Monday, October 27, 2008

Pumpkin Soup

I made pumpkin soup from one of those pumpkins pictured. It made a very yummy lunch with a chicken salad sandwich and beer while sitting in the fall sun in my very own back yard. There are some things other people's money cannot buy and my backyard is one of them.I love sitting at my table, under my tree, in my backyard on a warm fall day.

To make your own pumpkin soup you will need one brutishly strong woman or a medium strong man to deal with the hard-as-a-rock pumpkin. I later considered that bashing it on the driveway would have worked.

Pumpkin Soup
One pumpkin, cubed and peeled
2 Tablespoons butter
Cook in a crock pot for 1 hour (on High)
One onion studded with 3-4 whole cloves
One can of chicken stock and enough water to cover the pumpkin
1 Tablespoon sugar
Cook until pumpkin is mush (about 4 hours on High)
Take the onion out and compost
Puree pumpkin mush and add milk to the consistency you like.

Indian Summer

James Whitcomb Riley. 1853–1916

10. "When the Frost is on the Punkin"

WHEN the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock,
And you hear the kyouck and gobble of the struttin' turkey-cock,
And the clackin' of the guineys, and the cluckin' of the hens,
And the rooster's hallylooyer as he tiptoes on the fence;
O, it's then the time a feller is a-feelin' at his best, 5
With the risin' sun to greet him from a night of peaceful rest,
As he leaves the house, bareheaded, and goes out to feed the stock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

They's something kindo' harty-like about the atmusfere
When the heat of summer's over and the coolin' fall is here— 10
Of course we miss the flowers, and the blossoms on the trees,
And the mumble of the hummin'-birds and buzzin' of the bees;
But the air's so appetizin'; and the landscape through the haze
Of a crisp and sunny morning of the airly autumn days
Is a pictur' that no painter has the colorin' to mock— 15
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

The husky, rusty russel of the tossels of the corn,
And the raspin' of the tangled leaves as golden as the morn;
The stubble in the furries—kindo' lonesome-like, but still
A-preachin' sermuns to us of the barns they growed to fill; 20
The strawstack in the medder, and the reaper in the shed;
The hosses in theyr stalls below—the clover overhead!—
O, it sets my hart a-clickin' like the tickin' of a clock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

Then your apples all is gethered, and the ones a feller keeps 25
Is poured around the cellar-floor in red and yaller heaps;
And your cider-makin's over, and your wimmern-folks is through
With theyr mince and apple-butter, and theyr souse and sausage too!...
I don't know how to tell it—but ef such a thing could be
As the angels wantin' boardin', and they'd call around on me— 30
I'd want to 'commodate 'em—all the whole-indurin' flock—
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Cape Fear

Growing happens in The South. Our garden growing season goes on and on. Here, in October, we're still eating okra, eggplant,swiss chard and peppers. Overlapping into the summer harvest we have broccoli and lettuce. We continue to eat vegetables from our kitchen garden every home cooked meal.

Dicie Ivey demonstrated how tobacco was put on "sticks" for curing at the Cape Fear Botanical garden "Old Timey Day". We're members and go about once every season. It's right off I-95 in Fayetteville, NC where I work. My thanks to Dicie for letting me "hand" one last time. My childhood was all about tobacco. Tobacco drove my parents off the farm, paid for me to go to college, and has crippled more than a few of the people I've known and loved. Witness: I am a reformed cigarette addict. I quit in my 20s after my husband begged me to please start back. I shoulda been hospitalized. I went crazy! I talked for three days straight and was as mean as a cottonmouth. Quiting can be done but it sure isn't fun. I wish there was some productive use for the stuff because the golden leaf really does smell good. Not burning,just a barn full of it.The hit of the day wasn't Dicie though, it was the bluesey bluegrass band, The Parsons of Gray's Creek, NC. Caroline Parsons has a voice words cannot describe and their CD didn't quite capture.