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Monthly Archives: September 2013

Fall Harvest Traditions: So Pretty in Pink–The Pumpkin That Is!

Fall Harvest Traditions:  So Pretty in Pink–The Pumpkin That Is!
porcelain.doll

Pretty in Pink–Porcelain Doll
Image by Eric Samuelson from his blog

Yes!  It really is a pink pumpkin.  Pink pumpkins were discovered by an Arizona farmer when a white Cinderella pumpkin and a red Cinderella pumpkin accidentally cross pollinated.  He worked on perfecting the pumpkin for 5 years and the result is the Porcelain Doll pumpkin for which seeds widely became available for the first time in 2012.  These pumpkins even launched a Pink Pumpkin Patch Foundation created in that same year to help raise money for breast cancer research.  This year they have launched a nationwide campaign called “Pink is In–Are You?” in which proceeds of the purchase of a pink pumpkin will be donated to the foundation for distribution.

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Pretty in Pink
Image from huffingtonpost.com

Not only are these pumpkins pretty to look at–but they are also edible!  They have a deep orange flesh that is sweet and perfect for cooking.  You can use them in whatever you would regularly use pumpkin in–soups, pies, breads and gourmet culinary cooking.  The pumpkins are large (20-24 lbs) and therefore produce a good amount of puree.  They are ready for harvest in 110 days or when the stem has gotten corky for full pink effect.

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Decorating in Style with Pink Pumpkins
Image by Penny from her blog

Here’s a link to a blog that has a list of where these pumpkins will be available for purchase this year by store and state.  Pink is In–Are You?  Among some of the stores listed are:  Home Depot; Kroger; Meijer; Safeway; Whole Foods to name a few as well as many local pumpkin farms.

What do you think of a pink pumpkin?

images from:

http://www.eatlikenoone.com

http://www.huffingtonpost.com

http://www.penny-pennytreasures.blogspot.com

 
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Posted by on September 28, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Fall Harvest Traditions: Pumpkins Anyone?

Fall Harvest Traditions: Pumpkins Anyone?

Another fall and autumn tradition that rings in the harvest is the squash that is commonly referred to as pumpkin.  Pumpkins are considered winter squash as they are harvested when their skins have hardened as opposed to summer squash which are harvested when the skins are still soft (like a zucchini).  Believe it or not, pumpkins are actually botanically considered a fruit as the seeds are on the inside.  Yet, in culinary terms they are referred to as a vegetable.

Three Sisters

Three Sisters
Image from oneidaindiannation.com

Pumpkins are native to North America and one of the Native American Indian’s “Three Sisters” agricultural crops.  Maize (corn), beans, and pumpkins were grown together and benefited from each other.  The cornstalk provided support for the beans.  The beans provided nitrogen and the squash provided ground covering thereby keeping weeds down and conserving soil moisture.  (To learn more about the method of growing Three Sisters click here.)  The Native Americans used dried strips of pumpkin to weave mats for their homes.  Long pumpkin strips were also roasted and then eaten.  The original pumpkin pie was created when the colonists stripped out the seeds from the interior of the pumpkin and filled it with milk, spices, and honey and “baked” it in the ashes of the fire.

Pumpkins in the U.S. are primarily grown in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and California producing over 1.5 billion pounds of pumpkins annually. 95% of the pumpkin crop intended for processing is grown in Illinois. (source Wikipedia).  Pumpkins are planted in July and harvested in October with a growing time of 85 to 125 days depending on the variety.  Most parts of the pumpkin is edible including the flowers, fleshy shell, seeds, and even the leaves.  Its bright orange color is evidence of beta-carotene.  It is also loaded with vitamin C, potassium, and fiber.  The seeds themselves are a great source of zinc, iron, and omega-3 fats.  Pumpkins can be boiled, baked, steamed, or roasted.  Mashed pumpkin is a common way of serving this as a harvest food.  Pumpkin is oftentimes pureed to be used in various recipes including pumpkin pie.

At this time of year pumpkin flavored and scented products show up everywhere!  Here’s a basic recipe on how to cook a pumpkin:  A 5-lb pumpkin will yield two 9″ pies.

How to Cook a Pumpkin

How to Cook a Pumpkin
Image from instructables.com

Do you have a favorite pumpkin recipe?  Please share if you do!

images from:

http://www.organicgardening.com

http://www.oneidaindiannation.com

http://www.instructables.com

 
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Posted by on September 27, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Fall Harvest Traditions: Is it Candy Corn Time Yet?

Fall Harvest Traditions:  Is it Candy Corn Time Yet?

One of the signature signs of fall’s arrival is the appearance of candy corn.  Did you know that candy corn has been around for over 124 years?  Candy corn was invented by George Renninger who was a candymaker at the Wunderlee Candy Company in Philadelphia sometime in the 1880s.  The creation of this candy was actually revolutionary in that it was the first tri-colored candy ever produced.  At this time society was mostly agrarian (of or relating to the cultivation of land, i.e., agricultural, rural, farming) and the “corn” candy therefore had an appeal to society as a whole.  Candy corn was originally called “chicken feed” as corn was primarily used as chicken feed rather than a staple food.

candy.corn.cob

Candy Corn on the Cob
Image from instructables.com

While the Wunderlee is known to have been the first to have produced candy corn, it is the Goelitz Confectionary Company that is known for its sale and production.  The Goelitz candy makers started to produce candy corn for the company in 1898.  Goelitz changed its name to Jelly Belly and is still in business today.  Candy corn was originally a seasonal candy available between March and November and had no association with fall or Halloween.  It wasn’t until after WWII that the company began to advertise it as a “Halloween candy” which led to its eventual association as such.

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Image from Jelly Belly

Now candy corn has become so popular and synonymous with Halloween that there are many offerings for candy corn related foods and crafts.  How fun are these candy corn cookies?

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Candy Corn Cookie
Image by Bree from her blog

Or for even more fun try these candy corn roll-up cookies!

And for those of you that want a healthy candy corn related snack, how about this cute candy corn vegetable platter with a pumpkin filled with hummus dip?

candy.corn.vegetable.platter

Candy Corn Vegetable Platter
Image from parents.com

For an in-between treat how about a candy corn pizza?

candy.corn.pizza

Candy Corn Pizza
Image from ourbestbites.com

Is candy corn a part of your fall tradition?

Finally, for a fun look at the history of candy corn watch it here:

  

 

 
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Posted by on September 26, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Welcome Fall!

“Welcome Fall” I thought to myself on Saturday as it was the day before the first day of Autumn.  Just then I heard a loud thump-thump behind me.  Outside on the deck my husband had just unceremoniously plopped down this year’s pumpkin harvest—5 pumpkins.  I don’t think his harvest has ever been that small but this year’s growing season was hot and not so kind to the pumpkins.  In fact we lost a few plants—something that rarely happens.

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Some years the harvest is so large that we invite the neighborhood children in to pick out a pumpkin—other years—and they are rare—the harvest is few and just enough to share with our family of five.  Although the harvest is small, I feel particularly blessed as this year’s harvest yield represents family to me.  I couldn’t help but think though that there was a part of the family that was missing as I did have a miscarriage between my second and third child.

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Sure enough didn’t my husband find another pumpkin in the patch as he was clearing the garden for a total of 6 pumpkins–5 pumpkins with stems and 1 without.  I don’t believe it is a coincidence that this year’s pumpkin harvest represents my family in whole encompassing all the generation.  Every part of our lives creates ties of bonding within a family.  It is with this in mind that I launch this blog “All Things Harvest” as a place to talk about and celebrate the seasons and their traditions–especially those that bind us to the land and to the family.  A place to cultivate the harvests of our lives.

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What are your favorite fall activities?  Does your family have a fall tradition?  Please let me know as I will be putting together a list of ideas for families to celebrate the fall with.  Perhaps your tradition can help build another family’s tradition!

 
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Posted by on September 23, 2013 in Uncategorized