Sunday, October 26, 2008

Thirty Days of Thanksgiving - Day Nineteen

Note: I am having issues with Blogger today, so this post is incomplete.  I'll try to figure it out and update it in the next day or two.

I am thankful for our autumn traditions.  Gabriel keeps me on my toes with our traditions.  He pesters me in every season to do those things that celebrate holidays and changing seasons.  He is good for me; he gives me incentive to make the extra effort!

One of the fall traditions we have done for several years is going to a pumpkin patch.  This year and last we went to the South 47 Farm.  They say they practice sustainable, ecologically sensitive gardening, but I don't think they are totally organic.  That's OK, the kids and I had a wonderful time Saturday.  First we fed the goats and alpacas.  The kids were so excited to see real farm animals.  There were chickens and ducks there, too, but the kids weren't so interested in them.  Gabriel loved the alpacas, but Annika was scared of them.  She preferred the goats, who were more her size.  

Then we went on a hay ride, pulled by the tractor Olivia, driven by Farmer Dave.  The kids both thought this was their favorite part.  Annika was chattering about the ride throughout the evening.  Here is Gabriel with the tractor in the background: Then we went to find out about picking apples, and walked to the far end of the farm to find the last variety of the year.  Gabriel seemed to enjoy this part.
 The apples we got were 'Gold Rush', and they are so flavorful and juicy!  They have a tartness that makes the glands at the back of my throat tingle.

After we had picked enough apples, it was finally time for the main event: pumpkins!  I let the kids each get one for carving, and we also got some decorative gourds for the table.  I picked out a few squash for cooking.  I was in love with the colors and shapes of the winter squash they had.  I wanted to choose one of each, but had to limit myself.  I wasn't sure if the kids would eat them, after all.  

The kids enjoyed the outing very much, and I was thrilled to be able to get out.  It has been 6 1/2 weeks since my surgery on my foot and ankle, and I was in some pain by the end of our time there, but we all came home with rosy cheeks and fun memories.

On Sunday I helped Gabriel carve up his pumpkin, and Annika painted hers.  I am glad I took the time to do this with the kids.  I had so many chores to do, but it was very important to Gabriel, and I think it was better in the long run to spend the extra quality time with him.  He designed hie own pumpkin, and he did most of the carving of the face himself.  Each year he can do more - pretty soon he won't need my help at all.   

I cooked up one of the squash - I can't remember the name of it, but it is an heirloom variety.  It smelled like cinnamon and allspice while it was baking.  The flesh is bright orange.  It is incredibly sweet.  After it baked I put a little bacon, green onions, and feta cheese on top.  Gabriel had seconds!  The rest I pureed and will try to get some baking done with it.  I saved some of the seeds, and I hope to plant them next spring and get some of my own.  I think it is my favorite squash I've had in a long time.  Now if I could just remember the name of it.....

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend, as well.

1 comment:

Angela said...

I love your recipe idea for your cooked squash. i haven't ever mixed bacon and pumpkin, but i will - the combo sounds really really yummy.

also, it's wonderful to find new varieties of apples - we've never tried "gold rush". those old varieties have such great flavor/tartness that you can't find at the grocery store.