the water in a stand mixer and let it sit a few minutes until the yeast is dissolved.

Meanwhile, warm the milk and butter in a small saucepan on the stove top until the butter is melted.

Let the milk mixture cool until it is just warm to the touch – NOT HOT. Then stir in the yeast and the pumpkin and the sugar. My pumpkin was still hot from the oven at this point, so I made sure it was cool enough to not kill the yeast.  Add the salt and five cups of the flour all at once, mix until all the flour has been absorbed. The dough will be sticky, but should come together in a shaggy ball. If it’s still more the consistency of cookie batter, work in an additional 1/2 cup of flour. If you’re using fresh pumpkin it’ll be pretty moist and I needed to add an extra 3/4 cup of flour to make it at least resemble a dough. The dough doesn’t need to come away from the sides of the mixer. It should just be stringy on the dough hook.

Cover the dough and let it rise for 1-3 hours. During this time, it should double in bulk. At this point, you can punch the dough down and refrigerate it overnight or continue shaping the rolls. I made the mistake of trying to punch it down, and it was still so wet. Sigh. But it was ok.

To shape the rolls (either immediately or with the refrigerated dough), sprinkle your work surface with a little flour and dump the dough on top. Pat it down into a rough rectangle and then use a floured rolling pin to roll it into a rectangular shape about a half an inch thick, longer than it is wide. If the dough gets sticky, sprinkle a little more flour on the dough’s surface and on your hands. The dough was so light and wonderful. Sticky yes, but soft, you could tell it was good!

Melt the butter in the microwave and stir in the brown sugar and the spices. Spread this over the rectangle of dough, leaving an inch of bare dough at the top. Sprinkle one cup of the toasted pecans over the dough, if using. Starting at the edge closest to you, roll the dough into a cylinder and pinch it closed at the top. The spices are sort of like a paste. It’s hard to spread them evenly on the dough, but all is good.

Rub a tablespoon of soft butter into the bottom of two 9×13 baking dishes, two 9-inch cake pans, or a combination. Using a bench cutter or a sharp knife, cut the cylinder into individual rolls 1 – 1 1/2 inches thick. Place them into your baking dishes so they have a little wiggle room on all sides to rise. Cover them with a clean kitchen towel and let them rise until they fill the pan and look puffy, 30 minutes for already-warm dough and 1 hour for dough that’s been refrigerated.

About 20 minutes before baking, begin heating the oven to 375°. When the rolls are ready, bake them for 20-25 minutes, until the tops are golden and starting to look toasted around the edges. Rotate the pans halfway through cooking.

While they are baking, prepare the glaze. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk and butter. When the butter has melted, add the brown sugar and salt. Stir until the brown sugar has melted. Remove from heat and strain into a mixing bowl to remove any sugar clumps. Stir in the powdered sugar. This should form a thick but pourable glaze.

Let the baked rolls cool for about five minutes and then pour the glaze on top. Sprinkle the remaining cup of pecans over the top, if more nuttiness is desired. Eat them immediately. Leftovers will keep for several days and are best reheated for a minute in the microwave.

thanksgiving pies–pumpkin/ apple
October 12, 2010, 7:46 pm
Filed under: dessert, pumpkin, recipe | Tags: , , , ,

Best pumpkin pie I’ve ever made is this one. Try it! From Bon Appetit.

I make it with a gingersnap crust.

1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
2 large eggs

Gingersnap crust:
2 cups crushed gingersnaps
2 tbsp butter, melted
Press into pan. Bake at 400 for 5-8 minutes. Sometimes it’s super crunchy–if you bake it too long I guess. Last time I put 5 tbsp butter in and that was crazy.

Ok so for the pie: Mix the ingredients in a bowl. Add in the eggs last, then pour into the crust. Bake for 55 minutes at 350 or until just slightly jiggly. Cool and serve.

Whip up some cream (1/2 cup) with a tbsp of sugar, and a splash of bourbon! Or serve canadian style, spread with a bit of creamed honey.

Ok and for the Apple pie. See the post and recipe here. Alas, I’ve made this one a lot, and I still have some issues.

So, for the record–
1. grease the pan before you put the crust in.
2. put the walnut/ sugar topping on BEFORE you put the top crust on!!
3. cook it for longer than 55 minutes. I tend to undercook the apples. Really wait until it’s bubbly and the apples are softer.