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Fall Harvest Traditions: Make Your Own Pumpkin Pie Spice

Fall Harvest Traditions:  Make Your Own Pumpkin Pie Spice
pumpkin.pie.spice

Pumpkin Pie Spice
Image by Monica from her blog

Pumpkin spice is basically a mix of powdered spices, including cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and sometimes mace.  There are quite a few variations to pumpkin pie spice out there.  So I thought I would put a few recipes together here so you can pick and choose depending upon the ingredients you may have on hand or the dominant flavor that you are looking for.

Pumpkin Pie Spice I is from theyummylife.com

The perfect blend for seasoning pumpkin pie, cider, lattes, muffins, and more.

Ingredients:
  • THESE ARE ALL DRY GROUND SPICES:
  • 1/4 cup cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons ginger
  • 1 tablespoon cloves
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon mace
Directions:
Whisk spices together and store in an airtight container.
pumpkin.pie.spice.ii

Pumpkin Pie Spice II
Image by Doug from his blog

Pumpkin Pie Spice II is from pocketchangegourmet.com

An easy pumpkin spice blend for your pantry

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tablespoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons Ground Ginger
  • 2 teaspoons Ground Nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Ground Allspice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Ground Cloves

Directions:

  1. Combine all spices in a bowl
  2. Mix well
  3. Store in a tightly sealed container and in a dry, cool place
pumpkin.pie.spice.iii

Pumpkin Pie Spice III
Image from allrecipes.com

Pumpkin Pie Spice III from allrecipes.com

Ingredients:

  • 4 Tablespoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 4 teaspoons Ground Ginger
  • 4 teaspoons Ground Nutmeg
  • 3 teaspoons Ground Allspice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Ground Cloves

Directions:

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well. Store in air tight container.

Do you have a pumpkin spice recipe or do you prefer to buy it pre-made at the store?
images and recipes from:
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Posted by on October 3, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Fall Harvest Traditions: Roasted Pumpkin

Fall Harvest Traditions: Roasted Pumpkin
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Roasted Pumpkin Recipe
Image by Jaden from her blog

A simple and easy pumpkin roasting recipe that I found at steamykitchen.com  Remember that a sugar pumpkin is going to yield a better tasting dish.

ROASTED PUMPKIN (This recipe can be used for butternut squash or any other type of winter squash)

Servings:  4 ~ Prep Time:  10 minutes ~ Cook Time:  20 minutes

Ingredients:

1 small pumpkin or 1/4 large pumpkin
1 tablespoon olive oil
sea salt
ground clove
ground cinnamon
ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar

Directions:

Heat oven to 400F. Using a large metal spoon, scoop out the seeds and insides of the pumpkin. Save the seeds for roasting. Use a sharp chef’s knife to cut slices of pumpkin, about 1-inch thick.

Place pumpkin slices on baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and rub on both sides of pumpkin. Season with salt, spices and brown sugar. Roast for 20-25 minutes, depending on thickness of pumpkin slices.

Could roasted pumpkin be a new fall tradition for your family?

recipe and images from:

http://www.steamykitchen.com

 
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Posted by on October 2, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Fall Harvest Traditions: Jack-O’-Lantern and Sugar Pumpkins–Carve or Cook?

Fall Harvest Traditions:  Jack-O’-Lantern and Sugar Pumpkins–Carve or Cook?
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Connecticut Field Pumpkin
Image from www.gardenharvestsupply.com

Most of us are familiar with the large pumpkins primarily used for carving that are commonly found in the stores around this time of year.  These pumpkins are either Connecticut Field Pumpkins or Howdens and both weigh in between 10 and 20 pounds.  The Connecticut Field Pumpkin is actually an heirloom pumpkin of the Native American Indians and colonists and is the perfect image of a pumpkin as we know them.  Their taste is more plain and bland, not sweet, and their texture is stringy and somewhat watery for pie.  They have thin walls, a large seed pocket, and relatively small proportion of flesh compared to the size.

howden.pumpkin

Howden Pumpkin
Image from www.sustainableseedco.com

Howdens were developed in the 1970s by of John Howden of Massachusetts for the primary purpose of carving.  They are actually very similar to the Connecticut Field pumpkin but have more uniform ridges, a thicker wall and sturdy stem.  These are the pumpkins primarily found at supermarkets and roadside farm stands.  They were developed primarily for look and suitability for carving.  Since the 1970s these are the pumpkins that we have come to more commonly know.  Oftentimes these pumpkins are cooked and the resulting dish is disappointing as these pumpkins were developed for looks and carving as opposed to taste.

One of the better pumpkins for cooking is the sugar pumpkin oftentimes referred to as the pie pumpkin.  This pumpkin is a cousin of the Connecticut Field pumpkin but smaller as can been seen in the picture above.  These pumpkins have a thicker wall and are sweeter and drier than the carving pumpkins and are less grainy.  One pumpkin will typically yield the amount of puree as a 15-16 oz. of canned puree.

Have you ever tried cooking a carving pumpkin and been disappointed?

 
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Posted by on October 1, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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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