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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Finished up pears

I had to be up early and moving this morning. I took my buddy Gene to the doc to get his labs drawn and we had a quick breakfast at the local DQ. Now I remember why I don't like to eat out. Tasteless food, greasy and the service was shabby at best. All the employees are very young people and I don't think kids these days have much of a work ethic. They think its an annoyance to stop their chit-chat and wait on customers. I will say they need to stay in fast food and not wait tables and depend on tips. Am thinking most of em would go home broke at the end of the day.
We ran a few errands for Gene while we were out and then I got him home. He still gets tired pretty easy but other wise is doing well. I came home to finish cooking my pear preserves and get the pear butter canned up. I usually try to cook the pear preserves about an hour at night then let them sit overnight and another hour the next day and then can. It just seems to make them taste better. I ended up with 8 pints of preserves and 7 pints of vanilla pear butter. I guess my next project will be to make pumpkin butter. As you know pumpkins, cushaws, and butternut squash are all in the squash family. So I use cushaw to make pumpkin butter. The pumpkin butter is a method I think and not so much a recipe.The first real step in any butter is to make the puree. But for the "method" rinse the cushaw to remove dirt. Slice in rounds and carefully peel off the rind, cut in 2 inch uniform cubes. Place in pressure cooker with about 2 inches of water and cook for about 20 minutes at 10 lb pressure. After pressure goes down, drain as much liquid off as possible. Use a stick blender or any method you choose to puree the vegetable. Now you have puree. To the puree, add 1 cup sugar for each 2 cups puree. This can now be added to a slow cooker or crock pot and let cook on low over night till thick. Add cinnamon, nutmeg and a touch of ground clove to taste. When the butter taste to your liking let cook another hour. Ladle into hot jars and put lids on and seal em up. I usually can mine in pint jars due to the fact we can eat a smaller jar before it gets moldy after opening. Here is another recipe you might enjoy and a good way to use some of the pumpkin butter.

Pumpkin dip

2 cups or 1 pint of pumpkin butter
8 oz pkg softened cream cheese
vanilla wafers or gingersnaps

Add softened cream cheese to punkin butter and beat well to combine. Serve in a pretty bowl with gingersnaps, vanilla wafers or even snicker doodles on the side. A nice addition to the holiday dinner table or to keep hungry guest happy till dinner is served.

I had a good laugh today at Luna's expense. She encountered what must have been her first tarpine. I heard her barking like she was serious about something, so I went to investigate. She was barking at the turtle shell. She would reach out an claw the ground near it shell but not touching it. Then she missed an flipped the shell over and she nearly knocked me down trying to get back from it. She would look at the shell and look at me, as if to say "I know there is a lil animal unner that lid, I seen em go unner there". She entertained herself for an hour with the tarpine. I think she finally gave and decided it was a lost cause and left him be. But she was totally befuddled.
So till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.



Deb said...

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! I'll git started on those cushaws tomorrow!

Gracie said...

Thank you for not only sharing your recipes but also how you go about doing it. We've never planted Cushaws before (really hadn't ever heard of them), but bet'cha we'll have them growing with the other squashes next year!

stella said...

Hi yall, well Im glad someone can glean a lil goodness from my nonsense. lol Yeas cushaws are an old old variety of squash. Most people here put them in the same family as pumpkins, which are also in the squash family. I cant grow punkins fer nuffin, but the cushaws are prolific around here. seems they really dont have any pest to bother them. Now I just got to figure out how to make a good punkin soup so I can use em up. I do know they are very nutricious, but that wont help if ya cant git the family to eat em. lol