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Season of the Pumpkin

Around our house October and November mean lots of pumpkins, big fat orange ones, and dainty, and not so dainty, white ones, fat, skinny, perfect and totally warped ones. I never ever have enough pumpkins to satisfy my never-ending use for them. Of course the pumpkin isn’t the only autumn fruit/vegetable that is worthy of attention in the colorful scheme of this most loved part of the year.
Gourds, corn stalks, and the different array of apples, from green to yellow to red and a combination of all the previous mentioned colors, it really is the most colorful season.

We enjoy using the colorful selection as an inviting grouping on the front porch, a lovely selection of pumpkins on the farm table in the dining room is very fitting.
A few scattered around the gardens provide a little touch of color to a somewhat fading look by this time of year.

And…of course we must not forget the Jack-O-Lantern.

What would October be without that special face sitting by the door greeting everyone who passes by or comes to call.

One of my very favorite uses for the pumpkin is in the kitchen of course.

For the family meal at Thanksgiving I use a medium size “Sugar Pumpkin”…(best for cooking)as a serving bowl for our favorite stew.

Sugar Pumpkins

The options are many, just use your imagination for the stew.

Cut the top from a medium size Sugar Pumpkin, scoop out at least half of the pulp/without leaving the shell too thin. Set aside to use in the stew.

In a large deep pan place the pumpkin in boiling water, about 1/3 of the way up on the pumpkin.
Place in a very hot oven and cook until all the water is gone or until the pumpkin is just starting to get soft.(don’t overcook)

Remove from oven, let sit for a few minutes to cool slightly.

Sprinkle the inside with salt and pepper or your favorite spices.

Saute’ the firm parts of the pumpkin pulp, season according to your other ingredients. Stir all together and add to the pumpkin shell. Put it back in the oven and cook about 20 minutes, just enough to blend the flavors.

Makes a lovely centerpiece for the table and delicious too!

Enjoy this season, however you celebrate …it is ever so special.

 

Eating In Season…continued~
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In a research study conducted in 1997 by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in London, England, significant differences were found in the nutrient content of cows milk in summer versus winter. Iodine was higher in the winter; beta-carotene was higher in the summer. The Ministry discovered that these differences in milk composition were primarily due to differences in the diets of the cows. With more salt-preserved foods in winter and more fresh plants in the summer, cows ended up producing nutritionally different milks during the two seasons. Similarly, researchers in Japan found three-fold differences in the vitamin C content of spinach harvested in summer versus winter.

We must not forget to add the warming spices to our fall and winter menu…emphasize ginger, peppercorns, mustard seeds, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, clove, and turmeric…

In winter, turn even more exclusively toward warming foods. Remember the principle that foods taking longer to grow are generally more warming than foods that grow quickly. All of the animal foods fall into the warming category including fish, chicken, beef, and lamb. So do most of the root vegetables, including carrot, potato, onions and garlic. Eggs also fit in here, as do corn and nuts.

In all seasons, be creative and listen to your body, it will dictate the foods needed to energize and stabilize for the season. Let the natural backdrop of spring, summer, fall and winter be your guide.
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A simple stew and bread can be tweaked to the most nourishing meal one could need…to the stew, start with your seasonal vegetables and meat of choice ( if any) add dried herbs such as thyme or basil for flavor, a good shake of cayenne pepper and a bland pot suddenly becomes festive!

The bread can be seasoned with oregano and garlic, black-pepper or your favorite hot pepper, sage also adds great flavor to bread….just enough for a slight bite…don’t over season or you’ll just end up with ‘hot’ and not pleased.

Experiment…enjoy!

Eating In Season~
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Eating foods when nature produces them is what people the world over have done naturally throughout most of history, before supermarkets landed on every corner of the landscape and processed foods became ubiquitous. Seasonal eating is also a cornerstone of several ancient and holistic medical traditions, which view it as integral to good health and emotional balance.

Seasonal eating means two things….building meals around foods that have just been harvested at their peak and adjusting your diet to meet the particular health challenges of winter, spring, summer and fall. While it may seem like a luxury to have any food we want, anytime we want it, eating foods in season is directly related to how well our system functions .

( if we dress our body in layers of heavy clothing in August…the body will sweat and actually become sick if not unburdened of the load…the same applies to what we put into our stomach…heavy foods in summer makes extra work for the entire system….leaving it exhausted and in the fight or flight mode…not a good place for it to be!)

(If, we opt for salads in the cold winter months…again the fight or flight mode kicks in and will pull vital nutrients needed for warmth and stability from other places …leaving someone without winter fuel for survival.)

Seasonal eating connects us to the calendar and often to one another, reminding us of simple joys — apple picking on a clear autumn day, slicing a juicy red tomato in the heat of summer, celebrating winter holidays with belly-warming fare. Secondly, produce picked and eaten at its peak has more vitamins, minerals and antioxidants than foods harvested before they’re ripe and then shipped long distances.

**Today’s landscape does not have a farm or a kitchen garden on every corner,
however, with thought and a little planning we can still accomplish the goal and reap the benefits of Seasonal Eating.

I hope this little series has sparked a notion that settles in for the season and dines with you daily! Nothing better than good company over good food!

Blissoma Holistic Skincare - Unique natural skincare for sensitive, acne, and aging skin that wants intensive nutritional support

Blissoma is the elegant marriage of herbal form and function, crafted by the exploitative mind of Julie Longyear, an artist enamored with science.

 After years of making do with my own skin care from my own garden….I have finally found a wonderful, organic, all healthy, fruits and vegetables, carefully crafted into a delicious skin care product.

I have opted to be an affiliate for Blissoma…that means I will make a commission when products are purchased through my website…
You also know I never put my seal of approval on anything less than the best…

How much better could this product be….If it’s good for the inside, it has to be good for the outside….

Take a tour, the reading is exciting and something you don’t find on most labels.

The pricing is really affordable, less than what you will find on chemical laden “high end” big brand cosmetic counters. I like that…A lot!

What makes Blissoma special?

 Blissoma formulations faithfully offer the best medicinal compounds from plants that are research-proven to have healing superpowers for the human body. Ingredients are fresh, stored and combined at optimal temperatures, and blended with skill to offer a final product that is uniquely effective, pleasant to use, and a direct experience with plants as nature created them. Generally the ingredients are just 1 step away from the original plant material from which they came. Many are cold-processed and raw so that no damage is done to heat-sensitive vitamins and other valuable compounds. An initial feel of the products demonstrates the difference as the texture, color, and smell all distinctly tell the story of the nutritive ingredients contained therein. By not changing the botanical’s Blissoma offers a big change for your skin.

Patriotic Kitchen

Sage Hill’s Patriotic Kitchen is more than a place to cook and eat…although that is a priority…most days…..It’s also a place where honest, hard working people, dedicated to love of God, family, and country, come together to feast…not only with food, but with love and respect for all those whom have gone before us…paved the way…paid the price….left a legacy worthy of carrying on.
My patriotic kitchen has birthed good music, blues, country, and gospel…
Football is sometimes king and the southeastern conference is the kingdom….
In my Patriotic kitchen age matters…yes ma’am…no ma’am…please and thank you.
You can wear shoes or not, no one cares…but you will say grace and salute the flag…for you see…my Patriotic kitchen is a state of “Amazing” grace.
Kitchen

Patriotic

There was a time when the dinner table served a dual purpose, one… to feed hungry folks and two, to discuss any and all important issues of the day.
In the south, football and all things pertaining to, certainly qualifies for that spot!
Nothing speaks football in the south better than Tailgating…I’ve heard it said in fact…it is akin to a military exercise!!

I do know these two truths are high on the event calendar.

Alabama has its RV Army, whose troops converge by the thousands on Crimson Tide games. They come with coolers, grills, TV’s enough food forwell, an army! ( I have seen the kitchen table a few times)


Tennessee  has its Volunteer Navy, a fleet of various vessels that collects in equally impressive  numbers around Neyland Stadium…one of only two college football venues accessible by water.

So, there you go folks…gather round the dinner table, give thanks to Almighty God for your freedom to yell…Roll Tide!

kitchen

When I was a young girl in the 1940’s, the whole country was ablaze with God, family, country, red, white and blue…and a gracious appreciation for life and food…remnants of left-over feelings from the depression years still held many prisoner to fear of  hunger …even during the war years of WWII, food was rationed, if one was lucky enough to live on a farm, your status might be some better than city dwellers. ( most males of age went to war, which left young folks, elders and women to work a farm) Not an easy task…but it worked…

The kitchen was the hub of most any household….of all the memories I have with my mother…very few are outside the kitchen…there I learned how to cook, how to clean, how to listen, how to talk, and above all else…how to fear…fear the consequences of breaking the laws of the land and the rules of the house…

I look around and watch our country being ripped apart by Thugs, too weak to think for themselves, and too ignorant to fear the consequences of their actions.

Not sure where this blog will lead, I am sure of this…it is time we all get back to the kitchen table…..

We all know and love old fashioned Lemonade…it was a very popular beverage during the war years because…tea and coffee were among the food items rationed, not always available or in such small amounts it lasted a short period of time and then you waited….Many called it a Patriots Punch….draw your own conclusion as to why!


God Bless you if you read and enjoy this blog…You are always welcome to visit my kitchen…where you’ll find green on the table and Red, White, and Blue in our hearts.
Kitchen
  

Pears

Sustainable to a generational farmer is something totally different from the buzz word “sustainable” in today’s new world manipulation of  green, climate change and other alterations designed to herd us somewhere we don’t need to go.

That being understood ….using what we have in a manner for good without doing harm in the process and will benefit the coming generations….Sustainable goes hand-n-hand with Seasonal Eating.

Foods grown in our local region can be preserved by ; canning, freezing, or dehydrating/drying and add value to in season eating, even though the food in question is out of the normal growing season.
The key is knowing it is locally grown..local being within a 100 mile or so of our own location.

Fruits and berries fall into this category for me….each requires a little something different…Pears were on my list this week and so simple to do.
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Recipe for freezing…

Wash, peel and core pears.

Leave in halves or slice.
Treat with a fruit powder or lemon juice to prevent darkening.
Prepare a sugar syrup according to taste…light, medium or heavy..
I use the light….1/2 cup or less raw sugar to 5 quarts water.
(adjust according to amount of pears being used.) this recipe was perfect for 5 quart size containers.

Allow pears and liquid to cool…

Pack pears in freezer containers and pour the syrup over enough to cover.

Label and freeze…

Simply Good!!

 

 

Echinacea

More than a pretty addition in the flower garden…echinacea is native to the USA, where it was a staple among the Native Americans as a medicinal/healing tool.
Modern research has confirmed echinacea’s immune -boosting properties and it is extensively used as an antiviral.

 

The flower petals make a lovely tea, but the medicinal power is found in the root(dried and powdered) containing inulin, polysaccharides, essential oil, resin
plant sterols, and fatty acids. ( proven to increase body resistance to infection.)

Used in the treatment of colds and influenza, as well as more chronic conditions such as glandular fever or ME/post-viral fatigue. It stimulates the production of white blood sells, which fight infection, and is therefore being used as a support for HIV/AIDS.
It is best used as a commercial prepared tincture and should always be sought out and used under the supervision of a qualified herbal/Holistic practitioner.

PS: Among the other colors of the coneflower, the purple purpurea is the only one with medicinal properties.