Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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A Corn Maze, a Free Pumpkin, and October Snow!

mountain road with trees

I’m back home after 7 days in the Appalachian Mountains. Most of my time was spent with my friend on Beech Mountain, but I also visited Boone and Banner Elk to be with my lively granddaughter, dedicated son, and his lovely girlfriend. My friend and I gave them a break from parenting duty, and  I got lots of exercise chasing my granddaughter through the corn maze.  I wish I’d thought to get more photos of the maze, but we were focused on trying to find the 6 mailboxes each containing a puzzle piece to get a free pumpkin. After about 90 minutes, we’d found three of the puzzle pieces, having ended up at mailbox #3 three, times, but they gave us a free pumpkin anyway because we were two senior ladies with a 6 year old, and we did pay for the corn maze experience.

Corn maze from pixabay

This corn maze from Pixabay looks just like the one we did if you add more sunshine.

After two days of sunny weather, I got to see SNOW, a rarity where I live on the coast. The frosty air felt invigorating for brief periods. But when evening temperatures dipped into the 20s, we were thankful for the warm fire.

As beautiful as the mountains were, I learned after seven days, that there really is no place like home.

It might take me a while to catch up here on WordPress, or maybe catching up will be re-defined. Because there are only so many hours in the day and so many wondrous things.

I hope you enjoy these photos from my trip.

colorful chairs (2)

Banner Elk, North Carolina

trees with sun

 

IMG_8346

Beech Mountain Road

snow storm on Beech Mountain

 Snow Storm on top of Beech Mountain

warm fire

A cozy fire at Pinnacle Inn

snowy morning from balcony

The Next Morning

snowy morning mountains

snowy trees at Beech Mtn condo.jpg

Frosty tree and snow

May all your journeys be full of wonder and lead you safely home.

 


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Jack-o-lantern Pie and Other Experiments

pumpkin-201956_150When my kids were still kids, we’d carve a jack-0- lantern on Halloween, saving the cut outs of eyes, nose and mouth for the pie.

The pungent scent of raw pumpkin innards still conjures up memories of fairy costumes, scary face paint and getting candy ready for that first knock at the door.

With a little patience, you can separate the slippery pumpkin seeds from the stringy stuff, and roast the seeds in the oven with olive oil and salt until they start to turn brown. They’re not bad and they’re full of fiber!  If you roast thin layers of the stringy stuff too, it caramelizes into a semi sweet, crispy treat.  The stem is generally compost, though there might be something you could make out of it. Nothing is wasted!

I’d usually cut up the rest of Old Jack after the Trick-0r-Treating was over, and keep the pieces in the frig til the weekend, unless I was really tired, then I’d put Jack in the frig whole to save for later.

At first, I followed a recipe from a tattered old cookbook that said to cut up the pumpkin, remove the skin, and boil the pieces until soft.  Next you drain the water off, and mash the pumpkin, like making mashed potatoes. But the filling was  still pretty soupy, especially after we added the milk and/or eggs. So I’d add less liquid, but it was still soupy. Once I added oatmeal as a thickener. It was, um……interesting.

After a couple years I tried a tip I heard from a wise old lady who said they used to just put the whole pumpkin in the oven and bake it, then cut it up, mash it and add the other ingredients. That worked okay. The filling was not so soupy, but it took a long time to cook the whole pumpkin.

This year, I think I’ll cut up the pumpkin and roast the pieces in the oven. Roasted pumpkin, brushed with olive oil or butter, sprinkled with a little brown sugar and cinnamon might be good even without the pie crust. But I’m still making a pie.

Who needs a recipe anyway.