Sunday, November 16, 2008

Winter in AZ

So, I am not much of a blogger (this is Mike) but I thought I would let everyone know how life is hear in AZ in the winter time.  The weather is amazing, it has been in the 70's for the last week, and we see nothing but sunshine.  It is vastly different from what we are used to.  I do miss the snow, but it is nice to be able to wear shorts in november, and to hike with only a water bottle and not have to worry about bad weather rolling in.  Sure there are the thoughts of rattle snakes and scorpions, but I have yet to see either.  

Below is a picture of one of the local parks, the cactus (Saguaros) are nearly 30 feet tall. 


Sunday, November 9, 2008

Pumpkin Pie; An Illustrated Experience

I earned a whole new homemaking achievement badge this week as I COOKED a pumpkin to make pumpkin pies. Well, almost. The pie mix is frozen in a bag in the freezer to be used for Thanksgiving. So no pies yet, but pretty close. My mom has made pumpkin pies from fresh pumpkins for years now, so I thought it was worth a shot. We are lucky enough to have some of our favorite Sherwoods coming for Thanksgiving, and this was just about the only part of the feast that I thought I could prepare this far in advance. 
I waited until after Halloween, when the pumpkin prices dropped and I snatched up a cheap pumpkin for this experiment. My mom always cooks hers in a pressure cooker, which only takes about 15 minutes. I don't have a pressure cooker so after scooping out the goop I cut up the pumpkin small enough that the pieces would fit in a baking dish, I put a little water in the bottom, covered it with foil and set it to bake for about an hour at 400 degrees. 

Then the pumpkin was soft enough to peel the skin off and puree the 'meat'.  From this point on  it was as simple as making cookies. I just measured out the pumpkin pie ingredients and poured the pie mix into freezer bags. The pumpkin I used made enough puree for 5 pumpkin pies.
 I gave 3 pies away since I didn't have quite that much space in my freezer.  
(And Mike doesn't like pumpkin pie, so besides Thanksgiving, I won't be needing any pie mix)
I guess we'll see how they turn out in a couple of weeks, but the mix did smell delicious!