Over the weekend I decided it would be fun to go pumpkin picking. I have never actually done it before, but figure hey, might as well go straight to the source right? One of our local farms and wineries, Jones Tree Farm, offers pumpkin picking so I decided to give them a try. It was amazing! First the farm is great. They have activities all year long and offer a variety of different pick your ow berries during the summer and cut down your own Christmas trees in the winter. To top it off they grow their own grapes and have a beautiful winery and tasting room on property. Robocop and I love going up there to have a glass of wine and relax on the patio. Bliss!
As far as the pumpkins go the farm does a phenomenal job. They had so many different varieties it was overwhelming. I had never seen some of the varietals they had before. On top of the really cool pumpkins they also had a large selection of edible squash. I got a couple of massive spaghetti and butternut squash for $3 each. Score! On the property they also had a 3 little pigs set up for the kids. They had 3 huge pigs in an enclosure eating pumpkins. All around the pen they had signs posted telling interesting facts about the pigs. I thought this was great. Not only was it fun, but it was also great that they tried to teach children about what smart and sensitive animals pigs are. Very cool!
In addition to buying tons of squash and carving pumpkins, I also picked up a couple of sugar pumpkins to cook with. I love making my own pumpkin puree, it is so simple. Just cut the pumpkin into pieces, remove the seeds, place in the oven at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes, or until it is soft. It just tastes so much better than the stuff out of the can and has the added bonus of making your house smell delicious!
Like everyone, I love all things pumpkin. Especially dessert. Why is it that pumpkin seems to make all desserts better? One of my favorite pumpkin desserts are pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting. Yum. While these bars are always delicioud on their own I had a crazy idea…what if you added chocolate? What pumpkin and chocolate? That’s crazy!….crazy good. The bars are so moist and have just enough chocolate to make them decadent without masking the pumpkin flavor. The cream cheese frosting makes them even more decadent without becoming overly sweet.
Local Ingredient: Pumpkin (From Jones Tree Farm).