Friday night was dreary and rainy. I felt like I'd been awake for forever for some reason, and didn't have much motivation or energy. Usually when I'm alone for dinner, I put minimal effort into my meals, and this was no exception. Here is a picture of my dinner: fish sticks, mac and cheese, and sweet carrots. Pretty easy. I hate to admit it, but I love fish sticks. But only a certain kind.
I did, however, find the motivation to finish my second set of letter decorations!
Winter wall plaque. The only difference, obviously, is that I affixed the letters upright to individual stands, so that each letter can be placed where and how I please. It's too cold out to spray the letters with the glossy sealer, so that will have to wait until another time. I placed them on top of our fireplace mantle with my pumpkins and Boyd's fall bears (including Gourdon Punkinpeeker--how cute is that name??), and I think it looks great.
Saturday was my day of work. After waking up in a chilly house again, I decided to turn on the furnace to get the chill out of the air (insert the hubs rolling his eyes here). I did some cleaning and housework, then moved to the kitchen. I think the kitchen is my favorite place in the house. I can work in there and see things get accomplished. I can experiment with recipes, or make a favorite. I can make my house smell like home. I can make my hubby happy with the work I do in the kitchen. Is that cliche? I wouldn't necessarily say that the way to my husband's heart is through his stomach, but I do know that he is (nine times out of ten) happy with what I make in the kitchen.
So, I started out with making a batch of croutons from a loaf of bread I froze a while ago. Then, I moved on to making some hard-boiled eggs for my lunch salads and baked potatoes to go with my salads. Here are some pictures, because I know no one has ever seen these things.
this website a long time ago that had some great directions for making pumpkin pies and crust from scratch, and it's been my reference ever since. I've made a few pumpkin pies this way (and we really like the crust recipe here), but I think that the hubs likes the canned pumpkin better, so I'll be using this puree in baking recipes, like cookies and muffins.
I started by washing the dirt off of all of the pumpkins. I used a vegetable scrubber to get off a lot of the caked-on dirt. I spread an old full-sized bath towel over the counterspace where I would be working, and set each pumpkin on the towel to dry a bit before I started the pumpkin carnage. For reference, each pumpkin averaged around four pounds.
When the microwave was done, I checked the pumpkin with a fork to see if it was done. It was, so I transferred it to a large bowl in another work station, the puree place. (If they are not quite done after fifteen minutes, just put the plastic back on and microwave in five minute increments until they are done.)
Once I had one pumpkin peeled, I began pureeing it in my food processor. I then scooped the puree into a large bowl, and just cooked, peeled, and pureed my way through the afternoon. When I had finally cut up all of the pumpkins, I went to work separating the seeds from the pulp in another bowl. That took quite a while...I didn't think that such small pumpkins would have so much inside of them!
Oh, and don't be like me and drop the food processor blade into the puree when you're trying to scoop everything into the bowl. Messy. But the pumpkin sure tasted sweet!
So, you ask, what do I do with the pumpkin seeds when I bake them? Well, I'm glad you asked (even if you really didn't)! Here's what I do to roast my pumpkin seeds:
It's really simple. I preheat the oven to 325 degrees, then I put the seeds in a medium sized bowl. I spray a coating of olive oil spray on the seeds, then stir them around to coat all of them. I also spray a large baking sheet (one with shallow sides) with the same cooking spray, to prevent sticking. Then I arrange a single layer of the seeds on the sheet, and sprinkle them with seasoning salt.
Well, if you are still reading this post, I commend you! It's a long one. As a reward, here is Owl corner!
Owl Corner: Barred Owls
|Photo from Wikipedia|
Information for the Owl Corner from owling.com and allaboutbirds.org.