As a young girl apparently my lust for pumpkins had already begun. Look at this picture, I am eyeing up the artistic carvings done by fellow classmates, Ken Hayes and Larry Johannsen at St. Patrick School. We must have been in about 5-6 grade. My Lucy Lu looking carving just wasn’t that great. I can’t believe the nuns let us loose with knives then.
Fast forward 45 years and I am still eyeing up pumpkins, but in a different light. Several years ago, my partners and I decided to start a pumpkin patch. It’s been pretty fun and educational. I just never knew there were so many varieties to choose from; Mini Tom Thumb pumpkins to the mega giant contest size pumpkins. And every size and shape in between, thick skinned, thick stemmed, pie pumpkins, bumpy smooth, tall or round.
Now the Kindergarten kids from St. Patrick’s come out for a field trip and we take them out to the patch for a pick their own adventure. They are so excited to be out here, we have animals for them to feed and its pretty fun to see them enjoying a day in the country.
This year the patch is right next to my house, so I can slip out for an evening walk through the patch and pretend I am Charlie Brown! It’s been a long hot summer but the pumpies seemed to love it, we got just enough rain at the right time. I did an experiment with a few and as they got bigger I set them in a square wooden frame I had made, now I have a few pumpkins that have a decidedly square shape to them. Next year I am going to grow more that way!
We have started making various dishes using pumpkin. Muffins, bread, pie and sinful desserts are a given. But making a pumpkin risotto, pumpkin soup or our newest effort, pumpkin pancakes, take a bit more effort. One way to utilize your pumpkin is to cook it down in a pumpkin butter. Use a crock pot and it’s a yummy aroma wafting through the house for a few days. Get creative and you can add pumpkin to lots of recipes.
If you haven’t gotten your seasonal orange gourd yet, we still have more at our Fall Family Fun Pumpkin Patch!