Autumn is a second spring
when every leaf is a flower.SO, many wonderful memories associated with Autumn Time...
BRIGHT Colorful Leaves on the trees... Starting College...
Meeting my hubby...Hay rides...Pumpkin patches...Corn mazes...Cinnamon rolls,
LOTS of yummy things made out of Pumpkin and Squashes,
Homemade Stews and Soups served with fresh out the oven bread
Caramel apples...Carving Jack-O-Lanterns...
Crunchy Colorful Leaves under your feet,
the Crisp chill in the air in the morning and evening.
Apple pie...Apple crisp and hot Apple cider,
Haunted houses and HALLOWEEN!!
Autumn time also brings back many memories of the FUN I had participating in the community classes.
I LOVE to learn and so since this is not the season in my life to go back to college, I looked forward with great anticipation to the community parenting classes we used to have available. Thursday nights were for me!
They were my "mini college classes" as I would refer to them.
A wonderful woman named Joleen donated her TIME to offering such wonderful classes and I am a better mother, organizer, "love and logic parent", add more FUN to dinner times/holidays kind of mother because of her classes!
I have a 3 ring binder of her wonderful handouts that she gave us and I refer to them weekly. They are my "Tools" to help me in raising happy and successful children.
She is an extra miler,
she is my inspiration and I miss her!!
Well, one of the weeks that we went to class it was on September 22nd and the class was
"We have lost the family dinner table"
and it was all about getting your kids to LOVE eating together as a family and how to add FUN to dinner times to make it enjoyable and memorable and something the kids looked forward to. Here is one of my favorite quotes from this class...
"Think of dinner hour as a special and enjoyable time to build the values you would like your children to live by. It's when you're all together sharing the details of your day that real bonding happens"!
She had such a fun idea in her handouts to celebrate the First Day of Autumn with a fun meal and I have been doing this for the past five years.
DINNER in a PUMPKIN!
It is SO much fun and a much looked forward to tradition.
Dinner in a Pumpkin
Hot Apple Pie from local apples
It just doesn't get any yummier than that!
Dinner in a Pumpkin
1 small to medium pumpkin (OR you can use any winter squash--"Sweet Meat Squash" is what I used this time)
1 chopped onion
1 pound ground beef
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 cups cooked BROWN rice (or you can use white…I prefer brown since it’s healthier)
1 can sliced water chestnuts drained
Cut off top of pumpkin and thoroughly clean out seeds and pulp. If desired draw a face on outside of pumpkin with permanent marker or acrylic paint. (This is a great thing to let kids help you with)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large skillet cook onions and hamburger until hamburger is cooked and onions are tender.
Drain drippings. Add soy sauce, brown sugar, and soup.
Simmer 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Add cooked rice and water chestnuts. Spoon mixture into cleaned out pumpkin shell.
Replace pumpkin top and place entire pumpkin with filling on a baking sheet.
Bake 1-2 hours (depending upon the size of the pumpkin) It will be done when the inside of pumpkin is tender. Put pumpkin on a plate. Remove pumpkin lid and serve meat and some of the cooked pumpkin.
Kids get a kick out of this and
it is SO Delicious!!!
it is SO Delicious!!!
(pastry for double pie crust)
(for yummy pie crust recipe click here)
6 cups thinly sliced cooking apples
1 Tbsp. lemon juice (optional)
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. flour
1/2 to 1 tsp. cinnamon
1 Tbsp. butter
Line pie plate with half of the pastry.
Put 6 cups sliced apples in large bowl.
Pour in sugar, flour and cinnamon and coat apples well. (if apples lack tartness, stir in the 1 Tbsp. lemon juice)
Put apple mixture in on pastry in pie plate.
Dot the top of apples with the 1 Tbsp. butter.
Put top half of pastry on top and crimp and seal edges.
Cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.
Remove foil and bake 30 minutes longer or until golden brown.
Cool slightly and this is just absolutely delicious
served with ice cream!