Thursday, October 24, 2013


We have had a very pumpkin-filled October, and rightly so - pumpkins are delicious, nutritious, and all-around useful. Plus, it doesn't really feel like fall for me until I go to a pumpkin patch. So a couple of weekends ago, I convinced Eric that we should drive down to Corrales (just north of Albuquerque) so that we could pick out some pumpkins, instead of buying them from a store.

After we picked out four pretty sizable pumpkins, we bought some chocolate chip pumpkin bread and lemonade and had a little picnic with a great view of the Sandia Mountains. Not a bad way to spend the afternoon. PLUS, as we were driving back to Santa Fe, our friend Liz sent us a text and invited us to carve pumpkins at her house that very evening! We were so prepared.

Pumpkin carving pros.
The results - you can see my cat face and can kind of make out Eric's Zia sun sunset in the center.
After that, we still had two pumpkins to turn into various foodstuffs. In the past, I've mostly relied on store-bought pumpkin puree or pumpkin baking mixes to get my fix, but this fall we've been especially ambitious in the kitchen. First order of business: Chopping the pumpkins.

After peeling, de-seeding, and chopping a whole pumpkin.
Pumpkin #2 got a little messy.
It was definitely time-consuming and kind of a pain to prepare the large pumpkins, but it felt pretty satisfying - plus, now we have a ton of pumpkin chopped up, just waiting to be used in a bunch of delicious recipes.

Last week, we made coconut-spiked pumpkin soup, and it was so good (especially with a little parmesan cheese sprinkled on top) that we are about to put another batch in the crockpot. I have also been roasting pumpkin seeds like crazy and they are now my favorite snack to have at work. But perhaps our most impressive use of pumpkin was last Sunday, when we endeavored to make pumpkin beer.

Stirring the brew cauldron filled with pumpkin goodness.
A lot of beer recipes use only pumpkin spice, but we wanted to try it with actual roasted pumpkin in the mix. It's too soon to tell whether our efforts will be rewarded with delicious beer, but it did smell amazing the whole time we were making it, so that is a good sign. In about 3 weeks we'll know the results!

We still have a ton of pumpkin left - luckily, Eric bought me a whole cookbook of pumpkin recipes a few years ago! He's off to Texas this weekend to climb some rocks, so I'm going to have a lot of time to make pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, pumpkin bread, etc.

And before I wrap this up, here's a picture of our favorite lil' pumpkin:

Oh yes, we bought Zeezy a Halloween costume, and yes, he looks adorable in it.

He doesn't particularly LOVE wearing it yet, but we're working on it.

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