Friday, October 28, 2011

Pumpkin, Pumpkins and more Pumkins

So I am now a HUGH Fan of Pumpkin. It is so good for you. I am making my grocery list this week and I am making tons of Pumpkin Recipes....I will share them with you. But here are so Pumpkin Facts!!!

Then Pumpkin is a member of the curcurbit or gourd family which include pumpkins, squash, cucumbers,melons, and watermelons, and is considered a Fruit.

The orginal pumpkin pie was made by hollowing out the pumpkin and filling it with milk, honey and spices and then baked in hot ashes.

The word pumpkin orginated orginated from the Greek word "pepon" which means "large melon"

Pumpkins are made up of about 90% water

Pumpkins were once used to remove freckles

Shelled Pumkins are a less expensive alternative to pine nuts

Roasted and shelled pumpkin seeds are called pepitas

Early setler used pumpkins to make beer

Pumpkins are low in calories, high in fier and low in sodium

Pumpkin Flowers are edible

Check in tomorrow..I will have some really fun pumpkin recipes!!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Halloween???? would be really cool if I said this was a decoration, But no..I am just trying to protect my annuals. I have company coming and this is a selfish move....does it work???

On a related note, I just read a great article in the "Herb Companion" "The Scary Herbs of Halloween" You can read the article as well as finding a wealth of herbal information by going to Click on the top where it says Grow. Then click on "The Most Popular Articles" You will find the article in that section! Enjoy!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Lazy Sunday Planning!!

After a wonderful evening with our great buddies from Columbus,planning 2...Marge and Randy's 60th Birthdays, I am trying to re coop by working on cleaning out the Potager Garden. I have learned alot this year and still have crops hanging in there to harvest. I am writing this posting as a note to self...what to do different next year in this garden.

I love this garden, it full fills all my senses...sight,smell,taste,touch, hearing. I can go into this garden and find food and flowers and hummingbirds buzzing around my head...what more could anyone ask for!!!

OK... These are my lessons:

Do not plant my tomatoes so close together!! I literally have been crawling under the vines to harvest tomatoes. If I do this again slap me in the face!

Understand the plants I am planting. Number one example## Brussels Sprout Plants that have been growing since spring..just now showing the little sprouts, WOW I have never been so frustrated with a Vegetable...which by the way I love.

I do not need so many peppers! I need to plant more Bell Peppers in red, yellow and green colors. Not so many of the hot ones, that I can not even handle. I seem to struggle with the easy zucchini and squash, but had good success with butternut squash. I wish I could be the one with tons of squash. I could do so much!!!

I love my Greens..lettuce, spinach,kale, turnip greens, more more more!!! The zinnias are so fun and yes the wonderful Sunflowers!!!!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Hand Written Thank You's!!

Today I received in the mail a handwritten Thank You for the Master Gardening Meeting I had here last week. It was from one of our "Elderly Members". I loved it and it meant so much. My daughter is a big fan of hand written notes and I agree. In this age of quick lovely and wonderful to receive a note hand written letter on a card or special paper picked out just for you! I will continue to write notes...please lets all do this!!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pumpkin Chili....Chili inside and out!

So it is a cold rainy day...I rushed around yesterday and harvested all the tomatoes,peppers,basil etc, that were hanging on for dear life. In an effort to use what I have on hand I have come up with a different recipe, Pumpkin Chili. I am using ground turkey because I am on a DIET!!! I will let you know. My recipe is below..

Becky's Pumpkin Chili

Heat 1 TBSP oil( I always use Olive Oil) in a large skillet over medium heat and saute 1 cup chopped onion, green bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, and 1 clove garlic clove minced. Saute until tender. Stir in 1 lb ground turkey and cook until evenly browned. Pour meat mixture into into the slow cooker. Mix in 14 ounces of fresh cut tomatoes and 2 cups pumpkin puree. Add some water ....maybe just a cup, this can be adjusted as needed. Season with 2TBSP Chili Powder and some fresh"hot peppers".
Add a dash of salt and pepper...Set the slow cooker on low and cook for about 5 hours. If needed add chicken broth... I added a can of Black Beans...just for my husband!

Have Sour Cream and Cheddar Cheese available for I have "hot peppers"

I will let you know?????

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Master Gardeners Here!!

Lots of Fun!!

Our Master Gardeners Group met here last Tuesday! Everyone brought appetisers and then we roasted hot dogs in our new half done Kiva!! Some wine, some apple cider, good garden friendships!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Master Gardeners Coming...

So next Tuesday the Shelby County Master Gardening Group are coming to my house. I have been on a rampage!! Perhaps I should always schedule a meeting in the Fall to whip me into action.

We have been having an attendance problem so I have offered to give any one coming a Free Plant! We are having a "Garden Happy Hour" to walk the gardens and talk! (Maybe some wine??)

So..this weekend will be 100% Garden Time.....

Check out what happens at:

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Basil Rescue

We have been in my favorite place...Sanibel..but rushed home a day early because of the threat of frost. I had just too much Basil to harvest. So today was a rescue my Basil day. I am going to make a lot of Pesto and some Basil scented oil. Then I will make some special dishes.

When we were on Sanibel,I had a Scallop dish with some fresh Basil was so good.I think I can reproduce it. It was just seared Scallops in Basil oil, then they were placed on toasted french bread slices that had Gruyere cheese melted on them. A sprinkling of Basil on top and some shaved cheese. All of this with a side of fresh greens with a Basil/Lime Vinaigrette. So go...Thanks "Cips" a new restaurant on Sanibel.

When it comes to Pesto. I make a very basic sauce. I really enjoy one of Giada's recipes. It is just right for me...not too much Garlic.

Here it is:
2 cups packed Basil Leaves
1/4 cup Toasted Pine Nuts
1 Garlic Clove
1/2 teaspoon salt, more to taste
1/4 freshly ground pepper,more taste
About 2/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan Cheese.

In a blender, pulse the Basil, Pine Nuts,Garlic, 1/2 teaspoon Salt and 1/4 teaspoon Pepper until finely chopped. With the food processor still running , gradually add enough oil to form a smooth and thick consistency. Transfer the Pesto to a bowl and stir in the cheese. If I am not going to use the Pesto that day, I either freeze or can the Pesto.

Having Pesto on hand opens me to up for a wealth of Basil Love all winter long!

Recipe from one of my favorite Cookbooks " giada's family dinner" Giada De Laurentiis


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