I tackled a large pumpkin today, roasting it with no salt so I could then cut it up, bag in one pound packages and freeze. I got around 11 bags of flesh. Roasting is easy--just preheat your oven, split your pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds and innards (a spoon works great for this). Rub oil on the cavity and the edges and place skin side up on a baking sheet. When you can pierce it with a fork easily, it's done.
Don't throw those seeds out--toss them with seasoning of your choice, a little oil, and roast them. Free snacks!
This was our main goal--pumpkin ravioli topped with spicy mixed greens from our CSA basket.
I also made some pumpkin biscotti, using this recipe as my base, but making some changes: white whole wheat flour went in for all-purpose and I added 1/4 cup of sunflower seeds (roasted with no salt), dried cranberries, and oats. I also replaced the white sugar with light brown. I have to say these turned out really well--don't be surprised if you wind up with some in your Xmas packages!
I also made more muffins, playing off of my recipe from last year. The changes here were 1/4 cup brown sugar for the honey, a generous 1/4 cup special dark cocoa in place of the regular, 1 cup of pumpkin (no apple sauce), and one whole egg instead of two whites.
Wednesdays used to be my big paper day, as that is the day that the food section of the paper appears. Over the last few months, the food section has started shrinking. Instead of being its own section, now it is a tiny, two page deal tucked inside the "Family" section of the paper. There are specific sections that appear regularly--the wine column, the "new products" section, and the diet food section.
I know that newspapers are having problems due to the economy, which I assume is why the food section got cut back. However, in a time where all of us are having to cut back, why is the food section what got cut? Why not take this time to take us back to basics? Show folks how to cut up a chicken or how to make their own baking mix instead of buying pre-packaged mixes. This is the time to really show folks how to save money so they will buy your paper!
I will say this--I probably would have missed this article "Crafty Commerce" if the family section didn't have the food section within it yesterday. It's all about Ozark artisans--enjoy!
At the park today, we got lost--actually, we lost each other.
I have a bad habit of losing watches; after losing both of the sports watches I had, I just stopped buying them. So, this morning, after D and Trey passed me, I just kept plodding along until I got to the spot on the "French Countryside" part of the trail where I usually turn around. I was worried that if I didn't, since D was ahead of me, that I'd be really slow and hold everyone up on the way back to the car.
You see, at 6:30, it was still quite dark and add to that that D was all in dark colors and Trey (the dog) is black. I couldn't see where they were, and wasn't sure if they had turned to the part of the trail I was on, or if they had stayed on the part that goes toward the Big Dam bridge. So, I turned around and ran back to the car. I then turned around and ran back to the dog park. Then back to the car. Then started back toward the dog park again. Eventually, I could see them. I was quite relieved. Turns out D had been in front of me, but when I wasn't in eye shot when she got to the Y in the trail, she went the other way for about 1/2 a mile before turning back and going toward the car.
We need some walkie talkies, I think. The upside? Everyone is fine and we were out for a little over an hour, rather than our usual 45-50 minutes.
So, I have some time to play today and decided that I wanted to make crackers and granola bars. Both of these are things I adore but absolutely hate paying for. Luckily, I had everything I needed to make both! The granola bars came first--chock full of walnuts, toasted oats, craisins and raisins, I am looking forward to grabbing one of these tomorrow before hitting the trail. I already sampled one, and this is going to be a repeat thing, with different nuts and so on. My rule was that I was not going to the store, so that sort of limited my recipe options.
The crackers came about in part because we just finished a pack of "everything" lavosh, and I knew I wanted to make crackers with the seeds left in the bottom of the package. I found a whole-wheat olive oil cracker recipe, and went to town. These are also likely to be a repeat experiment--I've already had to walk out of the kitchen to keep from sampling them. I made one pan of the seeded crackers and another with this rosemary bread dip powder that I always forget we have (you know, the kind you mix in olive oil for bread dipping). I also used King Arthur White Whole Wheat, as I'm determined to stop using all-purpose flour.