Monthly Archives: November 2010

Pumpkin Butter- Spreadable Pumpkin Pie

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A while back I went pie pumpkin picking at one of my favorite pick your own farms in my area.  I love going here because it supports family farming and small business, their produce is cheaper and more natural than the grocery store, and I get to pick it right off the plant- so it is about as fresh as it gets! Plus the view is to die for:

This particular day I had a Groupon for the value of $30 that I paid just $15 for to use at this farm.  I was very excited because that is an awesome deal.  By the way if you want to join Groupon, it is a daily offer for your area for a small business.  They just e-mail you the offer each morning and if you interested you can buy it- if not- just delete the e-mail.

OK moving back to pumpkin butter-  So I picked two pie pumpkins on the beautiful fall morning that I visited the farm.  One became my Autumn Spice Soup and the other I used to make this delicious pumpkin butter.

I also used one store bought pie pumpkin and an orange fall squash.

I washed and sliced the pumpkins/squash in half and roasted in the oven until they were soft:about 45 minutes on 425*.

I pureed the softened pumpkin and put it in a big crock pot. Then added all the good fall spices along with a hearty helping of brown sugar.  Now that I have learned that allspice is actually its own unique ingredient, I decided I would purchase it.

I then stirred it up and let it cook on high for about 5 or 6 hours.  It turned from a bright orange into a dark carmel brown.  I was sick the weekend I made this, so I didn’t have the energy to do anything with it after it cooked so I let it cool and put it in the fridge for a few days.  One evening after school I felt motivated enough to can it, so I broke out the canner and got all the water boiling while I heated the pumpkin butter on the stove.

You can see from this picture how much its consistency and color is like a carmel.

Once the jars, lids and pumpkin butter were sterilized and hot, I started filling the jars with this oooey gooey goodness.

I then processed the jars in a boiling water bath for at least 40.  Apparently the USDA does not recommend home canning of pumpkin butter because it is so thick that processing cannot properly heat through to kill bacteria to the level necessary for leave it on the shelf canning.  I canned it, but am keeping it in my fridge.  I also canned in half pint jars and cooked it to smithereens in the crock pot and again on the stove. So I feel comfortable they would be okay on the shelf, but since I want to use these as Christmas presents and don’t want to kill anyone- they are living in my fridge.

What is good for you in this pumpkin butter?

Pumpkin:  Pumpkin flesh or pulp whichever is less gross sounding, has lots of great nutrients.  It is super rich in beta carotene which of course helps keep your eyes healthy, but also your skin and immune system (some makeups contain pumpkin because of this).  Beta Carotene is also a free radical fighter (to help fight against disease and cancer.  Also high in potassium, magnesium, iron, fiber and vitamin C.

All of beautiful fall spices are very healthy for you as well and have been discussed previously.

Eat, Enjoy and stay healthy!

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Fried Green Tomatoes- The right way.

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Since I was a teenager it has been a special treat to find good solid green tomatoes because this means Fried Green Tomatoes:  tangy, sweet, salty fried goodness.

You can find these on a rare restaurant menu; however more often than not they are made the wrong way.  Well, in my mind anyways.  Maybe you’ve tried the wrong way and like them, maybe you have always wanted to try them but never have, and maybe you have never heard of fried green tomatoes before! Well my friend, let me introduce you to my old friend and educate on the right way to make them  Now I have have some pretty good fried green tomatoes made differently than I like them, but I will always stick with my way as it is what I am used to and how I like it best.  I apologize that I did not photograph the process well, I was more concerned with getting dinner on the table than with food blogging at the time.

First you have to have a really green tomato- not light green starting to turn red- but GREEN green and firm.  This will give you a good tangy taste.

Slice the tomato into round slices- for your first time, I would slice some thick, some thin because some people like them thin and crispy while others like them thick.  I prefer thicker.

Next take flour, sugar, salt and pepper and combine in a bowl.  I never measure but this is a good guess to give you an idea of the proportions:  1 cup flour, about 1/3 cup sugar, 2 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper.  Mix this all up in a shallow bowl.

Cover the bottom of a skillet with oil and heat to a good pan frying temp. so that the tomatoes will sizzle as soon as you put them in the pan.

When oil is ready, dip tomato slices in the flour mixture to cover well on both sides.  Then add the the heated oil.

Cook on each side until brown or dark brown/black is you like crispy charred)- this takes anywhere from 2-4 min. depending on oil heat and tomato slice.

Mmmm Mmm! look at that golden fried goodness. This makes me sad that fall is here because that means no more green tomatoes. 😦

After tomatoes are done on each side, remove from oil and place on paper towel covered plate- blotting the top of the tomato with more paper towel to rid of excess oil.  You can eat these by themselves with salt or sugar (I like them with salt, sugar is weird to me, but that is how my brother liked to eat them growing up) or make them into a sandwich.  I got the sandwich idea from a restaurant called The Whistle Stop, (probably named from the movie Fried Green Tomatoes) the only place I have had fried green tomatoes made the way my mom made them (the right way).

For the sandwich:  Toast seeded rye bread and spread with mayonnaise; top with provolone cheese and good hearty slices of fried green tomatoes.

We like to heat the final product for a few minutes in the toaster oven to melt the cheese and mayo into artery clogging goodness before eating. 🙂

Ta-da! Dinner is served:

Tasty. Cheesy. Delish.

Let’s just skip the “What is healthy for you in this?” section for today and just tell ourselves we are eating our veggies, grains, and dairy when we eat fried green tomato sandwiches. 0:)