Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Beware the Great Pumpkin

It happens to me at this time every year. At some time in October I will wrestle home a giant pumpkin to place on the steps of our sun porch alongside a sheaf of dried wheat--an emblem of the season of bounty, thanksgiving and golden fall glory.

There it will sit for a week or three, resplendent in its roughly round orangeness, until the cold winds of November begin to blow, and a change of season hints at decorations of a different hue.

But then, what to do with the pumpkin? I can never just throw it out. No, every year, my inner earth mother takes over my psyche and I stagger with the pumpkin clutched close to my chest, from porch to kitchen.

So on Saturday I halved it, scooped out the seeds and innards, and baked both halves until soft; cooled and removed the skin and ground the flesh in the food processor. I washed and dried the seeds, then tossed in a little butter and salt and roasted them. But that was just the start...

Even though a voice in my head was telling me that I was insane to be doing this when my loft room is still not tidy, and my daughter in law Sue was coming on Monday to start painting another room that needed to be cleaned out, I still decided that I was going to use the vast mass of pumpkin puree to make pumpkin nut loaves. This was because last years pumpkin puree is still in my freezer.

I had part one of the process done on Saturday, which meant that I ended up baking the loaves before and after church on Sunday. That one $2.99 pumpkin 18 fragrant and delicious, spiced loaves.

Oh, I know that I've written here about receiving the gift of Sabbath and this was definitely not doing that. By the end of the day I was so tired and testy that Paul let me know that he would have preferred a tranquil atmosphere to the abundance produced by a cook now cranky as a baby with diaper rash.

A nice cup of tea and some recovery time and I was back to normal with a great idea for some of my loaves:

Last week at our leadership conference, our CEO challenged the 250 leaders there to raise $500 each for our global ministry and I've been thinking about ways to do that. One thing I thought of is to reduce our grocery bill by $10 a week and put aside the money saved. I'm sure I can do that by shopping more thriftily; after all, we practically lived on fried eggs and chips for the first couple of years of married life and didn't die. But I also plan to take my loaves to a meeting on Thursday and sell some of them for $5.00 each. In fact I already have two sold! If I can sell 10 I will have my first $50, and still have enough loaves in the freezer to last for a while.

There is something very satisfying about seeing how one pumpkin can produce so much blessing.


Susan said...

I'll take two! :)

Belinda said...

Woo hoo! You will love them. Thanks for supporting the cause!

Marilyn said...

Holy cow on two counts:

1) The pumpkin was only $2.99
2) You got 18 loaves out of it

okay, a couple of more counts:

3) A nod toward eggs and chips as a basic food of mankind - I agree!
4) You had a lightbulb moment of the enterpreneurial variety! :-) (advertise them as a cure for swine flu and you'll sell dozens and dozens! I DO believe in the therapeutic value of pumpkin loaves.)

All in all, a great story. And thanks for the recipe!

Suz said...

I can almost smell them baking. What a great story but I am glad it was you toiling away over a hot pumpkin and not me. I get mine already in a can and am happy with that. I admit I don't get as much satisfaction.

Belinda said...

Oh, ha ha ha! If I advertise them as a cure for swine flu I think I will have to sell them from the back of a truck!

Susan said...

The back of a truck? You could stuff them inside your overcoat, right next to the watches...