{squash pie, yep!}

My husband, the Gardener, as I refer to him, had a pretty hefty harvest this year of butternut squash.  Oh...how he toiled over these vines as they grew.  Bahahaha!  No, really, he didn't.

These were volunteers from our compost bin from winter.  25 volunteers mind you.  TWO - FIVE.  That's a lotta volunteers friends.  What do you do with all that squash?  Make mash of course.

So last week, I cleaned, sliced in half and placed all 25 of these babies on foil lined pans.  Added a bit of water bath to the pan and baked at around 400' for almost an hour.  The skins come right off pretty much and then I mashed them, keeping a few chunks in there.  After it cools, I bag them and freeze them.

My Mother-in-Law, aka the worlds GREATEST pumpkin pie baker (sorry Mom, but it's true - my MIL has you beat by a mile).  She makes REAL squash pies.  Pumpkin or butternut squashes, etc makes no difference.  She adds milk, eggs, sugar, spices and salt and holy toledo - what comes out IS a slice of heaven.  A little chunky but real - real squash pie.  Not from a can.  REAL.  Ya gotta try it!  You'll never go back to the can.

And the rest of the mash - soup.  Did I mention I am awesome at soup making?  I believe I have...I'll say it again.  I rule at the soup thing. Give me a ring - you and I can get together for some squash soup, ok?

(I'll bring back the Monday Mornings Inspiration next week - any ideas where you want to see this go?  I'd love to have more people tooting their horns there!)


Oh Little Pea...

I say, Oh Little Pea, in exasperation. Let me just share a bit about the day I had with Little Pea last week with you, ok?

The gardener was enjoying another birthday last week.  The snow had been cleared away enough so that the twins could go to school.  Little pea and I were chilling at home with plans to bake a cake and make the gardeners favorite meal - sweet and sour chicken.  I was also going to do a little nap time sewing.  That my dear friends, did not happen.  (inhale.  deep breath.  and breathing out my nose.  ok...ready to go on)

Picture this.  I'm in the kitchen.  Baking.  I throw something away in the garbage can.  As I moved the garbage can, it magically talked to me.

Odd isn't it?  That's what I thought.  I start to dig.

And I find Little Pea's brand new talking Miss Manners teapot she got for Christmas, in the garbage.  In there.  In with all the coffee grounds.  The dirty diapers.  The packaging from the chicken we had eaten the night before.  Ohhh yuck.  {cover your eyes - what comes next is not very nice - the retired cop talk in me} Well, that's not exactly what I said but I can tell you that it rhymes with yuck and I only said it to myself under my breath.

Just a teapot you say?  Why get so upset.  Um...yeah, here's why.

It was not just a teapot.

There was her new Leap Frog cell phone.

Some blocks.

A horse.

A plastic play plate.

Some plastic play food.

And her SHOES!  Her Robeez cute adorable leather faux mary jane shoes were in the garbage!

Now you see the reason why the profane language came in.

Had it not been for Miss Manners the talking teapot who said, "more please" when I moved the garbage can - all those things would have been on their way to the city dump.

So as I'm cleaning all of this up - remember - I'm baking cakes for the gardener, right?!  Um, only I in fact forgot that little detail and burned his cakes.  OK...another fun photo coming your way.

Yeah, see his cakes came out of the pan like...well, let me rephrase that.  In fact, they did NOT come out of the pan.  That was the biggest problem.  That and the blackness of the brown that wasn't supposed to be black.

K...moving on.  I decide...in my infinite wisdom, it all tastes the same.  I'm gonna ice it anyway and we can still eat it.  Right?  This is the part you shake your head and say, "No Trish.  NO!  Not right!".  Dang!  NOW you tell me!

I go ahead and ice the cake.

It tasted kind of funny but then again, I'm not a cake girl so I don't really like the stuff.  Too sweet for me.

And the ideas I had for decorating couldn't be done because of the um, uneven surfaces I had to work with on the cake.  It kind of looked like it had been stepped on.  You ready for another fun photo?  Oh yeah...here it is.

Would you eat that?  The Gardener came home from work.  Looked at the table with his cake, sunk his finger into the icing, looked at me and says, "Did you taste this?".  Well, yes, why?  He says, the icing is awful.  Nice.  He digs the can - um, cuz I'm not Sandra Lee, out of the garbage - the same garbage where all the toys had been - and says, "This can says best if used by March...2009".  It did sort of have an odd yellow tinge to it.  So, he blew out his candles and no one ate cake.

SO...how's your day going?  Better now that you read that fiasco, huh?!



ps a gazillion thanks to Paige for creating a blog button for me - feel free to grab the code and add to your site.  I'd be mighty appreciative!  And visit Paige while you're at it...she is a peach!  And part of the wonderful staff at Where Women Create...a place I love to visit!

Fridays, Family and Food

Probably, my most favorite thing to do, besides sew...is eat.  Seriously, I LOVE eating.  Textures, taste, smells - love it.  Best entertainment.  For me at least. Food is often talked about in our house.  What are we having for breakfast...tomorrow?  While we are eating dinner..."what should we have for dinner...tomorrow?".  You'd think we'd all be as big as a house but we are kind of a skinny bunch - we just like to eat.

Well, a "food" tradition in our house started a few years back.  The gardener was totally busted, standing in the door of the frig, spraying leftover whipped cream from Thanksgiving directly into his mouth.  The kids jaws hit the floor.  They totally wanted to do the same thing!  That New Year's Eve - he surprised both girls with their very own can of whip cream.  To spray in their mouth whenever they wanted.  And thus - a new year's tradition was born.  Every New Year's Eve, the Preston family tradition includes Dad making an appetizer dinner and topping it off with s'mores in the fireplace and...whip cream.  Yep.  That about sums it up everyone.

And of course, the littlest pea HAD to do exactly what her sisters were doing.  Mind you, the twins - um, they were TWO YEARS OLD before I ever let them have sugar.  Seriously.  I was mean.  No cookies, no ice cream - nothing.  Even their birthday cakes - I sweetened them with applesauce.  Pathetic, I know.

Our littlest pea, totally ruined.  Before Christmas, she had chocolate chip cookies for the first time.  Last week, at 20 months old, I introduced her to chocolate milk via Ovaltine.  Let me just say the reaction...priceless.  We've taught her some sign language - after finishing the first cupful without taking a breath - she starts wildly signing "more! more!" and then pointing to the cupboard where I keep the ovaltine mix.  And now...her favorite word has become "cawk - it"...you know, chocolate.  Anyway, little pea had to get in on these New Year traditions...

Doesn't this break some kind of "good parenting" law or something?  Well, let's just say, I did not start this tradition I merely sit back and observe.  Ok, and take a few photos for "evidence".

This got me thinking about another yummy we enjoy around here and...

...a great way to start your weekend - a quick and easy delicious dessert.

My kids love this one and ask for it frequently.

All you need is a can of crescent roll dough or you can use those ready made pie crusts in the box, granny smith apples, butter, cinnamon and sugar.

Press out your dough on to a greased pan and give it a little edge for a crust.  Bake for about 5 minutes or so.  Remove from oven.

Slice up several apples and arrange on your dough.

Melt several tablespoons of butter and baste your apples and crust with butter.  Sprinkle generously with cinnamon and sugar.  Bake again for about 10-15 minutes about 350'.  Enjoy!

Do you have any "food" traditions in your house?  Anything as obnoxious as "your very own can of whip cream"?  Dish it up - I'd love to hear I'm not alone!