The temperature dipped below freezing last night, we are past the point where the frost is on the pumpkins. Our heating needs, at this mild initial stage of the season of snow and ice, is completely taken care of by our air source heat pump. It will continue to heat our home until the outdoor temperature falls to -7C, then the oil furnace will take over. It will be interesting to note the date when the oil furnace starts up for the first time.
We thought about taking a drive out to the Rideau Camp today, but decided against it. Well, Attila decided against it, I didn’t really have a preference one way or the other. The bedroom window project needs to be finished and the curtains rehung for the winter, and he says he has a long list of small projects he wants to tackle this weekend. Who am I to deter a man with a mission.
When I look out the front window of our house, I can see 11 large pumpkins on people’s front steps, which have now been exposed to a night of below freezing temperature, rendering them unsuitable for processing as food. They will be thrown into the garbage. It seems a shame, that is a lot of food to throw away. It is difficult to believe that children go hungry in a country where food is used as a disposable decoration. But they do. They don’t usually live in pleasant urban subdivisions, or have adults around them who would know how to cook a pumpkin, even if they had the facilities to do it in.
Waste Not, Want Not
“This proverbial saying was first recorded in 1772 but had an earlier, even more alliterative version, willful waste makes woeful want (1576).”
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Does our species believe we have outgrown this adage?
It never gets old, or does it! We are processing the large Blue Hubbard Squash today. Attila estimates it weighs over 40 pounds, he is usually quite accurate in these kinds of estimations. It is difficult to cut, so Attila took on most of that job. Personally, I think a wielded machete or ax would be the most appropriate way to get these monsters cracked open. Attila used a small knife very effectively. After removing the seeds, the sectioned squash filled two large roasting pans, the ones we cook 20 lb. turkeys in. I managed to lift them into the oven, and luckily they both fit on the rack. The rack sagged under the weight of the squash, but retained its integrity. After baking for an hour and half the squash was ready to be removed from the skin, to be processed in the food processor. I always wait until the squash is completely cooled to begin this process, which is tedious and time consuming. This squash yielded eight litres of squash puree.
We have three more Blue Hubbard Squash, and two Butternut Squash, still to process.
Sister-The-Middle-Girl is visiting her daughter, who is in Medical School, and there is a nearby Maple Syrup producer that I have favoured for the last 25 years. She just texted me that she has picked up two 4 litre jugs of maple syrup for us, which I can reimburse her for the next time we connect. What a treat this will be. I do not consume much sugar, but I do enjoy a teaspoon of real Canadian maple syrup in my morning coffee. Maple syrup just like Grandpa used to make.
Date: 11:00 AM EDT Saturday 4 November 2017
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 103.0 kPa
Dew point: 0.6°C
Wind: ENE 14 km/h
Visibility: 24 km
“It is great wealth to a soul to live frugally with a contented mind.”
First century BC
“Frugality includes all the other virtues.”
106 BC – 43 BC
“Thrift is the best means of thriving.”
Charles J. Hare
1796 – 1855
“The cost of a thing is the amount of what I call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.”
Henry David Thoreau
1817 – 1862
“I’d like to live as a poor man with lots of money.”
1881 – 1973
Funny though, I doubt any of these fellows would be preserving pumpkins, or squash, for the winter.
The thought of a 40 pound squash is just a little bit scary! Good for you for getting it processed all in one go.
Wendy! I was just thinking about you and wondering how you were doing! Yes indeed, that squash was intimidating. It took all day to deal with it, but it was worth it. One thing that worked to our advantage was that the skin was touch as nails, so that removing the flesh was fairly easy. The rest of our squash are much smaller, thank goodness.
It figures! When I saw your photo of that gorgeous humongous squash, all I could think of was what a wonderful color combo for a yarn! Oatmeal mixed in with Hubbard squash… kinda. Everything I see makes me think of yarn lately.
Bex, well aren’t you clever! That would be a wonderful colour combination! I am still working away on my first blanket, on the 7th ball of yarn now, probably the last. The second blanket will be the same stitch and the same yarn, but will look slightly different due to the nature of the multicoloured yarn in the Bernat Pop skeins.
That’s one huge squash! I don’t envy Attila, having to carve that monster. I have to let DH cut smaller butternut squash when we have it, it’s so hard, so I know it takes real strength to open up some of them.
The real maple syrup sounds delicious. We have numerous Mennonite farms around here that process their own maple syrup and sell it. One of these days I mean to get some, though it’s so sweet that I’d have to use it very sparingly.
It was a challenge Teri, to cut open that squash! When I researched how to do it, one person sectioned theirs by dropping it on a concrete floor. Attila decided to do it with a large knife instead.
Maple Syrup is very sweet, a little goes a very long way. My Grandpa made it from the trees in the bush behind his house. As little kids, Granny would let us have some in a bowl as a bedtime snack, with homemade bread and local butter… I sure wish I could eat that now!