Wednesday, September 23, 2009

"It's Autumn Time"

Autumn is a second spring

when every leaf is a flower.
~Albert Camus

SO, many wonderful memories associated with Autumn Time...
BRIGHT Colorful Leaves on the trees... Starting College...
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...
runchy 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.

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
small to medium pumpkin
(OR you can use any winter squash--"Sweet Meat Squash" is what I used this time)
1 chopped

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)
oven to 350 degrees.
In a large skillet cook onions and hamburger until hamburger is cooked and onions are tender.
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.
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!!!

Apple Pie
(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.

1/2 to 1 tsp. cinnamon
1 Tbsp
. butter

pie plate with half of the pastry.

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)

apple mixture in on pastry in pie plate.

Dot the top
of apples with the 1 Tbsp. butter.

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!


Connie said...

Yummy to both of the recipes! I've tried the dinner in a pumpkin for Halloween when my kids were younger. It was DELICIOUS, however, the kids were so excited to get out and trick-or-treat that they didn't want to eat it!
Learned to do it on another night.

It's so fun to take classes. I love learning and learning from others. She looks like a great teacher!

Have a wonderful day!

Sondra said...

It's Autumn Time, It's Autumn time, The leaves are falling down, It's autumn time, bright colors can be found... Primary song edited :-D. I just love the changing in the seasons and what each one has to offer. We are lucky to live in a place with seasonal changes - it makes me look forward to them and enjoy them. I love the coolness of the air after a hot summer!

What a dear sweet woman and great mentor. I think that is one of the reasons I love blogging is all of the motivation to do a better job in parenting. Plus all the wonderful ideas to spruce up the hum drum of everyday life. It's brighter when you put extra love into something.

I love the pumpkin dinner and the pie. It looks very yummy!

Ann Marie said...

I for sure need a good parenting class! The lady sounds great!

Your decor looks cute! I havent gotten the urge to put up my orange yet! --But hopefully Soon!!

Ann Marie said...

2 more days!

Cherie said...

I've come to know it as "Kimmie's Shelf"!! I love to see how you decorate it each season - It looks fabulous!
I love the dinner in a pumpkin - I can totally see all of you looking forward to that each year - what a fun tradition and I am all for tradition!!!! Woot!!
I hope when I come to visit my daughter (possible next month I can stop in and visit you too!).

Candace Taylor said...

Love the dinner in the pumpkin. We were just talking about doing that for enrichment recipe exchange. I think there are some recipes in the oct. better homes and gardens. I'll have to try yours!! So fun!

T. L. C. said...

Oh my goodness I love the fall too!
This makes me so giddy and I LOVE how your the first person to show her decor! I LOOOOVVVEEE your shelf!

Have you ever made homemade cinnamon rolls? I'm dieing to find a great recipe and try it.

Oh an all your reason to love fall...reading it just made me jump for joy because i love this season THAT much! So much to be thankful for and I love your enthusiasm!

That would be a great class to take. I so wish to have children and the teacher sounds like she would be a great mentor!

wileyfamilyof5 said...

I think we all need a great parenting class. The type that you can realy relate to. She sounds fabuleous. I have made copies of both the recipes. definately giving them a try. I make mummy hot dogs every halloween, along with cinnamon rolls and wassil.I think I get more parents than kids, coming by just get a cinnamon roll and wassil.

Small House said...

It's nice to be able to throw in a class here and there. Like you, I'd like to return to school, but not the time. It's nice to have a good friend, that can teach and inspire.

Love the recipes. I just don't know how you get so much done in a day. You definitely have a love of life. And enough energy to handle it all!!!
Have a great day.