Friday Pumpkin Day: Week 2

Inspired by the schedule of fun things I laid out back in the spring, which I've followed only haphazardly since then, I'm reinstituting Friday as Cook for Fun Day. I hereby invite any of you to join me; it makes for a nice day. Because of the season, I've decided to make a different pumpkin recipe every week until I run out of inspiration or fresh pumpkin. The inaugural week gave us pumpkin chocolate chip muffins. Today's delicious dish got started early; I had a Joy of Cooking pumpkin pie in the oven by 8:30 a.m. It felt like Thanksgiving, when all the cooking begins long before one is hungry for turkey, stuffing, or pumpkin pie. Okay, now that I wrote that, I'm ready for Thanksgiving. Mmmm. There was a little bit of filling left over that wouldn't fit in the pie shell, so I used the other pie crust from the box (cough, cough) to make 8 mini pies in muffin tins. I baked them off, and now they're in the freezer for later munching. For this recipe, I used the remaining half of the pumpkin I baked a few weeks ago, so it'll be time to bake another one soon.

Mike wanted to be in the picture. Also, those funny little marks in the middle of the pie aren't an intended decoration, unfortunately; that's where I was testing the pie's doneness with a knife. I'm a novice and had to test several times before it was done.

Mmmmmmmm. Piiiiiiieeeeeeeee.

We paid a visit to a local pumpkin patch yesterday with a few of our friends, bringing home a nice pumpkin to bake and some sweet photos. They had a fun little petting zoo, a tiny rooster that hopped around wherever it pleased, a big pile of pumpkins for sale and for photo ops, a field full of smaller pumpkins for the kids to "pick" and take home, and a giant inflated red thing for bouncing and rolling. The kids had a blast, but we were battling the weather and trying to prevent meltdowns, so we had to leave earlier than some of them were ready.

Kent has been getting increasingly upset lately at having to leave places he enjoys, often with big tears rolling down his face when I tell him it's time to go home, so you can imagine his reaction yesterday. We had to make a potty stop after I broke the sad news, and everything else after that made him cry as well. The flusher on the toilet was broken, so he didn't get to flush: big tears. The soap dispenser was out, so he didn't get to use soap on his hands: big tears. The family we carpooled with included our friend Gregory, who had just passed the meltdown stage, so I was half dragging Kent to the car and wouldn't let him walk "by himself": big tears. It was a stressful few minutes. Still, once we got past the stress of getting the boys settled, Kent fell asleep in the car and then took a long nap when we got home, and I count the day as a success.

Kent traipses through the patch, searching for his perfect pumpkin.

Kent and his friend Taylor climb around on the big pile of pumpkins.

Kent and Taylor (in her poodle costume) drive the pumpkin cart. Kent wants to drive "FAST FAST FAST!!!"

Kent on the cart

Kent's first attempt at saying "cheese" to pose for a picture — I love this awkward, goofy face he's making.

We've had a wave of birthday parties to attend lately, including a pumpkin party for a one-year-old we know. Kent got to go on a hayride to a small pumpkin patch that the birthday boy's grandparents had grown for him, and then he got to paint his pumpkin and eat cake and do all sorts of other fun party stuff.

The birthday boy, Luke, serenaded by his mom and dad (Susan and Robert). I just love a good knitted hat, and a one-year-old with cake.

Kent's painted pumpkin

It's been a good month for celebrating pumpkins. I think we're going to skip the carving again this year and just keep our pumpkins intact for baking, but we might try carving next year, when Kent is old enough to express his opinions about the face of a jack-o'-lantern. Also, we're going trick-or-treating for the first time with Kent this year, and I'm really looking forward to it. Costume details later.

Happy Pumpkins to all!!

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Hey Erica, We used to always use our pumpkin after carving them. But my mothers key was you carve the pumpkin Halloween Day only a few hours before you were going to light it. Refrigerate then pull out and light them place the pumpkin back in the Refrigerator after trick or treating was over. And you could either bake/ boil them that night to get to the meat or wait till the next day or two. Depending on how many pumpkins you have...
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