Cooked my last sugar pumpkin the other night. They keep pretty well in the cellar for most of the winter. I was pleased to see this one was still good, I’ve had others start to rot this far into the winter. One of my favorite ways to prepare, cook and serve pumpkin is to stuff it and bake it. NPR (national public radio), did a segment on stuffed pumpkin a few years ago and that has been my inspiration.
Cut the pumpkin open as you would a jack-o-lantern, remove the top with the stem attached and scoop out the seeds and fibers. Rub the inside with salt and pepper and place in a 2′ deep pan or oven proof casserole dish. Sometimes they can collapse when cooked, the 2′ high pan saves a major oven clean-up.
What can you stuff it with?? The short answer is just about anything. This is what I have used.
- Bread, cubed and dried, any kind, white, wheat, rye (very good), pumpernickel and heals are great for this.
- Cooked sausage, sweet or hot ( casing removed )
- cooked bacon
- Onion, diced or minced
- Cheese, what ever kind you my have, I like Feta
- Heavy cream 1/2 to 1 cup.
This time I sauteed up some sweet sausage, minced onions and pressed garlic in a little olive oil, this can be done ahead and refrigerated. I then mixed this with bread cubes from 1 slice of white and 2 slices of rye and the feta cheese (maybe a quarter cup). Stuffed the pumpkin and then poured in the heavy cream. Place the stemmed top on and bake at 350-375 degrees for about an hour or until the pumpkin is cooked. Pumpkin should pierce easily with a fork when done. Cut into wedges and serve. This isn’t always pretty when cut. Removing the flesh from the skin of the pumpkin is sometimes ungraceful but it needs to be done.
I didn’t give a lot of quantities because pumpkins come in different sizes and I mostly “wing it” . I like the smaller pumpkins, they work well for just the wife and I. Also, you don’t need a lot of stuffing, I always have too much and I did this time. I save the extra stuffing and fry it up with a scrambled egg for breakfast, quite good.
Somehow I put in too much garlic this time, I felt real bad for anyone I had to talk to, face to face, for a couple of days.
In the summer I do this with my Patty Pan squash. It makes a very pretty dish. Looks good and tastes good.
2011 summer stuffed patty pan squash
This isn’t really about my garden or my chickens.
Well maybe, my Dad called snow “poor mans fertilizer”. Well mother nature just dumped 22″ of fertilizer on my garden.
My poor chickens have been traumatized by the wind and the snow. I did get them to come down into the run late this afternoon. They don’t like change, and the run and ramp down to the run had white snow on them so the brave chickens stayed in the coop all day.
Me I ran the snow-blower most of the day. When I wasn’t behind the snow-blower I was trying to fix it. My snow-blower has tracks instead of wheels and one of the tracks came off. After much thought, many tools and a lot of colorful words I got the track back on. We got a lot of snow. My driveway is about 200′ long and wide in some places. When I close my eyes tonight I’ll see snow and a red snow-blower.
To prepare for the storm, I wrapped most of the run with tarps. This was to be a classic “Nor’easter” so I made sure the east and north sides had tarps.
9:15 am Friday snow has started to fall
It started snowing lightly Friday morning and it stopped Saturday about noon. This is what we got.
view from the kitchen door
chicken coop and run
run ramp with snow
When I opened the coop door I was surprised to see snow in the nesting boxes. The wind was blowing the snow everywhere and there is a small space on the nesting box cover because of the hinges. This is where the snow was getting in.
snow in nesting boxes
gap in nesting box cover
I will add some weather stripping to this cover, it’s got to be drafty too.
Here are some more Blizzard pictures. The tracks are mine from my snowshoes.
view of driveway from road
View down road with my mailbox
Did I mention we got a lot of snow??
“Red” and I
My wonderful wife has arranged to pick up discarded produce at our local “Whole Foods” store once-a-week. The ladies and Jack do love their greens, I need a better way to store them because they do wilt in the cellar over the week. She brought home a lot of those baby cut carrots (organic) one time and I have been shredding them in the food processor. They eat a soup bowl full in a day.
This is the box she came home with this afternoon.
The things we do for our chickens.
This picture was taken Jan 23 rd when it was 15 degrees F outside. I am amazed at how big they get when they fluff up to stay warm. Even at this temperature they want to be out of the run-coop.
They are all standing on one leg with the other one drawn up tight to their bodies to keep it warm.