Pumpkin Carving

We finally got out the spoons and knives and carved our pumpkins. As my son said, “We put in a candle and we have Jack-O-Lanterns!” The process, illustrated:

 

Pumpkins Ready to be Carved

Ready for the Knife

Scooping Out Pumpkin

Removing Innards

Pumpkin Guts

Guts

Pumpkins Drawn Upon for Carving

Templates

Pumpkin Carving

Artist at Work

Jack-O-Lanterns

Really Scary, Scary, and Not So Scary--Waiting for Dark

 

 

Close to the End

 

Sauteed onions and peppers

Pizza Topping--Colorful and Tasty

Last night’s dinner was pizza. We topped one of them with peppers and onions. I used the last onion we grew in our garden. I used peppers and another onion from our farm share. We have one more pepper we grew tucked in the refrigerator, one more pepper from the farm, and a couple small onions from the farm. There was a bonus pick up yesterday but I have been sick, so I didn’t get organized enough to put in an order. That is a bummer since having more peppers, onions and some squash at least would be helpful in making this transition to winter. I really want to make sure we preserve more food next year. We have some, but cracking open something I grew over the summer, in the middle of winter, just can’t be beat.  We have a few items left, including sweet pumpkins, but we are close to out for the season. Winter’s farmers markets are near. I need to make sure we get there.

Transcript: Interview with my Son

ME: So what do you want to be when you grow up?

HIM: I want to be a scientist.

ME: A scientist. So what do want to study as a scientist? What do you want to learn about?

HIM: I want to learn about water.

ME: Water. What do you want to learn about water?

HIM: Well, I can learn about what happens when you put paint in it.

ME: Oh yeah? And what else do you like about water?

HIM: Well, I can do a lot of different experiments with water.

PAUSE

ME: So what is your favorite thing to play?

ANOTHER PAUSE

HIM: Outside

Then he started off into space. That was the end of that.

Soup and Bread

That’s what’s for dinner. I had to be home to meet my daughter off the school bus. It isn’t always easy to work when she comes home, especially when it is just the two of us, and frankly, I want to spend time with her during that window. So we did that. She told me about her day, showed me what she brought home. The kid is a gem. She smiles and feels proud of herself. I feel lucky to witness that every day.

Once she started chilling by herself, I stuck some sweet pumpkin in the oven to bake. I started bread dough. I turned the pumpkin into soup and the bread into dinner rolls. It is the easiest dinner ever.  It took a little time but was not hard to do. So we ate bread with our hot soup together at the table. My son didn’t eat much. I think he is getting sick. It seems most kids are getting sick these days. It is only October and plenty of children are missing school. Too bad. Maybe the soup and bread will help.

We have nine pie pumpkins left. Enough for some pumpkin muffins, maybe more soup, and a pie. Later in the week I will whip up one of those. I want to make this pumpkin pie I learned about several years ago and tried only once. It is light but rich. I want to experiment with it and maybe make it again for Thanksgiving. What’s not to like about pumpkin pie?

I may be getting a little something in the head myself. I have been wondering if I run every morning, will that help me stay healthy, meaning will it prevent sickness? I know I will be healthier in general if I run often, but can it ward off the viri?  Can it keep the bacteria at bay?  I guess I will see what I can find out with my R of one.  I had a short run this morning. Maybe I will go longer tomorrow. It was awfully hard to get out of bed in the dark this morning. I am hoping it won’t be so tough the next time I try it. I love running as it gets light, but it has been all dark these past days. It is dark when I leave the house and dark when I return. Easy there, Winter; it’s only October.

So I will try my running and pumpkin health plan for a while. That soup will last for a few days. When it runs out, that’s when I’ll bake up a pie, or at least some muffins. That ought to be good, no?

Pizza on a Chilly Night

Pizza for dinner. That is a standard one in our house. We sat at the table and ate together. I want to make sure we do that as often as possible. It matters. It was a quick dinner to make. The dough was made already, half what we usually use. but it did the trick. My wife had made it for a pizza breakfast this weekend. That isn’t so typical, but why the heck not? We were out of standard breakfast fare, so dinner for breakfast. I rolled out the remaining dough tonight after letting it rise a little. It was way thin. It was awesome. I’m going to use less dough more often. The super thin crust makes it crispy and just plain old dee-lish.

It is chilly. Fall is full on, winter on the way. The woodstove warms the house. I just came inside. The kids and I went out to see where my son found a cool rock. We looked at the stars, at Jupiter trying to outshine the moon, at the crescent of the moon in its humble glory. Clouds drifted. Smoke rose from the chimney. Hard to get more beautiful than that. Excepting my wife, of course.

Soon the children will get wrapped into their evening routine–showers and pajamas and books and a story. I like the routine. Cleanliness and literacy, two good things. They also need to scrub the sauteed leeks and onions from their teeth, some of the last produce from our garden. That made for a good pizza topping. I have been trying to cook more lately. I made bread over the weekend and that should be a more frequent event. I need to make some pumpkin soup, and some pumpkin pie. I want to make some pasta as well. It has been too long.

The nights are shorter. Our home feels cozy. The children already are showing signs of resistance to heading up to bed, but once they get into it, they will glide along. Here is to a quick drifting off to sleep for them. Maybe the adults in the house will have some quiet time before they as well need to go to sleep. I plan to rise early in the morning. There will be frost. The stars will be out. I want to get plenty of sleep.

I had hoped to run this morning but was feeling off, and way tired, even though I woke in time to get in some miles. It is hard to start the week without running. It needs to happen tomorrow. Venus and Saturn will be waiting to greet me. That should help me pick up the pace, my headlamp beam bouncing on the road as I go. Just imagining that, it makes me look forward to waking tomorrow. I only need to slumber well before then. And some pleasant dreams will help–give me something to stir my thoughts as I move through the cold of morning. As I run though fall.

Halloween Parade

Shelburne hosts a halloween parade every year. There is a lot of candy involved. While other parades (4th of July, Memorial Day, and the like) have discouraged candy tossing (in the name of safety! Children apparently, run into moving vehicles in pursuit of sugared confections), this parade seems to require everyone in it to toss the sweet stuff. My daughter wasn’t feeling well so it was just the boy (with the tractor costume recycled for a third year) and I. He hauled in the loot, despite his inability to bend over with ease, and willingly shared with his sister. Good kid, he.

As with most parades, the ambulance started things off

As with most parades, the ambulance started things off

There were clowns on carts...

There were clowns on carts...

and a paddy wagon of sorts...

and a paddy wagon of sorts...

and this witch cowboy themed float.

and this witch cowboy themed float.

Looks like a stacked deck

Looks like a stacked deck

And get this, after they all pass by, tossing candy all the way, they turn around and come back to toss more. Like I said, lots of candy.

And get this, after they all pass by, tossing candy all the way, they turn around and come back to toss more. Like I said, lots of candy.

A Few Scenes From the Week

Here are a few pics from our family’s week. It was a good one.

Snow in the Mountains, October 16

Snow in the Mountains, October 16

Sun Going Down, October 16

Sun Going Down, October 16

At Dead Creek--No Geese but a Turtle

At Dead Creek--No Geese but a Turtle

One View at Dead Creek in Addison

One View at Dead Creek in Addison

Optimists Looking for Birds at Dead Creek

Optimists Looking for Birds at Dead Creek

More Apples From Shelburne Orchard

More Apples From Shelburne Orchard

Milk Snake by the House

Milk Snake by the House