55 Things # 37 – Congratulations Abbey

Click here to learn more about my “55 Things” and here to view previous posts in this series.

A couple of weeks ago I received a message from my sister telling me that the book our cousin Abbey had illustrated was now available on amazon. I am so excited for Abbey.

Some of you may remember Abbey, and her art work, from this post in May of 2019 when we spent the day together at a craft sale. It was that day at the craft sale that Jeffery Schoenherr, a local man, approached Abbey about illustrating his next book.

Due to corona virus restrictions I haven’t seen Abbey since January and was unaware of how the book was progressing. When I received the message from my sister I thought about blogging about it but I decided to wait until I had seen the book in person. That happened this past weekend.

The book, Smitty’s Great Escape, is a simple, delightful tale about “Grandpa” and his dog Smitty.

This cute story, with full-page, color illustrations, that bring the story to life, would be perfect for reading to preschool age children or for children who are learning to read.

To be honest, I personally found the story and the illustrations both enjoyable and relatable. As a dog lover it seems there is always a cute story to tell about or furry friends.

For anyone who might be interested in purchasing a copy of Smitty’s Great Escape it can be found at the amazon link above.

To Abbey I say Congratulations and Attagirl on this wonderful accomplishment.

Pumpkin Recipes

I finally made pumpkin pie for my husband. It was a nice birthday treat for him. 🎈🙂

Since we have had such a bountiful pie pumpkin harvest this year we have given some to family and friends, and in doing so I promised to pass along my pumpkin pie recipe to a couple of people. I had planned on just reblogging a post from a couple of years ago that included that and some other recipes for them but for some reason new editor would not allow me to do so. The feature that used to allow me to “copy a post” is now missing as well, so I have copied and pasted several of the recipes from that post into this. For long time readers recipes 2-6 are repeats from the previous post. Recipe #1 however is new to this post. I hope you enjoy.

Pumpkin Recipe # 1

Begin by measuring the circumference of the pumpkin. Write down that number. Then measure the diameter of the pumpkin and remember or write that number down. Lastly divide the circumference by the diameter. You now have pumpkin Pi. 😁

LOL! (You can thank my dad for that one.)

Pumpkin Recipe # 2 – Pumpkin Puree

If you have never cooked a pumpkin before it is very simple. Usually the small pumpkins are use for cooking, but larger ones are just as edible. While there are other ways to cook pumpkin, this is the way I do it. Cut the pumpkin in half,  scoop out all the seeds and gunk? goo? slimy stuff? You probably know what I’m talking about. Put the pumpkin halves in a baking dish with a small amount of water in the pan and cover it with foil. Bake at 350 degrees until it is soft probably 60-90 minutes. Allow it to cool, then scoop the pumpkin out of the shell. Your pumpkin is now ready to eat, or at this point you can put it in a food processor to puree it before using it in other recipes. Here are a few recipes you might try.

Pumpkin Recipe # 3 – Easy Pumpkin Pie

2  cups pumpkin puree

1 can sweetened condensed milk

2 eggs

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. ginger

1 unbaked deep-dish pie shell (I usually buy these but you certainly can make your own)

Mix first 7 ingredients until thoroughly mixed. Pour into pie shell. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes then reduce heat to 350 and bake for another 35-40 minutes.

Pumpkin Recipe # 4 – Pumpkin Cake

2 cups flour

2 tsp. baking powder

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 cup canola oil

4 eggs

1 3/4 cups pumpkin puree

Preheat over to 350. Grease 9×13 pan. Mix together flour, baking powder. baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Mix together sugar and oil until well blended then add eggs and mix well. Mix in pumpkin. Add flour mixture and mix until thoroughly blended. Pour into prepared pan. Bake 30-35 minutes, until the top springs back when lightly touched.  I love this cake and it pares well with a cream cheese or vanilla frosting.

If you have baked more pumpkin than you need for a specific recipe this puree freezes well. I usually measure it out, (2 cups for pie) then put it in plastic freezer containers.

Pumpkin Recipe #5 – Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Now I hope you didn’t throw away those seeds that you scraped out of the pumpkin, because roasted pumpkin seeds are also a great snack. While I have only made the regular salted variety this link has several different ways to try them.  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/pumpkin-seeds-recipe.html

Pumpkin Recipe #6 – Facial Mask

Lastly if you would like to try pumpkin on your skin you could make a pumpkin facial mask by blending together 1/4 to 1/2 cup pumpkin puree, 1 egg, 1 tsp. honey and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon. Apply to face and allow to sit and dry for 15 minutes before rinsing off with warm water. If you have any left over dispose of it. This product should be used immediately after it is prepared and it will not keep.

Thanks for visiting.

Fresh Off The Vine

We are thankful for a decent grape harvest this year, especially since we had no grapes last year.

We grown both Niagara and Concord grapes. My husband harvested them as they ripened. Since not all of the grapes on the same bunch ripen at the same rate some may have been a little under- ripe and thus more tart than the riper ones.

He ended up harvesting them in three separate batches – each about the size of the one in the above picture. I didn’t weight them but would guess each batch was between two and three pounds.

In the past I have used homegrown grapes to make jelly and wine, but the thing we enjoy the most is drinking grape juice with our breakfast. :)The juice is naturally tart so I add raw honey as a sweetener.

From the three batches I produced 11 pints of juice.

We currently have eight pints in the freezer. Yes, we have enjoyed this juice three times so far with our breakfast and I really don’t think the other 8 pints are going to last very long.

You’ll notice that I did freeze the juice in jars, so I thought I should mention that not all glass jars are suitable for freezing liquids. Jars, like the ones I have used, where the sides are straight and the opening is the same size, or maybe a little larger, than the jar are suitable for freezing. Jars that have a curved sides that form a neck and a smaller opening at the top should not be used for freezing. The following article explains in more detail https://www.gardenbetty.com/how-to-safely-freeze-liquids-in-mason-jars/. The other thing that is necessary when freezing liquids in jars, or other containers for that matter, is to allow plenty of head space in the jar. You can tell in my photo that the jars are not filled all the way to the top – that is what I mean by head space.

Thanks for visiting.

Now tell me do you prefer juice, jelly or wine?

Playing With The New Editor

Though I have been able to manage publishing my posts with the new WordPress editor I still have a lot to learn. The best way to do that is to play with it a little bit, so I put some of the farm photos I’ve taken this month into a slide show.

Please let me know what you think. Do you like the side show format or would you like to see the photos all on one page and scroll down through them to view? I appreciate your feedback. 🙂