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Showing posts from October, 2010

Making Your Own Pumpkin Puree from Fresh Pumpkins

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I finally had a chance to work on some of my pumpkins this last week. I made pumpkin puree for the freezer and roasted pumpkin seeds. My son Isaac helped me by taking some pics and he was in charge of doing the seed roasting, and he liked that quite a bit..

I planted smaller size pumpkins that were meant for pies. The big ones you get in the grocery store this time of year are not really pie pumpkins. I have heard that they tend to be stringy and not too tasty. Pie pumpkins are sweeter.. so my suggestion is if you want to do this at home see if you can locate some pumpkin varieties that were grown for making into pies (maybe farmers markets or health food stores).

I processed 4 pumpkins on this day weighing a total of 33bs. Here is how I did it…

The first pumpkin was about 8lbs.


I started by carefully cutting it in half..


Then cleaning out the insides by scooping with a spoon until all the seeds and insides were gone. Make sure you save the seeds.. I will show you at the end ho…

Soap, Soup, Garden...

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The other day I had the urge to try out a new soap recipe.  Every now and again I like to give new recipes a try.  I make so much soap every year that I have to stick to what works and I use the same recipes to ensure that my soap customers get the same product every time they order from me.  But as a soap maker I like to play around once in awhile too!  LOL..  so I tried this recipe: http://www.millersoap.com/soapallveg.html#PumpkinSpice  I just happen to have all the ingredients on hand and the recipe used some ingredients that I have never used in making soap namely, grapeseed oil and beeswax.  I also wanted a nice fall smelling soap so I scented it as the recipe said with pumpkin spice fragrance oil and a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice..   yum.. the smell from the bars has been permeating my dining room every since!!   This is info for all the soap makers out there if you decide to try the recipe.. it traces really fast!  So be ready to pour into your mold as soon as youreach trace…

Cleaning and Organizing Bug…

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Well I’ve been bit.. by the cleaning and organizing bug. I think it has something to do with all the canning I have done. You know canning can make a mess of the kitchen.. so in-between canning jobs I have been deep cleaning my kitchen and everything I scrub and clean I think of the other areas in my home that need attention.

One of those areas is my laundry/pantry room. The problem is not the laundry part but the pantry part. Actually I use the room to store my cleaning supplies, small appliances, misc food stuffs, and some pots and such. It also becomes the room where things get tossed and shoved and stuck without order. It was driving me crazy every time I looked in there. 

Today I could take it no more.. So I did something very brave.. I took before pictures so you could see my disaster and then took after pictures to show that it is possible to reclaim a disaster!!! LOL..

OK.. here we go...

When you walk into the room to the left are the shelves where I store my kitchen and…

Tomato Harvest and Crockpot Cooking

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I bet you are getting tired of me talking about tomatoes! LOL.. but probably not as tired as I am getting from dealing with them!! Haa..haa.. actually it has been a great blessing.. to think I was worried I would not get any tomatoes! Yesterday Isaac and I picked another 32 lbs of tomatoes!

Whew.. I do think this will be the last significant picking. I have been weighing the tomatoes when I bring them from the garden and so far we have harvested about 160lbs! Out of the last batch (60lbs) I made and canned 15 quarts of spaghetti sauce and 31 pints of salsa. My canning cupboard is definitely filling up. My plan at this point is tomato sauce.. I will smoosh them up in my Victorio strainer and cook and can the sauce..

Along with the tomatoes we harvested all my pumpkins. You can see them in my new blog pic above. I got a few questions on how to process and can pumpkin. Just to clarify, I freeze my pumpkin puree and I can pumpkin in chunks.. you can’t safely can pumpkin puree. In any ca…

October Already?

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I can’t believe the time just flies by like it does..  October is here?! Tobin and I were chatting yesterday and he made the comment that the heating season will begin in about a month and we will be back to starting fires every morning..  I had to laugh..  The windows in the house were open and the afternoon breezes were coming through and I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt and flip flops..  hard to believe the picture will look so drastically different in one month.   
Two weeks of school are done and we are getting into the groove a bit better.  During the summer I always have all the household chores under control.  The kids and I do the chores in the morning following my schedule.  I even print out the weekly schedule each week so I can pull out the day’s chores and we can cross them off as we get them done.  But then we start school and our focus changes and then I find that things in the house start to falter a bit.  So this year I made a list of exactly what chores I want to be…