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Monday, November 21, 2011


June 6, 1888:  A Michigan girl had found 2,125 four-leaf clovers and isn't married yet.  An Omaha girl who found out how to make a pumpkin pie was married in three months.

~Quote from Prairie Farmer magazine, cited in A Prairie  Kitchen: Recipes, Poems and Colorful Stories from the "Prairie Farmer" Magazine, 1841-1900 ~

Well, you didn't think I'd let November pass without posting something about pumpkins did you?  Especially since they are my favorite thing to grow in the garden.  So easy!  I just pick out promising seedlings growing  in the compost and replant them.  Of course, I do plant some the traditional way also!

Pumpkins are high in Vitamin A, which promotes healthy eyes, skin and bones.  That deep orange color is high in beta - carotene, so enjoy it!  Beside the traditional pies, breads and muffins, you can use it any way that you would a traditional winter squash.  You would have to have a pretty sophisticated palate to tell the difference!  I like to add cubed pieces to stews and soups.  Anything to add more nutrition!

To prepare fresh pumpkin:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a jelly roll baking sheet with aluminum foil.  Cut the pumpkin in half crosswise and scoop out the seeds and pulp. Place the pumpkin cut side down on the baking sheet  and bake for 1 -1 1/2 hours or until the flesh is tender.  Scoop out the flesh and mash until smooth. You could use a food processor for this, but I don't own one so I couldn't tell you how.

How to can pumpkin:
Clean pumpkins,  Remove seeds and pulp.  Cut into 1-inch cubes.  Cut off the rind.  Place in a large pot and cover with water.  Boil a few minutes to heat thoroughly.  Pack into sterilized pint jars leaving 1" headspace.  Add 1/2 tsp. salt to  jars.  Ladle the boiling cooking liquid over the cubes, leaving 1" headspace.  Wipe the rims and place a sterilized lid on top.  Screw on the ring and process for 55 minutes under 10 pounds of pressure.

Of course, I couldn't write a pumpkin post without including a recipe for pie.  Here's the one we use:

Amish Pumpkin Pie

1 C. brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 C. pumpkin puree
1 can evaporated milk
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. flour
2 eggs, beaten
9" unbaked pie shell

Mix together the sugar, spices, salt and flour.  Stir in the pumpkin, then the eggs.  Lastly the milk.
Pour into the pie shell.  Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes.  Reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 25-30 minutes or until the filling is firm.

With this recipe you'll have enough pumpkin left over in the can to make our family's favorite; pumpkin pancakes.  Here's the recipe:

Pumpkin Pancakes

2C. flour
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ginger
1 1/2 C.  milk
1/2 C. canned pumpkin
1 large egg
2 tbsp. oil
oil for the skillet

In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients.  In a small bowl combine the milk, pumpkin, egg and oil; stir into the dry ingredients until the dry ingredients  are moistened.  The batter will be thick.  Pour  1/4 cup batter into heated, lightly oiled griddle.  Spread batter into a 4 inch circle. Cook as you would any pancakes.

Or maybe these muffins would be more up your alley:

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

1 1/4 C. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. soda
1 egg
3/4 C. brown sugar
2/3 C.  pumpkin
1/4 C. oil
1  3oz. pkg. cream cheese
3 tbsp. sugar
1/3 C. chopped nuts

Combine  the dry ingredients.  Mix the egg, brown sugar, pumpkin and oil together.  Add to the dry ingredients.  Mix until combined.  In another bowl combine the cream cheese and sugar.  In lined muffin cups spoon 1 tbsp. batter, top with 1 tsp. of the cream cheese mixture.  Spoon another 1 tbsp. of batter over top.  Spread evenly and sprinkle with the nuts.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Well!  This has certainly been a long post!  But before I go, I want to wish you all a blessed and joyful Thanksgiving.  Here's my favorite poem on the subject:

He who thanks but with the lips
Thanks but in part;
The full, the true Thanksgiving
Comes from the heart.
~J. A. Shedd~

Happy Thanksgiving!


  1. I would, sadly, be the unmarried one, I guess. My pumpkin pies are not that good... But, I am eager to try your receipes, Jane!The pancakes look delish!

    Happy Thanksgiving, Jane!

  2. One of my favorites...pumpkin pie :)


  3. Well Matty, I'm pretty certain you have other charms to compensate for pumpkin pie baking! Like an amazing sense of humor. Luckily you won't have to resort to four-leaf clovers as you already have a Mister!

    I'm so happy that you'll be home with your little girl this Thanksgiving, Maria! Now that is something to be truly thankful for!

  4. Hi Jane, love you post today! All the recipes are wonderful, I would especially like to try the pumpkin pancakes! The Amish pie is very much like the recipe I have only I use white sugar. I bet the brown sugar is delicious, with that subtle touch of molasses. Growing pumpkins are fun, I have fond memories of our little pumpkin patch when I was a girl. They grow so big so quickly, it is a great project for kids. I bought the supplies today to make my pumpkin bars and am going to do a little baking tonight. Have a lovely evening ahead! Delisa :)

  5. I love that little story at the beginning! And I love any way! Thanks for some great recipes. I can't wait to try them.

  6. Hi Delisa! I just pulled my pumpkin pie from the oven minutes ago. I always make a tiny tart sized one for myself. Just to taste to make sure it's ok. HA! Happy baking tonight!

    Glad you liked that little story Courtney! I thought it was kind of cute. Probably a lot of truth to it, also! Too bad The Prairie Farmer Magazine isn't still in publication. I think I'd enjoy it.

  7. I will try your pumpkin pie recipe for Thanksgiving--although I'll be using our garden-grown butternut squash in place of store-bought canned pumpkin.

  8. Jane, you always amaze with your home-made and self-sufficient living. I have a secret desire to live that way but never seem able to pull it off. Between you and Matty, I feel like such a slacker! (-:

    I may succeed in adding more pumpkin to my life - but I'm afraid it will come from a can.

    Hope yours is a very special Thanksgiving!!

  9. Wonderful recipes! I have been wanting to make pumpkin pancakes, and I love adding cream cheese to muffins- sounds great. Pumpkins are great, I still have one sugar pumpkin left, that I want to try baking. Great Quote!

  10. Hello Morning! I grow a squash called Mooregold, that I use interchangeably with pumpkins. It actually is more orange and fleshier than most pumpkins. I'd be happy to send you some of it's seeds. If you're interested, just drop me an e-mail. My address is at the top of my blog.


  11. Sandy, Matty is the real pioneer woman. I just grow my own food and salvage all the windfall limbs for the fire. Just things that folks have been doing for generations around where I live. Would love to own a couple of acres of nice wooded land though, to gather my own maple syrup to boil down for sugar and for my own firewood. So far, we haven't found the perfect woodlot within our price range. But I don't care to go into any animal husbandry, unless you define taking care of Georgie and the strays as animal husbandry!

  12. Hi April! I had forgotten all about that muffin recipe. Used to make it quite often when our son Todd lived at home. Pumpkin is his favorite flavor. Have a happy Thanksgiving!

  13. Hi Jane! Thanks for the kind comments about my gloves! Yes, I think knitted gloves are just a little more bulky around the palm, it probably has a lot to do with the kind of yarn you choose too. But it is something that can be worked with and if you cast on a few less stitches to begin with you can probably make them fit just right. The only thing is that you would have to increase the stitches gradually as you get toward the top of the palm so that you would have enough for the finger holes. Nothing is more uncomfortable than when those are too tight. I love this particular pattern, I got it from

    She has a wonderful website. The pattern was about $6.00 I think but it also gives you access to step by step online videos that you can follow along. It was extremely helpful and fun. I felt like I got a whole glove making class at a knitting store. So when you consider that would be at least $25.00 and take up a half a saturday, the price of her patterns are a great value. :)

    Fingers are a little tricky but once you find the technique that works best they are a lot of fun to make and knit up fast. The joining areas on the fingers tend to leave little holes. Most people just leave them but it was driving me crazy. That is when I came across the tips of switching to smaller dpns in certain areas, once I did that, problem solved. I would suggest you start simple with size 4 or 5 needles, a worsted yarn and make a slightly bulkier glove. Once you practice all the techniques, then working with the finer, more delicate yarn will be a snap. If I knit about an hour or so a day, I can usually finish the pair of gloves in about a week. I hope you have a lovely day ahead Jane! Delisa :)

  14. Dear Jane,

    Yay for the Pumpkin Post! We love them here, too, and have been experimenting with different recipes. I'll have to write down yours, too.

    A happy Thanksgiving, too. I shall be thinking of four-leaf clovers now. :)



  15. Hello Marqueta! Once things get back to a normal routine around here, I have an interesting story about midwifery to send you. Hope you have the best Thanksgiving surrounded by your sweet family!

  16. Oh you dear, dear friend. Pumpkin this, and pumpkin that!! My entire family LOVES pumpkin! Enjoy your Thanksgiving.

    Blessings, Debbie

  17. Debbie, I promise that the next post will have zero recipes. Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

  18. hello jane
    thanks for sharing all the wonderful recipe.
    happy thanksgiving my friend
    love and hugs,

  19. Thank you Regina! Have a wonderful weekend, my dear friend!

  20. Lovely pumpkin posting.....yummy looking recipes!

    Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration!

  21. Thank you, Brenda! I know they've already celebrated Thanksgiving in Canada, but isn't everyday a day of Thanksgiving? So I'll return the wish to you!

  22. I had a horrible year with my garden, so no pumpkins for me--but I love the sound of the cream cheese pumpkin muffins, so I may just have to buy some canned pumpkin and give it a whirl. Sounds delish.

  23. Nice post! Thanks for sharing... blessings...

  24. You just cannot go wrong with the combo of cream cheese and pumpkin, Charlene! Of course, anything with cream cheese in it has my vote.

    Thank you Faith! Love the name of your blog!

  25. Hi Jane! Just thought I would stop by and say hello, I hope you have had a nice weekend. We had a party for several teenage boys yesterday. They slept over night and I made a pancake breakfast. Then they got an early start with my husband out n the work shop building radio kits. They had a blast. I did too, but I am sure tired today. I bbq'd a million hamburgers and made a million chocolate chip cookies. :) I'm going to rest tonight and do a little knitting. Have a loving evening! Delisa :)

  26. Hi Jane,
    I came back to say that I used your pumpkin pie recipe with good results. I thought the one cup of puree was a bit scanty, so I did increase that--I was substituting home grown butternut squash. The pies, served with whipped cream, met with general approval.

  27. Hi Delisa! Sounds like you had your hands full! Hope you are putting up your feet and relaxing today.

    Glad the pies turned out for you MM! The one cup of pumpkins is what makes it work for store bought pumpkin puree, which is rather intense. I'd probably add more puree for lighter squashes too. My son has become famous at his workplace for this pie. A lady the other day said, "Oh! Your pie made with home-grown pumpkins taste so much better." He didn't tell her that it was the same ole Libbys that she uses. The secret is the brown sugar and just the one cup of puree. Otherwise it tastes too "squashy". I generally add more spices, but when posting recipes, you have to take the middle ground.Just a jumping off point, so to say!