"And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress and keep it". Genesis 2:15

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Processing Pumpkins, Pumpkin soup, Pumpkin Seeds

We processed our first garden pumpkin this week. It was 12.5 pounds and from it we got a big batch of pumpkin soup, 4 quarts of pulp for the freezer, and a couple of cups of pumpkin seeds.

Our first pumpkin.

The pumpkin was pretty easy to cut up and get ready for cooking. I cut the pumpkin up in wedges with a butcher knife, and carefully scraped away the stringy pulp that contain the seeds. Its easiest to remove the seeds if you dont jumble this pulp up as you remove it. The seeds come out easier and are cleaner.

Pumpkin subterrania

Next we roasted the pumpkin in a turkey roaster in a 375 degree oven for an hour and a half.

This looks like a lot of pumpkin, but since it is mostly water it cooks down a lot. We got about 5 quarts of pulp.

Once the pumpkin cooled we scraped it off of the skin in chunks. Some we made into soup, the recipe will be below, and some went into the freezer.

The seeds and seed pulp.

The seeds we mixed with a tablespoon of butter, a pinch of salt, and roasted them on a oiled cooke sheet at 300 degrees for half an hour. Keep an eye on them and stir occasionally. When they start to brown, they are done.

Pumpkin Coconut Soup

This is adapted from the vita-mix recipe book.

2 Cups Chicken broth
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
3 cups fresh pumpkin cooked
1 cup diced onion sauteed until soft
3 garlic cloves sauteed with onion
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp nutmeg
salt and pepper

Place all in a blender and puree until smooth. Heat and serve. Its delicious!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Rain Rain Go Away

Lots of rain is lovely, but too much rain and too many gray sunless days are beginning to worry me. We have had almost 4 inches of rain in the last two weeks, and every day has been cool, cloudy and drizzly. The sun has barely made an appearance during this time and everything is soggy, soggy, soggy. What I am worried about are mold, mildew and all kinds of fungus in the garden. (Not to mention that I am allergic to all this and have had a headache for over a week.)

Things seem OK in the garden. We are starting to get tomatoes and we picked our first pumpkin!

This pumpkin actually broke off when we were looking at it in the garden, thus it got "picked." It is ready though and weighs 12.5 pounds! It is our smallest one.

Here is a long view of the garden.

Here is a closer view showing the broccoli.

The blooms in the pumpkin patch are bigger than my hand.

Here is the thing I have been fearing. Some sort of weird fungus. You can see that it is growing on the wood chip mulch, but it is also growing right up the leaf of this cabbage. Anna is studying biology this year and we had fun trying to figure out what this is. It is some kind of parasitic sporangiophore, but what exactly we dont know.

Here is a closer view. Black balls with yellow stalks. Cool looking, but now I am afraid for the whole pumpkin patch. I have found this on leaves and stems in the pumpkin patch and even growing on a soaker hose! It would be useless to spray anything in this weather.

Here is some growing on a baby acorn squash and the stem and leaf. Also the hose! Maybe this is the revenge of the tree we cut down and used as woodchips! I'll have to figure out what to do , if anything, and post it here.