If Apples are King,Pumpkins Must be Queen
A Kindergartners Pumpkin
Here in Henderson County North Carolina, the apple has long been king. Each year since the 1940's the city of Hendersonville has the Apple Festival in celebration of the apple crop produced in our county. The week long event is filled with activities and culminates with the Apple Festival Parade down Hendersonvilles winding main street. The local business association along with many of the charitable organizations all do their part to make the Apple Festival a great success attracting tourists from all over who fill the downtown area throughout the week and is a boost to the economy to the entire area. Everyone benefits.
Following on the tail of the Apple Fetival many local growers have roadside stands where apples may be purchased. The quantities vary from a simple basket containing a peck to half bushel and bushel bags of fruit and the varieties are numerous. In addition to apples, pumpkins, cabbage and other vegetables can be purchased at most roadside stands. Some of the growers such as Granddads even have a small family fun park with activities for children including a small train or a trailer loaded with hay that is pulled through the orchard.
There is also apple pastries, fried pies, apple cider, and even something new that will excite your tste buds, those delicious apple cider donuts! Granddads also has a BBQ sandwich station with pulled pork and other menu items for folks who get hungry and desire a more substantial meal. Visitors and locals alike can spend an entire afternoon enjoying fun and learning about the apples of our country. Granddads also has a nice display of antiques. Tools and farm equipment from by gone years.
In recent years our Public School system has begun allowing field trips to the local orchards. The day is well planned where students can tour an orchard and enjoy picking a few apples to eat or take back home. My grandson, Maddox, a kindergarden student at Atkinson Elementary went on such a field trip this week to Stepp Orchards, one of our counties oldest and largest orchards.
Maddox enjoyed his first field trip immensely and even got to pick some apples and get his very own pumpkin to bring home as did all the member of his class. A friend of ours told this story about one of last years field trips to an orchard. Each child had gotten their pumpkin and one little girl came back to get on the bus. She was tenderly cradeling her pumpkin, loving it as she might a pet. he commented,"Well now sweetheart, I see you have nice little pumpkin there. The little girl replied, "Yes and gues what? I got me a girl pumpkin!" The bus driver was a little taken by her comment and ask her,"How do you know you got yourself girl pumpkin?" "Well, my pumpkin doesn't have one of those ugly stems, so it has to be a girl pumpkin!"
Well, leave to the wisdom of a kindergardener to bring a little levity to a bus driver and all of us who heard the story. Out of the mouth of babes, so innocent and precious and guaranteed to make us all smile. I'm not sure if Maddox got a girl or a boy pumpkin,he hasn't told me but I am pretty sure he will soon be carving himself a Jack O Latern, after all he has already told me,"Paw-paw, I am an expert pumpkin carver!" We shall see.
Great Pumpkin Desserts
Fall of the year brings us a bounty of pumpkins and along with them pumpkin pies. Pumpkin pies have long been a favorite at Thanksgiving or at fall festivals. I like the home made variety where my wife makes a good crust and simply uses a mixture of pumpkin she has either gotten from a real pumpkin or puchased she can blend other spices to make a filling. Topped with whip cream, her pumpkin pies are irresistable.
Here is a simple pumpkin pie recipe I found on the internet to include in this hub, Even I could make this one.
1 9inch Pie
Units: US | Metric
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (**see variation)
- 2 eggs, slightly beaten
- 1 2/3 cups milk
- 1 1/2 cups mashed cooked pumpkin
- 1/2 recipe plain pie pastry
Sift dry ingredients together and stir into eggs
Add milk and pumpkin
Line pie pan with pastry and pour in filling
Bake in very hot oven (450 degrees) for 10 minutes; reduce temperature to slow (325 degrees) and bake 35 minutes longer or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.
**Variation:Use 1 Tsp.
cinnamon, 1/4 Tsp nutmeg 1/2 Tsp ginger and 1/8 Tsp ground cloves instead of pumpkin pie spice.
Another great pumpkin dessert my wife makes are Pumpkin Rolls and the recipe is readily available on line for those interested in making of of the delectable desserts.