Tag Archives: pumpkin

Visit your local farmers Pumpkin Patch

Select a large-ish Pumpkin to carved your jack-o-lantern. While at the Pumpkin patch select a few smaller ones for making winter holiday season pie’s and soup.
Save your pumpkin seed to be roasted for a delicious snack.

Taste of Home website has a lot of useful information on Roasting Pumpkin Seed is easy and fun for the entire family and they are nutritious.

Pumpkin seeds are packed full of valuable nutrients. Eating only a small amount of them can provide you with a substantial quantity of healthy fats, magnesium and zinc. Pumpkin seeds have been associated with several health benefits. These include heart health, prostate health and it has been suggested they also provide some protection against certain cancers.

One ounce (28 grams) of shell-free pumpkin seeds has roughly 151 calories, mainly from fat and protein.
Fiber: 1.7 grams
Carbs: 5 grams
Protein: 7 grams
Fat: 13 grams (6 of which are omega-6s)
Vitamin K: 18% of the RDI
Phosphorus: 33% of the RDI
Manganese: 42% of the RDI
Magnesium: 37% of the RDI
Iron: 23% of the RDI
Zinc: 14% of the RDI
Copper: 19% of the RDI

They also contain a lot of antioxidants and a decent amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids, potassium, vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and folate.
Animal studies have shown that pumpkin, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin seed powder and pumpkin juice can reduce blood sugar. This is especially important for people with diabetes, who may struggle to control their blood sugar levels.

Health line website said:
One cup of cooked pumpkin (245 grams) contains:
Calories: 49
Fat: 0.2 grams
Protein: 2 grams
Carbs: 12 grams
Fiber: 3 grams
Vitamin A: 245% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
Vitamin C: 19% of the RDI
Potassium: 16% of the RDI
Copper: 11% of the RDI
Manganese: 11% of the RDI
Vitamin B2: 11% of the RDI
Vitamin E: 10% of the RDI
Iron: 8% of the RDI
Small amounts of magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, folate and several B vitamins.

Pumpkins contain antioxidants, such as alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin. These can neutralize free radicals, stopping them from damaging your cells.

Webmd website say’s Pumpkin is rich in fiber, which slows digestion. “Pumpkin keeps you feeling fuller longer. There’s seven grams of fiber in a cup of canned pumpkin. That’s more than what you’d get in two slices of whole-grain bread.

A single cup of pumpkin contains over 200 percent of most people’s recommended daily intake of vitamin A, making it an outstanding option for optical health.
Pumpkin also contains lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants that are thought to help prevent cataracts and may even slow the development of macular degeneration.

Thanksgiving Food Safety

Butterball Turkey Talk provides a free service to answer your questions about proper handling, thawing and cooking Turkey.
You can reach them by telephone, email or via live chat line.
Butterball also has a informative page of FAQ’s that you may find useful.

Butterball said:
Thaw in refrigerator (not at room temperature). Place unopened turkey, breast side up, on a tray in refrigerator and follow our refrigerator thawing instructions. Allow at least 24 hours for every 4 pounds.

To thaw more quickly, place unopened turkey breast down in sink filled with cold tap water. Allow 30 minutes per pound. Change water every 30 minutes to keep surface of turkey cold.

When thawed, keep in refrigerator up to 4 days until ready to cook.

United States Department Of Agricultural (USDA) has a nice and very informative fact sheet as well as a useful PDF file on the safe handling, cooking, Storage and re-heating of Turkey.

United States Department Of Agricultural (USDA) A Consumer Guide to Safely Roasting a Turkey USDA’s information applies to any poultry, Turkey, Chicken, Duck, Goose and so on that you may plan on cooking and serving to your family.

For more information about food safety, call: USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854). 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday or
E-mail: mphotline.fsis@usda.gov Or “Ask Karen,” FSIS’ Web-based automated response system – available 24/7 at http://www.fsis.usda.gov.

Allow 1 pound of turkey per person.

Thawing In the Refrigerator (40 °F or below)
Allow approximately 24 hours for every 4 to 5 pounds
4 to 12 pounds 1 to 3 days
12 to 16 pounds 3 to 4 days
16 to 20 pounds 4 to 5 days
20 to 24 pounds 5 to 6 days
Roasting Time
4 to 8 pounds (breast) 1½ to 3¼ hours
8 to 12 pounds 2¾ to 3 hours
12 to 14 pounds 3 to 3¾ hours
14 to 18 pounds 3¾ to 4¼ hours
18 to 20 pounds 4¼ to 4½ hours
20 to 24 pounds 4½ to 5 hours

United States Department Of Agricultural (USDA) Alternate methods to cook Turkey / poultry Grilling a Turkey, Covered Gas Grill, Covered Charcoal Grill, Smoking a Turkey, Deep Fat Frying a Turkey.

United States Department Of Agricultural (USDA) Basics: Safe Cooking Turkey A PDF file. Great 1 page tip sheet on cooking Turkey / Poultry.

United States Department Of Agricultural (USDA) Turkey Roasting Chart Everything you will ever need to know about Roasting your Turkey.
Reheating Your Turkey
In the Oven
Set the oven temperature no lower than 325 °F.
Reheat turkey to an internal temperature of 165 °F. Use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature.
To keep the turkey moist, add a little broth or water and cover.

United States Department Of Agricultural (USDA) Safe Minimum Cooking Temperatures Use this chart and a food thermometer to ensure that meat, poultry, seafood, and other cooked foods reach a safe minimum internal temperature.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC 24/7: Saving Lives. Protecting People. Safely Prepare Your Holiday Meal Important cooking information to providing Safe food preparation information.

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Holiday Season Planning

OK… It’s not the Holiday season — yet. But it soon will be. So with that in mind I have listed a few links to older postings that you may find entertaining if not useful.

I don’t intend to sound like the old guy I am, but, holidays are and should be foremost for family and friends.
Your children, grand children and in some cases great grand children will in adult life remember the time, food and fun had being served homemade, handmade holiday treats. What they won’t remember is that large bag of store bought candy / snacks you served.

Take time out of your self made, self important schedule and spend time this holiday season with family and friends.
Not to put to fine a point on this, but, the world as we know it will not change or end if you take time out to spend ‘at home’ with friends and family.
Pioneer Woman Popcorn Balls
Traditional Popcorn Balls
Hint Put a wooden skewer in each popcorn ball.

Candy Apples
Caramel Apples
Easy candied Apples
Old-fashioned style candied apples
Caramel, Chocolate and Candy Apples
Carving Your Pumpkin – Jack-O-Lantren – Toasted/Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Winter Squash and Pumpkin – Harvesting & Storing
Pumpkins – They Can Do It All
Rumtopf and Romkrukke

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Vertical Gardening – More Vegetables Using Less Space

pole bean tepee

Gardening on a Trellis is a great way to save space, whether it be in your garden, porch or container grown vegetables.

Trellis grown plants still need about the same number of square square feet for your vines, but, now they are taking up vertical space and not sprawling over valuable garden space.

Many crops require little effort and only light supporting materials to hold them up. Beans and peas for example.
Other vine plants like tomato’s, squash, cucumbers, melons require a strong trellis secured well to your containers or post in your garden. Keep in mind that a free standing trellis covered with vines catches a lot of wind during storms and required substantial attachments to poles deep in the ground.

Trellis materials can be anything from twine secured between two or more bamboo sticks {small wood post}. They can be free standing or secured to your house, garden shed or fence. Larger decorative trellis can be made from lattes purchased from your local hardware store. Lattes commonly comes in 2ft X 4ft, 4ft X 4ft or 4ft X 8ft sizes.

wall mounted trellis

They are made of light weight wood or now days more commonly will be plastic and comes in many colors, white or green being the most common colors. Being light weight wood or plastic they are easy to work with cutting them to any size or special shape you may need.

Stronger larger trellis can be erected using livestock {cattle or hog] panels. Cattle panels are 52in tall X 16ft long and hog panels are 34in tall X 16ft long. They are constructed from heavy steel 6 or 4 gauge welded wire. These panels are not as pleasing to look at but will last 20 years or more, are easy to erect and to store at the end of your gardening season.
An easy way to erect these panels is using three T-Post driven into the ground. One on each end and one in the middle of a long panel. Secure to the post using steel wire or strong plastic wire ties.

general use trellis

Securing you vines to your trellis can be accomplished using many different materials. Old bread bag wire ties, string{twine}, loosely secured plastic wire ties. My choice is to cut up old pantyhose into 2 inch wide strips. It’s easy to work with, cheap, strong and seldom will it damage your vines. Don’t skimp on using vine ties, you need more than you may think you need. As vines get larger and when fruit appears, there is a lot of weight that must be secured to your trellis.

What and how you build your trellis is only limited by your imagination. Recycle chain link fencing, old field fence. Small light weight trellis can be made using limbs you prune from trees, bamboo, twine, wire. Anyway your getting this picture in your mind, right?

As a side note: I don’t know why, but, it is easier to get your vines to climb a trellis when it is located on the east side of your north/south rows or on the south side of plants in east/west rows.

University of Vermont Extension Department of Plant and Soil Science “said” Growing vegetables upright not only saves space, but makes harvesting easier. You don’t have to stoop to cut fruit from the vines.

Upright vegetables can also be grown on fences to hide ugly chain link ones, or to screen undesirable views.

Pole beans (make sure you don’t get the bush varieties) will climb up just about anything, even other plants. Native Americans used these in their traditional “three sisters” plantings of beans, corn, and squash or pumpkins. The corn stalks provided support for the beans, and the pumpkins (or other squash) provided a ground cover or living mulch. Just make sure if using this method to give the corn a head start, or the fast growing beans won’t have anything to climb!

Pole beans can be grown on bamboo teepees, trellises, or over an arbor. The scarlet runner bean is old fashioned, and has attractive red flowers. There is even a variety of this bean with yellow leaves. Pole beans add a vertical accent, and they keep producing longer than bush beans.

Gourds, melons, pumpkins and winter squash have very long vines up to 25 feet for the gourds and up to 10 feet for squash.
Heavy fruits of winter squash, such as butternut, should be individually supported by cloth twine (strips of used panty hose works great) tied to the trellis or fence on which the vines are trained. For tying these and other vertical crops to their supports, avoid string which can cut into stems.

Melons and pumpkins can be grown similar to winter squash, and their fruit similarly supported with cloth twine or even slings made of old towels, sheets, or rags.

Cucumbers (the traditional vining types, not the bush types) can also be grown up a trellis or A-frame structure. You can also make a cage of the heavy wire used to reinforce concrete. This will be quite strong, stand up on its own, and support the weight of the vines. You can also use cages of wide mesh fencing, only this will need additional support such as wooden stakes or iron rods.

If using bamboo stakes, decorative rods, or the rusty colored iron rods, make sure and purchase “cane toppers”. These can be plastic or ceramic function to protect your eyes when working around poles ans stakes.

Peas are a favorite early season, upright crop suitable for the vertical garden. Choose the edible pod or snow peas that produce longer vines than most shelling, or English peas. And since they produce early in the season during cooler weather, combine them with later maturing vines such as beans or cucumbers. Or you may sow peas again in late summer for a fall harvest.

Tomatoes that have stems that keep growing, the indeterminate varieties (check the seed packet or description for this feature) perform much better grown upright than sprawling over the ground where the fruits can be damaged by disease and insects.

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Vegetables That Take Over Your Garden

Cucumber vines can spread 8 feet in every direction.
They are a warm weather vegetable that loves full sun.
Conserve space by training your vines to climb your fence or better yet build a decorative trellis.

Cucumber plants make two basic types of fruit, those for slicing and those for pickling. Pickling varieties seem to reach their peak faster than slicing varieties.
Depending on your variety, planting to your first harvest will be about 65 to 100 days.

Plant four or five cucumber seeds in 1 foot diameter circles(small hills) with hills 5 to 6 feet apart.
Keep soil evenly moist to prevent the fruit from becoming bitter.
Side dress cucumber plants about 4 weeks after planting. Use about one tablespoon of 5-10-10 or similar fertilizer per plant in a narrow band along each row or around hills.

Butternut squash, yellow summer squash and acorn squash. are warn season, full sun loving plants.
* Yellow summer squash will need 4 feet or more for its vine to spread for your best crop. Plant in hills spaced six feet apart.
* Butternut squash will spread 12 to 15 feet. Plant in hills 8 to 12 feet apart.
* Acorn squash squash will spread 10 to 12 feet. Plant in hills 6 to 10 feet apart.

Plant 5 or 6 seeds 1/2 – 3/4 inch deep in each hill. After seedlings set their first true leaves thin leaving your 3 best plants.
Keep soil evenly moist to produce large fruit.
Side dress plants about 4-6 weeks after planting. Use about one tablespoon of 5-10-10 or similar fertilizer per plant.

Home garden Pumpkin vineClick to enlarge picture Pumpkins come in many sizes and colors, however all of them are garden space hogs.
Pumpkins require a minimum of 50 to 100 square feet per hill. Plant seeds one inch deep, four or five seeds per hill. Allow 8 to 10 feet between hills or spaced in rows 10 to 15 feet apart. When the young plants are well established, thin each hill to the best two or three plants.

Water if a dry period occurs in early summer. Pumpkins tolerate short periods of hot, dry weather pretty well. However, to produce the largest fruits, water by applying at least 1 inch of water weekly.

To grow monster pumpkins that may weigh more than 100 pounds. Select one of the jumbo variety seed.
Plant in early June and allow 150 square feet or more per hill. Thin each hill to the best one or two plants.
Use about one tablespoon of 5-10-10 or similar fertilizer per plant every 4 weeks during your growing season.
High fertility, proper insect control and shallow cultivation are essential to grow monster pumpkins.

Remove the first two or three female flowers after the plants start to bloom so that the plants grow larger with more leaf surface before setting fruit.
Allow a single fruit to develop and pick off all female flowers that develop after this fruit has set on the plant.

Do not allow the vine to root down at the joints, developing fruit on these varieties develop so quickly and grow so large that they may actually break from the vine as they expand on a vine that is anchored to the ground.

Bees, that are necessary for pollinating squash and pumpkins, may be killed by insecticides. New blossoms open each day and bees land inside open blossoms, bees must be safe from contact with any insecticides.

Hint: How to Identify female from male pumpkin flowers.
Click to enlarge picture
pumpkin flowers

Melons like watermelon, cantaloupe, musk melon and honeydew are all space and water hungry plants.
All like full sun locations and warm weather. Soil temperatures should be 70F to 85F at planting time.
Plant 5 or 6 melon seed on hills 1/2 to 3/4 inch deep. Space hills 6 to 8 feet apart. Thin seedlings keeping 2 or 3 of your strongest plants.

Provide 1 inch or more of water weekly and side dress with about 1 tablespoon of NPK 5-10-10 fertilizer at about 40-45 day intervals throughout the growing season to produce an abundant crop of melons.

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Fall Vegetables – A Healthy Feast

Pumpkin low in calories, a powerhouse of antioxidant vitamins, A, C and E. It contains trace minerals copper, calcium, potassium and phosphorus, and poly-phenolic antioxidants including lutein, xanthin, and carotenes.
Good for heart health. Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of dietary fiber and mono-unsaturated fatty acids.
Hint: Vitamin A is essential for healthy skin and vision, and it is known to be helpful in fighting certain cancers.

Butternut Squash a winter type squash is packed with poly-phenolic anti-oxidants and vitamins. Rich source of dietary fiber, potassium, phytonutrients, and vitamins A and C.
Hint: Baking brings out its mellow flavor. Adding cinnamon gives it a touch of sweetness.

Beets are delicious and now is it’s peak season. If you’ve only had dark red ones try gold and white beets. They provides 5 percent of the vitamin C you need as well as vitamin A, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6 and pantothenic acid.
Hint: Boiling beets brings out their mild flavor. Roasting caramelizes their natural sugar for a slightly sweet and crispy treat.

Pomegranate is as chocked full of antioxidants. Tangy and slightly sour it is an excellent source of Vitamin C and folate.
Hint: Use pomegranates in recipes as a replacement to cranberries.
Read more

Country life is a good life.

Happy Fall gardening

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October Is Pumpkin Season

pumpkin bowl It is time to be searching for those perfect pumpkins. To make Jack-O-Lanterns, bread, muffins, pie, soup, fresh roasted seed snacks. University of Illinois – Pumpkins and more

Pumpkin Pie! Who knew? It seems that the origin of pumpkin pie occurred when the colonists sliced off the pumpkin top, removed the seeds, and filled the insides with milk, spices and honey. The pumpkin was then baked in hot ashes.

Native Americans dried strips of pumpkin and wove them into mats. They also roasted long strips of pumpkin on the open fire and ate them.

History of the Jack-o-Lantern originated from an Irish myth about a man nicknamed “Stingy Jack.” Stingy Jack invited the Devil to have a drink with him. True to his name, Stingy Jack didn’t want to pay for his drink, so he convinced the Devil to turn himself into a coin that Jack could use to buy their drinks. Once the Devil did so, Jack decided to keep the money and put it into his pocket next to a silver cross, which prevented the Devil from changing back into his original form. Jack eventually freed the Devil, under the condition that he would not bother Jack for one year and that, should Jack die, he would not claim his soul. The next year, Jack again tricked the Devil into climbing into a tree to pick a piece of fruit. While he was up in the tree, Jack carved a sign of the cross into the tree’s bark so that the Devil could not come down until the Devil promised Jack not to bother him for ten more years.

Soon after, Jack died. God would not allow such an unsavory figure into heaven. The Devil, upset by the trick Jack had played on him and keeping his word not to claim his soul, would not allow Jack into hell.
He sent Jack off into the dark night with only a burning coal to light his way. Jack put the coal into a carved out turnip and has been roaming the Earth with it ever since.
The Irish began to refer to this ghostly figure as “Jack of the Lantern,” and then, simply “Jack O’Lantern.” Immigrants from these countries brought the jack o’lantern tradition with them when they came to the United States. They soon found that pumpkins, a fruit native to America, make perfect jack o’lanterns.

Pumpkins are commonly used in ornamental displays in and out of doors, making breads, muffins, cakes, pies and soups as well as eating roasted pumpkin seeds. You can find a few tried and true recipes at University of Illinois – Pumpkin Recipes

100 Things to do with your Pumpkin

Pumpkin Nutrition
The bright orange color of pumpkin is a dead giveaway that pumpkin is loaded with an important antioxidant, beta carotene. Beta carotene is one of the plant carotenoids converted to vitamin A in the body. In the conversion to vitamin A, beta carotene performs many important functions in overall health.

Pumpkin Nutrition Facts
(1 cup cooked, boiled, drained, without salt)
Calories 49 ————–Protein 2 grams —————-Carbohydrate 12 grams
Dietary Fiber 3 grams ———Calcium 37 mg ——————-Iron 1.4 mg
Magnesium 22 mg —————Potassium 564 mg —————-Zinc 1 mg
Selenium .50 mg —————Vitamin C 12 mg —————–Niacin 1 mg
Folate 21 mcg —————–Vitamin A 2650 IU —————Vitamin E 3 mg

Fun Facts about Pumpkins
Pumpkin seeds can be roasted as a snack.
Pumpkins contain potassium and Vitamin A.
Pumpkins are used for feed for animals.
Pumpkin flowers are edible.
Pumpkins are used to make soups, pies and breads.
In early colonial times, pumpkins were used as an ingredient for the crust of pies, not the filling.
Pumpkins were once recommended for removing freckles and curing snake bites.
Native Americans used pumpkin seeds for food and medicine.

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Getting Old Is Not For Sissy’s

It dried out enough that I could get a 8 yard dump truck into the area where I wanted my fill dirt (really it’s called chat) dumped. Chat is the fine screenings left over from crushing large rock into smaller rock that is used mostly to top our country roads.

After the heavy rains a few weeks ago I must do a lot of repair around my house foundation as well as fill washouts around walks and around my chicken house.

At one time I could have completed this project in two days, but, sadly I have discovered that at my age a 2 day project may drag on for 2 weeks! YUK.

Early Saturday morning we got a 1 1/2 rain but also had some 70 mph winds with the rain. My second planting of corn was laid to the ground. Fingers crossed, sometimes healthy plants can re-right them self’s and still produce a crop.

Sad smile, well, okra and pumpkins were planted, ‘again’ Friday. By this time next week I will know how much seed did not, get washed out of my garden with Saturday mornings rain/wind storm.

It’s almost 10am and temps will soon be bumping 90 degrees. SO, I’m off to wheelbarrow a few loads of chat before it gets to hot for an old guy.

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Halloween – For Kids 2 to 92

Halloween painting 1833 by Daniel Maclise
halloween 1833 painting

Here are a few links that you may or maybe not find useful to spice up your Halloween party.

Have you? Forgotten how much fun and how good Candied Apples taste?
Easy candied Apples
Old-fashioned style candied apples
Caramel, Chocolate and Candy Apples

Libbys classic pumpkin pie
Homemade Pumpkin Pie – from Real Pumpkins
Betty Crocker Pumpkin pie

Easy Popcorn Balls
Pioneer Woman Popcorn Balls
Traditional Popcorn Balls
Hint Put a wooden skewer in each popcorn ball.

Have a happy fun safe Halloween.

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One Flu South For The Winter

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
It’s that time of the year ‘again’.. Time for your flu shot.
Better safe than dead. Get your flu shot soon, very soon.

halloween pumpkin Decorating your home for Halloween.
Some people really get into decorating for Halloween, others not so much. But either way it is time to be looking for and buying shocked corn stalks, grass/wheat straw bails and of course pumpkins for eating and as decorations.

Tis the season for candy apples, home made candies, sweet potato’s, pumpkins, fresh nuts, fruit and berries of all kinds.
Jack-o-lanterns. Spooky dress up for both old and young kids.
Bobbing for apples, pumpkin and sweet potato pies with lots of homemade whipped cream topping. Lots of candy, enough candy to feed a small army.

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