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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Chopping Down the Sunflower Forest

The last few days were spent clearing the dead garden debris, mostly squash vine tendrils & giant sunflower stalks.  Some of those stalks were close to three inches in diameter and 15 feet tall! One had a face that spanned about 20 inches side to side. Just the seeds from that one flower will replant my entire sunflower garden next year, with tons to spare!

We carved up the Jack-o-Lanterns that we grew. The boys had fun, but the big, thick pumpkins were a bit much for their little hands.  After the lid cutting and gutting, they really only had enough energy to cut out eyes before they sat down for a rest and a snack while Lee and I continued on. In the photo to the right you'll see mine on the top right with Rowan's below it. Lee's is on the top left side, with Liam's below it. It was a fun day, but the carving took a lot more time than we had anticipated, so we had to rush to get the boys fed, dressed, and ready for trick-or-treating.

Oh, and my favorite part about carving pumpkins is saving and roasting the seeds (after setting aside enough for next year's crop.)  I soak mine in brine for a couple of hours, drain them, and then add some olive oil (just enough to coat them) and spices and bake for about 40 minutes to an hour to get the shells nice and crunchy.  Here's a couple of spice combinations I tried this year:

Savory

2 tsp of Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp of garlic granules
1 tsp of sea salt

Autumn Spice

1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp allspice

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