Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Baked Pumpkin and The Country Barn

I went on a field trip with my 3rd grader's class yesterday to "The Country Barn" on Donnerville Rd. in Lancaster. Great place, but man... was it cold and wet! We lived to tell about it and had fun anyway. The kids got to walk through the muddy fields and choose their own live pumpkin to pull off the green vine. They also got to watch 4 pigs race and yell suuuu-weeee and all that good stuff. Farmer Jim made a point of informing the kids of where their food comes from. He dug up potatoes for them to see. He was a wealth of whole foods information. He held one of his free-range chickens and her fresh brown egg as he asked the kids how many eggs do most chickens lay in one day? Most of the kids thought it was about a dozen or more. The correct answer is one... with an average of 360 eggs per year per chicken. Brown eggs come from colored chickens and white eggs come from white chickens. It was all good information for the non-farm kids and grown-ups... which would be most of us.

When I (with pride) told Farmer Jim that I had just boiled a big pumpkin the other day and made pumpkin cake roll and pumpkin pie, he informed me that I had poured all the nutrients down the drain after boiling. Hmmmm.... I said to myself, deflated. He said, "Bake your pumpkin and it will be the best tasting pumpkin you've ever had, and it will keep it's nutrients. I have to agree. And will definitely do that next time. Makes sense.

To bake your pumpkin, just wash it, cut off the stem, cut in half, scoop out the seeds and strings, lay it face down on a baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees for about an hour or until soft. Cool. Scoop out the flesh and throw away the peel. I've attached a recipe for pumpkin spice cookies that looks fabulous from "natural papa's" website.

"The Country Barn" is open to the public. You can interact with the animals or shop at their farm market. Here's the website:

Have another cheerful rainy day! I gotta keep telling myself that. Ha!


Amy said...

I just made the pumpkin spice cookies. The "natural papa" describes them as ridiculously good. I love 'em. It calls for 3/4 cup sweetener... I used 1/4 cup rapadura and 1/2 cup honey.... and they turned out scrumptious. Just the right amount of spice and sweet.

Amy said...

Here's the recipe again:

Ridiculously Good Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Preheat oven to 325°F

Ingredients (all organic, yes?):

1 cup cooked pumpkin (cut in half, scoop out seeds, place cut side down on baking sheet and bake at 350 until soft. Peel and mash or blend the pumpkin.)
1/2 cup coconut oil (or butter, or even olive oil)
3/4 cup unrefined sugar (or maple syrup or honey)
Egg replacer equivalent for 2 eggs
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Mix all of the ingredients together, adjust spices to your taste, and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Drop by the spoonful onto greased cookie sheets and bake for 8 to 10 minutes.

Try substituting sweet potatoes or butternut squash (or any winter squash) for the pumpkin for a different taste, put them in muffin tins, or bake in a loaf pan.