Friday, October 10, 2008

The Perfect Autumn Day

I can't even begin to tell you how much I love fall. The cool breezes, the beautiful colors and most of all, the heavenly scents. Today has been all of the above. I started off my morning with Pumpkin Butter on my toast (how could it not be a great day with such a delicious start?). Well, back up to yesterday, I made homemade chicken noodle soup and baked pumpkins, so the smell was divine yesterday as well, and then last night I whipped up this recipe for pumpkin butter. I found so many different recipes on the internet, but so glad I chose this one. It was smooth and spicy and oh-so-pumpkiny! And for those of you who don't know, I'm kind of a freak for pumpkin, so it perfectly satisfied my cravings. Just before I started shoveling pumpkin butter in my mouth this morning I popped a batch of pepitas in the oven.

Did you know they were called pepitas? I just learned that this year, and it so much more fun to say than pumpkin seeds, so from now on it's pepitas. Here was my recipe for the pepitas:

*Seeds from 2 pumpkins (the pie variety)
*4 tbsp melted butter
*1 tsp garlic salt
*2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Mix together and spread onto a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes.

So, after pumpkin butter, pepitas and a long, hot shower I tackled the applesauce. I made 3 batches, ended up with 12 pints and bowlful for the fridge. Do you know how heavenly your house smells after 4 hours of making applesauce? I could just about lick the walls. Ok, maybe not the walls, but I've managed to lick every pot, pan and utensil that's been in contact with the applesauce. With nibbles of pepitas in between. I looked up a ton of recipes and decided to wing it. Here's what I ended up with:

*20 apples
*2 1/2 C water
*1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
*2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
*2 tsp vanilla
*1/2 C brown sugar

Peel, slice and core the apples. Place in a large pot with all ingredients except sugar. Bring to a boil and boil until apples are soft and mushy. Add brown sugar. Blend (I used a stick blender because I like my applesauce with a few chunks). Continue to boil until you've reached the desired consistency. Ladle into clean/sanitized canning jars. Process for 20 minutes (I processed for 31 minutes with altitude adjustments).

It's got a pretty strong cinnamon flavor, but I love it that way. Claire had a rather large helping with lunch, so it's not too crazy-spicy.

What a wonderful autumn day! And to top it off, I'll get a break from the kitchen because we're going out to dinner. My life is sweet...


summer said...

Yum! my mouth is watering just reading your blog! ;)

Kelly said...

All these things are on my to-do list which was a little thrown off due to the sickness that invaded us this week. Good thing fall is just getting started!
I found a recipe for sugared pepitas (which I will now be calling them instead of pumpkin seeds) that sounds good. Your recipe sounds delicious though so I think I'll do both. Hopefully soon too!
You should've called me for my applesauce recipe. I forgot to email it to you - sorry! I hope you have a peeler/corer/slicer. That can take a long time by hand!

seantimberlake said...

Glad you enjoyed the pumpkin butter! I'm overdue to make a batch myself.

Andrea said...

Mmmm, those pepitas look SO good!! I've got several pie pumpkins, but they're currently serving as decoration :). In a few more weeks, I'm going to bake them and freeze the pumpkin puree and enjoy the seeds!

This weekend we're headed to the orchard so I can do applesauce and apple pie filling. Yum!!