Posts tagged ‘pumpkin puree’

Glorious Sunday, Part 2

After church on Sunday, Teddy and I came home, and had something for lunch – Pasta Roni, I think. Anyway, normally I would take a nap on Sunday afternoon, but this one, this one I didn’t. We were to have a church social that night, and I was looking forward to making something with the pumpkin I cooked and pureed. I’d seen a recipe mentioned over on OhioFarmGirl’s blog for pumpkin burgers, which she says is essentially sloppy joes with pumpkin puree added, and that intrigued me. She had a link to the recipe, and I followed it! The link that is, not necessarily the recipe *tongue in cheek*

This is the link to the recipe, but since I made some changes, I’m going to list the actual recipe given and what I did, too

NOTE: Because I was taking this to a church supper, I doubled it – quantities listed reflect the doubled amount

Ingredients – Original Recipe/What I Did

  • 3 pounds ground beef / approx 1-1/2 lb lean ground beef, approx 1-1/2 lb ground venison
  • 2 medium onion, chopped / 1 onion nearly pureed, 1 finely diced
  • 2 (12 ounce) bottles chili sauce / 1 (12 oz) bottle chili sauce
  • 2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed tomato soup, undiluted / 1 pint jar home-canned tomato sauce πŸ˜€
  • 1 cup canned or cooked pumpkin / same
  • 2 teaspoons salt / same
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice / conglomeration ofΒ  cinnamon, ginger, cloves (out of nutmeg)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper / same
  • 12 hamburger buns, split / store was out of burger buns, got hot dog buns instead – less messy!
  • I added big spoonful minced garlic from a jar, and approx 1/2 cup brown sugar

Original directions – In a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add the chili sauce, soup, pumpkin, salt, pumpkin pie spice and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1 hour. Serve on buns.

What I did – In a small stock pot, cook meat, onion, and garlic until meat is no longer pink; since I used very lean meat and venison, there wasn’t anything to drain. I added the chili sauce, tomato sauce (wasn’t sure how spicy the joes would turn out, and I knew this would give me the ability to season to taste; also tomato soup leaves a distinct “tomato soup” taste that I wanted to avoid), pumpkin, seasonings, and sugar. Simmered for at least 2 hours, uncovered – except for the splatter screen, served with hot dog buns.

Good laugh at my expense: Mama was having lunch at my sister’s. As I started cooking, I unscrewed the ring off my beautiful jar of home-made with basil and oregano from my garden tomato sauce. Then I went to open it. Ummmmm, yeah. I know the point is for the lid to stay stuck, but how do I get in it when I’m ready to open it? So I call my sis, and after she’s done laughing at me, she tells me to get a butter knife and carefully pry it off. Mama tells me later that sis got off the phone and immediately went into “you won’t believe what Bephie just asked me!’ She also told me (and I prefer this better) to use a coke-bottle/beer-bottle opener.

Back to regularly scheduled blog post: Brought leftovers home from church, put half in fridge, half in freezer – it freezes beautifully, btw, in freezer safe jelly jars.

Variation on serving I’m enjoying as I type: buy (I know, I know, the goal is sustainability and sufficiency, just work with me here) some crescent roll dough – store brand is fine. Place about 1/2 of a tableware soup spoon at the wide end, sprinkle some colby/jack mix the rest of the way down the triangle and roll up carefully starting at wide end doing your best not to spill contents. Bake as per directions on the can. This is SO much better than I even imagined it would be πŸ˜€

(We won’t discuss that this variation was discovered because the store brand crescent roll dough is either: 1) too sticky or 2) I couldn’t roll it out flat enough or 3) combination of both, and it didn’t work well with my new Tupperware Empanada maker, even though the directions said feel free to try crescent roll dough. Okay, so we did just discuss it. Not happy that the empanada experiment failed, but loving that the other turned out so well!)

Back to Sunday afternoon – Mama decided to get in on the pumpkin action too, and wanted to make a pumpkin casserole similar to sweet potato casserole. But since the pumpkin I cooked is not a pie pumpkin, it tastes very “vegetable-y” (and this from Mama, who likes all her veggies!) instead of “pumpkin-y.” So we created what we call “Autumn Yum” – this one isn’t exactly a recipe because there’s no way it could be duplicated exactly as proportions were not measured. Pumpkin puree, honey, various pumpkin spices, apple cider, apple butter, and topped off with the streusel topping from Betty Crocker’s Apple Crisp recipe (look it up in your cook book or go to the website). The oatmeal in the streusel was the perfect counterpoint to the creaminess of the puree and apple butter!

Now, for the piece de resistance – Apple Butter Pumpkin Pie! Oh. My. Goodness. This is AMAZING! Even if I resort to buying a can of Libbey’s pumpkin puree, THIS is the recipe I will be making with it. ME, “miss pumpkin pie must be the recipe on the back of the Libbey’s can or it’s not really pumpkin pie.” And did I mention it has a streusel topping? With pecans? Yeah….. And it’s even better with a cup of coffee eaten for breakfast πŸ˜€

Note: as you’re reading this blog, just want to make sure you’re pronouncing the words correctly. Unless you have an outhouse, pecan is pronounced “PEA-can” not “puh-CAHN.” Why the exemption? Well, because the pee can is what resides under the bed so as not to have to go outside at night to go potty. And I can poke fun because I’ve resembled that remark πŸ˜‰

Back to the pie recipe – I DO recommend baking it more like the Libbey’s recipe, however, by cranking the oven temp up to 400-whatever degrees for 15 minutes, then down to 350* for 45-50 minutes. My pie was still very jiggly/wiggly in the middle at the end of 55 minutes in a preheated 350* oven, which is how I happen to have leftovers to enjoy for breakfast. I had to just turn the oven off, leave the pie in there, and go on to church without my pie to share 😦 But I love that you can do that with pumpkin (guess maybe all custard based pies) – if it’s not done, just turn the oven off, and let it sit in there will the oven cools down instead of constantly checking and re-checking and worrying about it burning. (Can you tell I’ve done this before?)

The church social went very well, but I won’t say any more than that, or I’ll be going into Glorious Sunday, part 3. Which I promise, will be coming soon, along with (I realize I didn’t blog about) home-canned tomato sauce, and the blueberry syrup I made this week (looks a little thin to me, but my “sis” says it’ll still taste just as good), and I’m making a sugar/sweetener free batch of apple butter, and getting my etsy store up and going. (It’s up/created, it’s just not going yet.) But it’s my bed time, and my pillows are singing their siren song. So that will all have to wait until I can find some more free time to type!

God bless πŸ™‚

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Cheap and natural cleaning ideas, pumpkin cookin’, and a little randomness

Back to the basics (and cheap!) cleaning supplies/tips:

I try to use only vinegar, baking soda, and borax for cleaning – well, and Mr. Clean Magic Erasers (these things are AMAZING!). Only exceptions so far are laundry soap, dish soap, and mopping – please share if you have natural cleaning tips for these πŸ˜€ Don’t have to worry about chemicals in my food, etc, and it’s so much cheaper. I’ve only recently discovered borax, but I’m telling you, when I started cleaning the counter-tops (who knew that was a hyphenated word?) with it, they literally sparkled! And these are just standard counter-tops, nothing fancy like granite or anything,Β  but I seriously don’t think they sparkled this much brand new! (Only down-side to borax is that you have to give a wipe down with clean water after.) My sister is much more serious, and also includes bleach in the mix (she worked in a nursing home for a while – bleach goes in her dishwater, etc).

We keep the vinegar in a spray bottle, and just use it like we would any spray cleaner, and if you need some added “umph” add some baking soda (cleans up grease stains like you would not believe!). I use the vinegar and/or baking soda for spot cleaning, and the borax for the full wipe-down. Another note on vinegar – kills ants DEAD. D-E-A-D, dead! Won’t prevent ’em, but if you’ve got a trail of ants coming in, spray those suckers with vinegar and watch ’em die – instantly. And borax is supposed to be good against roaches.

Also, I’ve started using a “glug” (I don’t measure, just dump from the box) of borax in with my wash, which is what it’s intended for, actually. I can’t believe all the money I spent for years on Oxi-clean and/or off-brands, when borax does just as good a job, AND helps with my hard well water!

And these things are SO much cheaper than traditional cleaning supplies. Now to figure out how to cheapen up laundry and dish soap…. (Haven’t tried making my own)

A tip for “I ran out of dishwasher detergent” – which works just as good, and is cheaper. Can’t take credit for it; it was suggested to me, and it works great. Put NO MORE THAN a quarter size circle of regular dish soap (this is what ensures it won’t blow up with bubbles) in your dishwasher’s soap dispenser. Fill the rest of the way with bleach. If you wish something in the pre-rinse cycle, only add a glug of bleach, no dish soap (b/c a little will leak out of the pop-open dispenser, and you don’t want a kitchen full of bubbles).

Hmmm, the borax box says something about cleaning fine china – might have to experiment with it in the dishwasher and see what happens.

ο»ΏOn to the randomness – I had some issues (largely not cooking it long enough), but I got my pumpkin murdered and cooked, well 1/2 of it at least. Thanks to the crock pot, all is well! I have 8 cups of pumpkin puree cooling in freezer bags on the counter waiting to go in the freezer. the other 1/2 pumpkin in the fridge still needs to be scooped, crocked, pureed (hey, I spelled that one right 1st try!), and then bagged up to join in on the freezer party. Funny how a 2-qt crock pot exactly full yields pretty much exactly 8 cups πŸ˜‰ (Okay, so one of the bags has about 2-1/2 cups in it, close enough….)

Scrubbed and ready to be cut up!

Holy pumpkin, Batman!

Make room! Everybody’s gotta fit! Except the little boy, that is πŸ˜‰ And yes, this is a standard size oven. Note the pumpkin in the bottom right is actually touching the rack above it. It would not fit on the upper rack. Made things interesting when it came time to play “switch places in the oven.”

Told you it was touching the rack πŸ˜‰

4 baggies, ready for the freezer. Libbey, who’s that?

Tip: when I’m filling baggies with stuff for the freezer, I detest having to clean out the zipper portion/top of the bag before sealing it. I figured out how to get around that today! Since I now have a canning funnel (translation: big bottom opening), I just held the baggie up around the bottom of the funnel – carefully – the puree was still HOT – and scooped in 2 1-cup measuring cupfuls into each baggie, then scraped the bits that stayed in the funnel down into the baggie with a spatula. Viola! No more messy baggie tops πŸ˜€

Another tip somebody taught me long ago: don’t you hate when you’re lining a pan with aluminum foil trying to get it in the corners? It crinkles really badly, and sometimes tears? Use your pan as a mold; turn the pan upside down, lay the sheet of foil on top, and fold the corners DOWN.

Now take the foil off, turn the pan right side up, and insert! There will be a little bit of crinkling in the corners as the outside of the pan is a little bigger than the inside, but this is SO much easier, IMO.

And last, but not least, I think I’ve found a new addiction – canning! In addition to pumpkin stuff yesterday (well, I did the puree part this morning), I also made grape jelly πŸ™‚

My steam canner says it will process 7 pints or quarts, but I found out yesterday that it holds quite well 2 1/2 pint jars (see my pretty Italian amphora jar in the middle?) and 6 4 oz jelly jars. I just processed the whole lot at the 10 minutes it said to process for 1/2 pints; somebody please correct me if I did wrong! (Everybody sealed and jellied though :D) And I’ve already given away one of the 4 oz jars, and hope to give 2 more this afternoon – it really, truly is so much better to give than to receive!