Good Bye to Pokeberry Hill...


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Pumpkin-- Using up the Leftover Decorations--for Food!

This week at the library my partner and I put up our December display. The November display was taken down first and it yeilded a pumpkin that nobody seemed to know what to do with. I decided to bring it home. I'm going to make pumpkin puree to be used for muffins or bread or a pie and I'm also going to roast the pumpkin seeds. its a larger pumpkin than most 'pie pumpkins' but its not too big and it does seem smooth skinned so I think it is of a type that should make a good puree. Some Halloween pumpkins aren't really pumpkins but rather various types of squash and don't taste quite the same as pie pumpkins--probably they are still good though--I think you could cook any pumpkin just with different results. I found some easy step by step directions online for preparing pumpkin puree and pumpkin seeds. Thought I'd just go ahead and post those here. :) Is it worth it to clean and cook a pumpkin? Well-- depends on what your time is. It doesnt' really take that long I expect I can have the thing done in about 30 minutes. Compare to a can of pie filling at most likely a little over a dollar (less is you buy it on sale with coupons) and the cost of pumpkin seeds--which are easily going to be over a dollar for a small small packet--you could probably get several dollars worth of seed and maybe enough puree to equal 2 or more cans--depending on the size of your pumpkin. So-- yah, I think its worth while--especially since I got my little pumpkin free.

Next year I am hoping to grow my own pumpkins-- I am a little concerned I might be thinking too big-- trying to start a garden at the new place while we are in the midst of also building. I don't know though--I always think so many things are really just a matter of time management. You can get so many things done if you want to --just look at what you do in the day and how much time it 'really' takes to do things. I find I have plenty of time to take little sit down breaks and do my blogging etc-- and still get lots of things done. I work the same at work as I do at home--get lots of extra little things done. My work ethic I think is the thing--I like to work and I don't see much point in just sitting around-it drags out the time and isn't fun. I'd rather accomplish something.

Cooking my pumpkin is one project I have planned for today, another is to catch up laundry, clean my parrot cage and spiff up the house after our trips last week. I'm off today and tomorrow. We should be closing on our house tomorrow-- The Dream Becomes Reality! I'll post more about how that goes.

We've done much of the closing work by fax and fed-ex and such like--the last step will be wiring. We had to get funds from 3 separate out of town accounts and combine them and put them in our primary savings account--also out of town. Some things came in while we were out of town, which made it all a little more challenging. It worked out though. All the money is there now so it only needs to be wired to the closing attorney.

We got a first draft of the closing statement and found that we'd been charged for the inspection the seller ordered! Well-- that has now been rearranged and our costs will be nearly 300 less. Never assume that lawyers and realtors don't make mistakes! They do! You need to be on your own toes at all times. There were so many offers and counter offers before this got finished that I was bothered that we missed a couple things and signed away a little of the protection we should have had in this deal. We don't expect it to be a problem--but there's always that possibility. Too late now. Hopefully it will all be just fine.

I'm looking out at frozen browned and frosted ground in Pokeberry this morning. There are leaves all over that really need to be cleaned up and the gutters now are ready for a good cleaning as the deciduous trees are finally done shedding debris on the roof. Should we go ahead and put up our Christmas lights? I think so. My in-laws are hoping to come here for Christmas this year. We were thinking we'd celebrate over at the new house--but the seller may not be totally off the property--he has 30 days to move all his stuff. We agreed to that because he has an awful lot there and we figured it would not be very easy to clean up fast, especially since he is an elderly man and not well off. We can still go there and work on things so it doesn't matter too much--but I'm not sure I want to do Christmas there. Here seems more comfy. We'll see when the time gets closer. We had thought we could BBQ a turkey out at the new place-- it isn't set up really, no kitchen yet--but could be fun to do it all camp style.

This has been a record breaking cold fall in the Carolinas. Right now it is 27'. Last year it was I think in the 70s during much of November. I admit I got spoiled really fast. I'm having trouble with my finger joints and my back, such is life. :) I have some willow that I think I should start making tea from again and drinking a few times a day. It has the active ingredient from aspirin in it, so it will give a mild bit of pain relief and reduce some swelling, but it won't cause my tummy to have fits like many otc nsaids do. I may take a bit of something stronger though to get it kicking in. When my back and fingers are hurting--its different for each. The fingers have more of a bruisy type feeling of pain--and that bugs me because I love to write and do things and I handle so many books at work. The back just gets really stiff and a little sore, not as concentrated as knuckle pain. Ah yes, aches and pains. Tis the season!

There are birds chirping outside. I've noticed that Carolina Wrens and Mockingbirds seem to be hanging around more this time of year than in summer. There is still a tree full of bright red berries in the yard--it must not be a 'favorite'. I want to learn more about some of the native berry trees and shrubs in the future as I now that I will have my own land I want to grow lots of things that I can use for jelly or jam or purees. :) Also I love to have things in the yard that draw birds.

There was a very large hawk in the dogwood yesterday. He was easy to spot now that it is naked of leaves and berries. I didn't see if he managed to catch anything, he flew off while I was doing something. I worried a moment about Junior the feral kitten. But-- Junior has gotten pretty big now, I think the hawk most likely is after the same prey Junior hunts--the song birds.

Looking out I can see some of my herbs are still popping out with various tones of 'green' in the midst of straw colored dead plants. I need to dig those up when a warm stretch comes along so I can transport them to the new house. I have comfrey, rosemary, lavendar, sage, chives and santolina I think out there probably others as well. It sure has been cold! I suppose some of my plants won't make it through this as they would normally. There are lots of plants that overwinter in the Carolinas but some are 'borderline' and might or might not continue on. I'm thinking one thing I will have in the new place is enough forsythias to do a large border or maybe dot the hillside. I have all those little rooted shrubs in my mini backyard nursery. Won't that be cool!

Well its a good day to be home here in Pokeberry! I'm feeling impatient for tomorrow afternoon when we sign on the dotted line and own our own home again! Wow--amazing.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, are signing tomorrow! How cool is that??? It all happened quickly! Hey, when you are ready, you are ready, right? Congratulations on your new house!!!