Pie Pumpkins aren’t always Orange

fullsizeoutput_7ad1This pretty white pumpkin isn’t orange at all, but will make at least 4 fine orange pumpkin pies! I never knew there were other colors of pumpkins until a few years ago. Pumpkins come in all shades of orange and tan, and even white, gray, blue, and purple. Yet most are orange meated.

The pumpkins we grew up seeing were round and bright primary orange. The rounded orange ones usually for sale around Halloween are thin-walled and easier to carve so they are just right for the season. The squatty tan pumpkins have thicker meat and are good for pie baking. I have tried all colors even the blues.

I like a pie made from the fresh pumpkin instead of the canned pumpkin. Why not try it?

Pumpkin Pie

Plan for two pies. Make two crusts and place those into pie plates and crimp the edges.

Crust recipe: 2 cups flour, 3/4 cup of lard, shortening or butter. 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cut the shortening or butter into the flour until crumbly. Add 7 tablespoons of ice water. Stir into a ball. Knead until mixed well then divide in two balls and roll out.

Cut up and clear the seeds and strings from inside your pumpkin and place it in a stock pot over boiling water to steam for about 30 minutes. Then cut out the soft pulp. You will need three cups for two pies.  Add the cooled pumpkin pulp to 2 cups of sugar and 4 egg yolks and 2 cups milk. Mix together. Add spices: 2 teaspoons of cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon cloves, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Beat the egg whites until fluffy and then fold them into the pumpkin mixture. Pour into the two pie crusts and place in preheated oven (350 degrees) for 40 minutes.

This makes a wonderful couple of from-scratch pumpkin pies with a nice custard and flavor. Freeze one for later. Serve with whipped cream.

 

Wanderings and Old Homesteads

O, how I love to find a old homesite! I love to imagine who might have settled there. Where did they come from? What was the land like when they first saw it? How did they change it? How did they live here? Why did they leave?

I love to search out a place on the prairie in the spring when daffodils bloom and wave their yellow ruffles at me to show where an old house once stood.

Old fences still enclose a small dooryard and every spring flowers planted by some pioneer woman push to the sunlight and the blue sky. 
Fallen trees like this one become spots lush with moss and tangles of flowers.
 
Here purple bearded iris and yucca plants spread among the briers where a house once stood, where children played marbles in shady spots and watched for horses, wagons or farm trucks passing by.
Paperwhites  and narcissus come up from bulbs and tubers that have spread underground.

An old gate once swung from a frame here and a tree grew up through it. Mystery hidden in plain sight. I passed this gate many times before I noticed it. In the summer greenery hides it and an old cellar and cistern  sleep behind it in the undergrowth beside Cane Creek.

It causes me to wonder who lived there. Who planted Morning Glory vines on this fence?

Wanderings and Old Homesteads

O, how I love to find a old homesite! I love to imagine who might have settled there. Where did they come from? What was the land like when they first saw it? How did they change it? How did they live here? Why did they leave?

I love to search out a place on the prairie in the spring when daffodils bloom and wave their yellow ruffles at me to show where an old house once stood.

Old fences still enclose a small dooryard and every spring flowers planted by some pioneer woman push to the sunlight and the blue sky. 
Fallen trees like this one become spots lush with moss and tangles of flowers.

 

Here purple bearded iris and yucca plants spread among the briers where a house once stood, where children played marbles in shady spots and watched for horses, wagons or farm trucks passing by.
Paperwhites  and narcissus come up from bulbs and tubers that have spread underground.

An old gate once swung from a frame here and a tree grew up through it. Mystery hidden in plain sight. I passed this gate many times before I noticed it. In the summer greenery hides it and an old cellar and cistern  sleep behind it in the undergrowth beside Cane Creek.

It causes me to wonder who lived there. Who planted Morning Glory vines on this fence?

Daffodils Mean Spring!

 I will speak using stories; I will tell secret things from long ago.
Psalm 78:2

Daffodils seem to burst out of nowhere. I love them. (Notice how different these two types are.) I go looking for them every spring – watching for them in flowerbeds and through the countryside, even where no house stands.

The first story I wrote for publication was about finding daffodils around and old root cellar on a piece of land where a log house once stood. There were so many of the flowers on long hollow stems. I picked too many. I couldn’t carry them all and dropped a few on my way back to the car. The flowers were like a gift from some distant pioneer woman. I felt kinship to her as a mother and housewife.

The abandoned home site was like a mystery – a secret from the past.

Later, I learned the real story of the place and I met that woman’s grandson, her great grandson, and her great -great granddaughter. Really!

I learned some amazing facts about the homestead. I learned about the log house which once sat on the spot had been built from logs from the banks of the Deep Fork River. Each log was dragged to the site by slow and powerful oxen. It took two years to get enough wood to finish the house.

The family of nine, who had come by wagon from Haskell County, lived in and around the wagon for that long time. They endured some miserable weather while they built a chicken coop and shed and planted crops. Later, the patriarch of the family invested in the building of a schoolhouse for the community. The Evening Star School was born in 1913.

In 1930, when a larger school building was built of brick, the old schoolhouse was sold and moved by a team of mules to the land I now live on. (Really again!) Another small house and a porch and second story were added. So, here I am living in the Evening Star School and it is a school again for my children. I love the stories of real pioneers and at last I am a part of one.

We hosted a pioneer camp here one fall for the homeschooled children. We cooked our pioneer meals outside on the fire, washed on a washboard, dyed cloth, ground corn, and made cornhusk dolls.We used an old metal shed we found on the back of the acreage as a “one room schoolhouse,” where students figured and practiced spelling on slates. When we told the story of the house to the students, one little boy was thrilled. “Awesome, Mrs. Hollis,” he piped up, “Your house is history!”

Keep your eyes open for daffodils and you’ll find spring and maybe a story too!

Daffodils Mean Spring!

 I will speak using stories; I will tell secret things from long ago.
Psalm 78:2

Daffodils seem to burst out of nowhere. I love them. (Notice how different these two types are.) I go looking for them every spring – watching for them in flowerbeds and through the countryside, even where no house stands.

The first story I wrote for publication was about finding daffodils around and old root cellar on a piece of land where a log house once stood. There were so many of the flowers on long hollow stems. I picked too many. I couldn’t carry them all and dropped a few on my way back to the car. The flowers were like a gift from some distant pioneer woman. I felt kinship to her as a mother and housewife.

The abandoned home site was like a mystery – a secret from the past.

Later, I learned the real story of the place and I met that woman’s grandson, her great grandson, and her great -great granddaughter. Really!

I learned some amazing facts about the homestead. I learned about the log house which once sat on the spot had been built from logs from the banks of the Deep Fork River. Each log was dragged to the site by slow and powerful oxen. It took two years to get enough wood to finish the house.

The family of nine, who had come by wagon from Haskell County, lived in and around the wagon for that long time. They endured some miserable weather while they built a chicken coop and shed and planted crops. Later, the patriarch of the family invested in the building of a schoolhouse for the community. The Evening Star School was born in 1913.

In 1930, when a larger school building was built of brick, the old schoolhouse was sold and moved by a team of mules to the land I now live on. (Really again!) Another small house and a porch and second story were added. So, here I am living in the Evening Star School and it is a school again for my children. I love the stories of real pioneers and at last I am a part of one.

We hosted a pioneer camp here one fall for the homeschooled children. We cooked our pioneer meals outside on the fire, washed on a washboard, dyed cloth, ground corn, and made cornhusk dolls.We used an old metal shed we found on the back of the acreage as a “one room schoolhouse,” where students figured and practiced spelling on slates. When we told the story of the house to the students, one little boy was thrilled. “Awesome, Mrs. Hollis,” he piped up, “Your house is history!”

Keep your eyes open for daffodils and you’ll find spring and maybe a story too!

A Field Trip to a Farm

This winter we visited a llama ranch in Beggs, Oklahoma. What a sight the shaggy llamas were!They seemed curious but aloof toward us. I suppose they were hoping for handouts and finding we had none to offer decided to snub us. The llamas came in all colors brown, tan, white, black, and speckled or spotted with black and browns. I thought the creatures were most preposterious looking. I couldn’t watch them enough.

The children were thrilled with the several babies in the herd of some 30 to 40 llamas. I love the photo above of four little girls lined up at the fence watching the animals. The two children (with curly hair) are Pickard girls and two (red coat and the black coat) are Jackson sisters. The cute little girl Valerie is holding is Amy Coburn.

The herd came out to glare at us.  I found it a bit intimidating. The Tiger Ranch in Beggs is owned by Ellen and Mike Walker.Their son Zeke is one of the teens in our homeschool group. The Walkers have llamas to sell and maybe even some to give away! You never know when you might need a huge cud-chewing pet in your back yard, say to eat poison ivy or something. Maybe to shear for making your own yarn?
What you lookin’ at Willis?

A Field Trip to a Farm

This winter we visited a llama ranch in Beggs, Oklahoma. What a sight the shaggy llamas were!They seemed curious but aloof toward us. I suppose they were hoping for handouts and finding we had none to offer decided to snub us. The llamas came in all colors brown, tan, white, black, and speckled or spotted with black and browns. I thought the creatures were most preposterious looking. I couldn’t watch them enough.

The children were thrilled with the several babies in the herd of some 30 to 40 llamas. I love the photo above of four little girls lined up at the fence watching the animals. The two children (with curly hair) are Pickard girls and two (red coat and the black coat) are Jackson sisters. The cute little girl Valerie is holding is Amy Coburn.

The herd came out to glare at us.  I found it a bit intimidating. The Tiger Ranch in Beggs is owned by Ellen and Mike Walker.Their son Zeke is one of the teens in our homeschool group. The Walkers have llamas to sell and maybe even some to give away! You never know when you might need a huge cud-chewing pet in your back yard, say to eat poison ivy or something. Maybe to shear for making your own yarn?
What you lookin’ at Willis?