Monday, November 8, 2010
Last week, we spent several days visiting my parents and sisters. One day, while everyone was at work, I took the girls to the local pumpkin patch. We had a great time looking at the many varieties of pumpkins. They came in so many sizes, shapes and colors. The girls had a great time running up and down the rows, picking up the pumpkins.
y-shaped vegetable peeler would work better for this job. Before, I peeled the pumpkins, I asked Arin what color she thought the inside of the pumpkin would be. She guessed orange. Once it was peeled, Ella squealed, "LELLOW!"
Next, the girls scooped the seeds out of the pumpkin halves. Arin really enjoyed this activity and she helped with several of the halves.
After the seeds were removed, I cut the pumpkin into cubes and Arin poured water over them. Then, I boiled the pumpkin until it was soft. This was a very quick process, about 15 to 20 minutes.
I do not have a large food processer, so I put the cooked pumpkin into the blender with a small amount of water.
Once the pumpkin had been pureed, I lined a small collander with a coffee filter and I poured the puree into the coffee filter to drain off the water (I was surprised how much water drained off). We ended up with four cups of pumpkin puree from the three small pumpkins.
I have been having a craving for pumpkin pie for the past several months (when it was impossible to find canned pumpkin in the stores) and originally, that is what the girls and I were going to make, but a few weeks ago, I started the Weight Watchers diet for the umteenth time, and I decided that we would make one of their recipes instead. I found this recipe for Pumpkin-Oat Bread on the Weight Watchers website. I thought it sounded great, so that is what we made. I had planned to make this bread with both of the girls, but ended up making it while Ella was napping, which turned out to be ok since my kitchen is so tiny! The bread is great served with a bit of whipped cream on top.
Here's the recipe:
1 spray(s) cooking spray, flour-variety recommended
1/2 cup(s) butter, softened
1 1/2 cup(s) packed light brown sugar
3 large egg(s), beaten
2 cup(s) canned pumpkin (we used fresh, cooked pumpkin)
1/4 tsp table salt
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice, or more to taste
1 1/2 cup(s) all-purpose flour (we used fresh milled hard white wheat)
1 1/2 cup(s) uncooked quick oats
2 1/2 tsp baking soda
24 pieces walnut halves
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Coat a 10- X 15-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
Using an electric mixer, in a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and pumpkin; beat well. Add salt, pumpkin pie spice, flour, oats and baking soda; mix thoroughly. Pour batter into prepared baking dish and place walnut halves on top so there will be 1 walnut in the center of each piece of cake. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, about 40 to 45 minutes.
Cool in pan and cut into 24 pieces. Yields 1 piece per serving.
I would have liked to share pictures of the final product, but remember how I posted that my camera was acting up a couple of weeks ago? After I wrote that post, the camera started working properly. It fixed itself as quickly as it broke itself, but as we were working today, it died. The shutter no longer releases, so I no longer have a camera, until I send it in to be fixed. Which means, unless I can borrow someone's camera, this will be the last post I will be able to share until the camera gets fixed :(
Prior to the camera breaking, the girls and I did some pumpkin activites.
Ella had a great time with her pumpkin life cycle matching cards.
I gave the same cards to Arin and had her put them in the correct order.
Arin played a file folder game. The object of this game was to read the words and then determine if they were real words or not.
pumpkin pictures, which Arin and I colored together. Then, I gave her the bowl of pumpkin seeds. She put a few in each of the pumpkin pictures. She then counted how many seeds were inside each pumpkin and she wrote the number under the pumpkin. We used our small dry-erase board and dry-erase markers. Arin doesn't normally like writing unless she is able to use the dry-erase markers, then she loves it! Once she wrote the numbers under each pumpkin, she decided which one was greater than and which one was less than and she wrote the symbol accordingly.
Five Waiting Pumpkins
Five little pumpkins growing on a vine,
First one said, 'It's time to shine!"
Second one said, "I love the fall."
Third one said, I'm round as a ball."
Fourth one said, "I want to be a pie."
Fifth one said, "Let's say good-bye."
"Good-bye," said one!
"Adios," said two!
"Au revoir," said three!
"Ciao, " said four!
"Aloha," said five!
And five little pumpkins were picked that day!
The Berenstain Bears and the Prize Pumpkin by Stan & Jan Berenstain
The Garden That We Grew by Joan Holub
Pumpkin Circle by George Levenson
Pumpkins From The Sky? by Julia Van Nutt