Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I'm not dead yet ....

Well hi there ... and no I have not been eaten by a rabid pack of wandering Christians ... yet.  
A few weeks ago the flu hit our household.  Started with Butterbean, then spread to Mooch, then me, then the Mister.  Sick kids I can take, but kids who feel remarkably better while you are still feeling like death - no one should ever have to deal with that!  And of course the Mister is no cakewalk when he's sick.  Imagine an overdramatic Labrador.
After that the Mister took off to training in PA for 4 days, and the pace of my job picked up.  I love that everyone thinks I'm super capable, but adjusting to this after my last job where I was treated like an expensive paperweight is definitely a change.  
To say the least, my whole mojo is thrown off.  The house looks a fright, I have not even sent out thank you cards for Mooch's birthday party which was nearly a month ago (eeek!  must get on this).  My spellwork, meditation time, crafts ... no.  Just trying to get everything back in order again, which makes me feel like a wuss, and have all new respect for people who have actual big issues in their lives.
But I did hit up our natural foods co-op the other day to stock up on fair trade coffee, local organic honey, etc.  and came across some beautiful sugar pumpkins.

Martha Stewart's Everyday Food has a fantastic recipe that I'm making today ... Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins. Here is the link :
Isn't your mouth watering?!?!??
I'm also making some pumpkin bread for Thanksgiving, and mixing up an exfoliating mask with some of the puree.  
I know it can be intimidating to make your own puree, but I literally made this when I was woken up by an unruly 5 year old at 6:00 am, before I had even downed my first cup of coffee.
First, you want to use a vegetable peeler and skin the pumpkin.  I recommend wearing gloves while you do this - I didn't, and my hands were coated with pumpkin goo that took forever to scrub off. (Although it did create a mummy-effect on my hand, kind of like what you used to do with Elmer's glue when bored in elementary school)
Cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds and goop, reserve.  Then chop that sucker up.  Aim for 1-2" cubes.

 Spread out the cubes in a single layer on a cookie sheet.  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  I didn't put anything on them (not even vegetable oil) because I had two pumpkins and was going to be using them for a wide variety of uses, but if you were definitely only going to do pie or cookies with them, you could add cinnamon or ground clove or whatever rocks your socks.
And in to the oven they go ...

I didn't really time this, but I think I roasted the pumpkin for about an hour.  I just kept checking it until it looked fork-tender.

Ta-da!  And now for a close-up

Then pull out your food processor, or blender, or just a really good potato masher (you glutton for punishment) and puree or mash until nice and smooth.

  Store either in a glass snap-lock container, or pour into freezer bags and freeze.

And don't forget to roast those pumpkin seeds and throw all scraps in your compost bin!  We decided to dry some seeds and mix them in with our regular bird food, for a little Thanksgiving treat for our birdy friends.  

Hope everyone has a blessed Thanksgiving ... don't forget to thank Mother Earth for her abundance and blessings throughout the year.  And eat all the pie you want :-)

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