It’s technically still fall but the temperatures the last few weeks have felt more like January. Lows in the teens and highs in the upper 20’s and low 30’s. Brrr… I getting cold just thinking about it or maybe its the drafty old north facing windows my computer sits next too. But when the temperature starts too drop outside one thing is on the menu around here, SOUP! My kids are always asking what is for dinner and my answer is soup. Their reply “Not soup again!” But I love soup so I guess eventually they will too.
- 3 cups roasted pumpkin puree
- 2 cups homemade chicken stock
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 tsp sea salt or to taste
- 1/4 tsp Chinese Five Spice
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1/2 cup cream
Add all ingredients except cream into a sauce pan and heat on medium-low for 15 minutes or until warmed. Stir continuously or place a lid on as the pumpkin likes to splatter as it is heated. If the puree still has any lumps use a immersion blender to smooth the soup until velvety. Remove from heat and stir in cream.
It’s that time of year. Thanksgiving is only a couple of days away and I’m in the mood for pumpkin. But before I can start all my pumpkin baking, I need to roast a few pumpkins and make lots of pumpkin puree. On my list of pumpkin baking this winter are pumpkin bars, cookies, bread, granola bars, soup, biscuits, butter, and pie. So lets get started. Roasting pumpkins is very easy all you need are a few sugar or pie pumpkins. Those are the small round ones not the large pumpkins that you carve. First I break off all the stems and preheat the oven to 400°F. I just use my hand to snap them off.
Second I give all the pumpkins a good wash in the sink. I didn’t get any pumpkins planted in my garden this year, so I picked all these up at the farmers’ market.
Third I carefully cut them in half with the sharpest knife I have.Fourth step is to scrap out all the seeds and fibrous center. But don’t throw those seeds away save them to roast later. I simply use a spoon to scrap out the middle.
Fifth step is to grease a cookie sheet and place the pumpkin halves cut side down on the sheets. Roast them in the oven for about 30 minutes or a little longer for larger pumpkins. They are done when the skin is brown and wrinkled and a fork goes in easily. My nose usually tells me when they are ready. Let them cool until they can be handled and then peel the skin off the outside.I put all the cooked pumpkin in a large bowl and use my immersion blender to turn it into a puree. A food processor, potato masher, or blender could also be used.
At this point I divided the pumpkin into what I will bake with today or tomorrow and the rest gets packaged up and put into the freezer for later. I freeze the pumpkin in 2 cup amounts. I cooked seven pumpkins today and ended up with 14 cups of pumpkin puree.
And can you guess what we had for dinner?
Pumpkin Soup of course with pumpkin cake for dessert.
More on all my pumpkin baking later.
Now that it is September, but acting like August with the temperatures back in the upper 90s, the boys and I try to get into the garden early in the morning to harvest veggies. They both love picking tomatoes and peppers. And that is a good thing because we have a lot of them right now. The boys are very proud about what they both harvested.
All my green and red bell peppers will be chopped up and frozen for us to use this winter. But I will have cherry tomatoes of every color and jalapeno peppers tomorrow at the market. Along with a full selection of various cuts of goat meat and a few dozen eggs.
Come early to the market to bet the heat and get the best selection.
3rd St and Leavenworth in Manhattan from 8 to 1.
See ya there!
Marvin has come for an extended visit with our Jersey girls. He is a Scottish Highland bull on loan from a friend. I think he is cute just don’t mention it in front of him.
So far our girls have shown little interest but maybe within the next week or two. Of course he is the one that will probably be doing all the chasing. I wish Marvin good luck and lots of healthily calves come spring.
We finally made it out to the corn patch this morning between rain storms. After having been in a drought for two years we are starting to make up for it here, since August 1st we have gotten around 6 inches of rain with more expected tomorrow. Just south of us has gone from drought to flood as they received an amazing 20 inches of rain in the first seven days of August.
The boys were excited to help pick corn and had a great time loading up their toy tractor and trailer to haul the corn to the house.
All that pickin’ made them hungry, so we took a snack break. Can’t beat fresh raw corn on the cob.
But we had more to pick so it was back to work.
Well, the first harvest is done. We had fresh corn for dinner and have 22 quarts in the freezer for this winter.
Mansfield, Missouri is a great destination for a weekend road trip. Home of Laura and Almanzo Wilder’s Rocky Ridge Farm where she wrote The Little House on the Prairie series. And just north of town is Baker’s Creek Heirloom Seeds and their pioneer village of Bakersville. After we read all of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books this past year with the kids and I order my garden seeds from Baker’s Creek Heirloom Seeds each spring we decided to head down to the Ozarks.
First stop was Rocky Ridge Farm with a tour of the museum, farmhouse and the Rock House. Along with a picnic lunch made for a great afternoon.
The next day we headed for Baker’s Creek. The first Sunday of every month from March to October is their Heritage Day Festival. There are vendors set up selling vegetables, plants, soaps, jewelry, quilts, herbs, and other handcrafted items. Along with the vendors Bakersville has a bakery with huge cinnamon rolls, a mercantile, the seed store, opry, blacksmith, outdoor stone oven, and of course lots of gardens.
I could of spent hours looking at the hundreds of seed varieties, but refrained myself and just picked up seeds for our fall garden. I was is seed heaven.
We listened to several groups play music, walked though the gardens, checked out all the chickens, ducks, turkeys, guineas, and other livestock. We then enjoyed lunch at their donation only Asian restaurant. We had Asian stir-fry with rice, green beans, and coleslaw. The lunch was so delicious I forgot to take a picture. We had a great time and I came home with renewed energy to work on my garden.
I love watching our herd of kiko goats they are very entertaining and lovable. Of course the goats are too curious for the own good and get into trouble occasionally, getting their heads stuck in a fence or bucket and checking out the pasture on the wrong side of the fence. But who can say no to this face.
Do to circumstances out of our control we need to fine a new home for our goat herd. We have 11 does 1.5-3 years old, 6 doelings, and 11 wethers from this year’s kidding. We choose to raise are goats on pasture, with them receiving hay and alfalfa as the seasons demand. We also supplement with organic grain when herbal treatments are needed to control parasites and treat injuries or sickness.
If you are interested in learning more about our herd or looking at the goats please send me an email or call. My contact information can be found on my website www.christysfarm.org
We are keeping our friend’s dairy goats while they are out of town. So the boys are getting lessons on how to milk goats. We are milking the goats twice a day and getting a little over a half gallon each milking. Isaac does a great job working with the goats and learning how to milk. His interest in milking usually only lasts for about have the job.
Sam was a little disappointed that he was having a hard time milking. His hands are just a little to small to fit around the goat’s teats. But with help from Mom and Dad the boys got the goats milked.
Saturday will be the 7th week of this seasons farmers’ market and the weather forecast looks wonderful. Partly Cloud with a high of 75. If you haven’t made it out grab you family, friends, and neighbors and come on down to 3rd St and Leavenworth from 8 am-1 pm. If you have been to the market, thanks for coming, and help us spread the word about are new location.
What will I have available on Saturday? A wide variety of my handcrafted soaps: Goat’s milk, cow’s milk, green tea, raspberry zinger, lavender, and my favorite citrus breeze just to name a few. Coconut oil and beeswax based lotions and lips balms. Hand knit scarfs and wash cloths. Fresh eggs from my free ranging pasture raised hens, and goat meat from our pasture raised Kiko goats.