Category Archives: Pumpkin

When Life Gives You Too Many Eggs…Make Eggnog

Our chickens have started laying and they are going rock steady.  I had pre-ordered eggs from Dry Creek farm and my dear friend Charlotte brings them with the milk each week so suddenly we have a fridge full of eggs!  And that is never a bad thing in this house.

Because my preschooler goes on pancake benders I make them as healthily as possible, so that they replace any meal he might refuse.  That means loading up on eggs, cultured buttermilk and healthy coconut oil.

As long as he eats something like that I also let him have healthy homemade ice cream with lots of egg yolks.  I’ve finally come to realize that if you use just a small amount of maple syrup, whole milk and lots of egg yolks it’s pretty much a glass of milk with an omelette.  And I can’t always get him to eat omelettes.  The word ice cream, however, will stop him in his tracks any time of the day. 

Since they started laying I find myself checking on the coop two or three times a day just to see what is out there.  It’s always so fun to peek in and see little orbed treasures waiting for me.  It was even more fun when our Easter Egger started laying and we suddenly had blue/green eggs in the mix!

chicken-nest

Today when I went out there was only one egg and everyone was busy eating grass and scratching for bugs – no one looked like they wanted to nest.  A few more trips outside revealed no new eggs.  I had already given up for the day when I went to take out the recycling.  There almost under the deck was a chicken nesting in the rhodedendrum.  When I came back out with a load for the compost she had moved on.  I hung over the deck to look where she had been laying and found two eggs waiting for me.

I decided I’d better check out a few of their other favorite spots.  In the sheltered window well where they hang out in the rain I found two more eggs.

I’m guessing this is where the Easter egg hunt originated.   It looks like I’ll be going on one every day now!

Suddenly faced with so many eggs and the weather so fowl (get it?) we decided to make some pumpkin eggnog.

I used about 3 egg yolks, 3 cups of milk, sugar to taste, a dash of vanilla and liberal grind of nutmeg. The secret ingredient though – the pumpkin puree we had just made up for the pumpkin cookies. I added about a tablespoon per cup. The flavor? Fresh pumpkin pie – the flavors of autumn and perfect for two Halloween crazed kids.

pumpkin-nog

Pumpkin Cookies and Pumpkin Seeds

I promised I’d post this recipe for pumpkin cookies right now while everyone has an abundance of squash still. My kids love these, as did the kids at preschool (and teachers, and neighbors…) And I have no pictures of the cookies themselves which are now long gone…

These cookies are soft inside and slightly chewy outside, just like the top of a muffin. If you use homegrown squash and want a stronger pumpkin flavor you can cook your puree on low in a saucepan until it carmelizes slightly and thickens to that gloppy consistency of canned pumpkin. It works equally fine if you omit that step but your cookies won’t have such intense pumpkin flavor.

Soft Pumpkin Cookies – based on a recipe from the Chicago Sun Times

2 1/2 cups soft wheat or spelt flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup organic cane sugar (you can increase to 1 1/2 cups if you like a really sweet cookie, or you can frost them instead)
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease baking sheets.
In a medium bowl combine flour, soda, powder, spices and salt.
In a mixer bowl beat sugar and butter until well blended. Beat in pumpkin, egg and vanilla until smooth. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Drop by rounded tablespoonsful onto prepared cookie sheets and bake for 15-18 minutes or until edges are firmed and beginning to brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes then remove to a cooking rack. Makes 36 cookies.

Frost with maple syrup/powdered sugar glaze if desired.

To Make Your Own Pumpkin Puree
roast-pumpkin
To roast your own pumpkin cut a small pie pumpkin variety into quarters and scoop out the seeds and strings. Place the quarters on a cookie sheet and roast at 350 until done. Peel off the skins and then puree in a food processer until the texture is perfectly smooth. Freeze for future use. When using thawed pumpkin you may need to cook it in a saucepan until it is thick to remove any excess water.

pumpkin-puree

To Roast Pumpkin Seeds:
pumpkin-seeds
To roast the seeds clean off any flesh or strings and rinse well in a colander. Pour enough olive or palm kernal oil on a cookie sheet to coat it. Add the seeds and sprinkle liberally with kosher salt, stirring with your hands until all the seeds are coated. Roast in a 300 degree oven until done, stirring every 15 minutes. This will probably take an hour. You can add other seasonings as well.

Happy Halloween!