We ended up with 12 pumpkins at last count, I believe it was. We attend and annual pumpkin contest where pumpkins are rolled down a long hill.
The pumpkin that goes the farthest wins and the contestant wins $100.
This year my dad and his wife were able to witness this hysterical event and have vowed to return. After the contest, my husband and boys decided that they wanted to collect some of the pumpkins that didn’t explode by dropping off various obstacles that lay to the edges of the road they are rolled down or disappear into the woods on one side which they tend to do.
I watched my three fellas at the bottom of the hill, just specks surrounded by orange dots, gathering solid pumpkins into a pile.
I wondered how they were going to carry them all back up the hill and claim the ones they had chosen with so many other people scavenging around for the same reason. They were too far away for me to yell down my question and I did not feel like hauling my butt up and down that hill so I called Hubby on his mobile phone to ask what his plans were. He said they were going to bring the “truck” around and load up the pumpkins. He always calls our mini van a truck, I guess because it has a canoe holder (luggage rack) on top? I asked if he thought the pumpkins they had gathered would still be there when he got back. He looked around at all of the other pumpkin hunters and admitted that they probably wouldn’t. I asked what they were going to do with all of those pumpkins anyway, while trying not to giggle, using my most annoyed, put out housewifey voice. “I suppose you expect me to cook them all.” He said something about pumpkin pie which cracked me up because he doesn’t even like it. He’ll eat it if I put a ton of freshly whipped cream on top or make the ol’ layered no-cook pumpkin pie that ends up more like pumpkin cheesecake that everyone makes for Thanksgiving, but it still tastes like squash to him which he despises. I think he just eats it because he’s supposed to as a red-blooded American on Thanksgiving day. They ended up hauling two pumpkins each up the hill, ditching the “truck” idea.
The next day was apple picking day. We knew there was a good chance that all of the apples would have been picked since we waited for my dad to travel to our area before taking our annual trip. Sure enough, the trees were empty. We bought a half bushel. We usually end up picking a bushel because it’s so much fun and we fill that half bushel basket up too quickly, and I’m stuck looking for ways to preserve them all.
As it turned out, the apple farm we visited also had a pumpkin patch. We took one of the provided wagons and headed down the road that the owner had indicated, to find the pumpkin patch she said would be around the bend. The “pumpkin patch” ended up being an entire field that covered a hillside with rolling hills and pastures spread around it. My husband and I actually stopped and looked at each other. We have moments like this every once in a while. Each thinking the same thing. Our little farm isn’t really a farm. This is a farm and maybe we settled too quickly. The grass is always greener…or the squash patch more orange?
The pumpkins were only $1 each so our kids begged to pick a few. I reminded them that we already had too many at home, one for each of them to make a jack o’ lantern and all those that they had salvaged from the pumpkin roll. We felt bad that they had missed apple picking, so relented. In the wagon went their pumpkins along with my dad and stepmom’s chosen pumpkins.
Before leaving I stopped to do my Fraulein Maria “the hills are alive” twirl, arms spread, as I do anytime I’m standing on a treeless mountainside. I always imagine people on the opposite hills that I can’t see watching the nutso woman who thinks no one is watching, but I do it anyway, while my husband grins and my boys giggle. I was too embarrassed to actually sing this time, however, since we had company, even if it was just Dad.
Later that week, I cooked down two pumpkins for pie. We carved five for Halloween, but I still have a lot of pumpkin to cook and freeze.
I think I will leave them out for decoration until after Thanksgiving since I already have enough in the freezer for pumpkin pie to finish that meal.
I was a dingbat and forgot to take a photo of the finished pies so had to pull a picture of one I made two years ago. It was taken with my old camera and is not such a good picture but it’ll do until I make another pie.
2 cans evaporated milk or cream
4 whole eggs
1 1/2 c. packed light brown sugar
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 T cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. allspice
1 recipe Ultimate Flaky Pie Crust
Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Make pie crust.
Sift together salt, flour, and sugar. Cut in butter cubes until mixture resembles coarse meal.
Add yolk and vinegar, begin to mix while drizzling in water, but only mix until dough sticks together and forms a ball. Do not overmix or the finished crust will be hard and tough. Chill until ready to use.
The recipe makes enough dough for two single crust pies or one double crust.
Combine all ingredients and beat well. Pour into prepared crusts.
Bake for one hour and fifteen minutes or until set in the center.
This recipe makes two 10″ round, deep pies. Smaller pies will take less time to set up.