As we turn the corner my palms get sweaty. The kids carry on in the back of the car...their aloofness to the upcoming event irritates me. Don't they understand we're building a family tradition? The crowded parking lot elicits panic...we should have gotten here early!
There's a vast sea of orange and green. There are people everywhere! They're selecting pumpkins and placing them in wagons. I'm contemplating ownership rights. I hardly think a wagon ride constitutes a pumpkin being off the market...please.
I check my pockets one last time ensuring I still have my cash. No credit cards accepted. (One year we learned THAT the hard way.) The air smells of gourds and dirt. Now the kids are excited! It's exhilarating to be alive!
Along with picking up the Thanksgiving bird and the spiritual event that is selecting our tree...the annual trip to the pumpkin farm ranks up there with those outings that transform me from... "loving wife and mother of two"...into a competitive, crazed lunatic who sees "little Sally Smith" - over there - as my greatest competition!
I morph into all of the following...
THE PESSIMIST: I'm sure the best ones are already gone!
THE OPTIMIST: But the weather has been dry, so there should be a bounty of beauties!
THE SCOUTER: What's that... a birthday party?! There must be 15 kids...that's 30 adults! Could equate to 45 pumpkins! Good God people that's pumpkin picking gluttony!
THE PLANNER: OK family...everyone split up and take a corner of the field... gather the best pumpkins you can find and meet back here!
THE CHECK AND BALANCER: Oh wait, you're 4 and you're only 2... change of plans...boys go one way, girls go the other!
THE OPTIMIZER: If we're forced to double up (because of our age) we're covering half the amount of ground - we must be twice as efficient!
THE MOTIVATOR: Size...shape...carving properties...it ALL matters....remain focused and stay the course! Potty breaks are for the weak!
THE JUDGE: Out. Out. In. Really, who picked this one...Out! In. In. Ugh!
In the end we all get our favorite pumpkins. My husband's... tall, skinny, symmetrical. Mine... large, round, plump. My daughter's... medium, lopsided, long curly stem. My son...baby gourd in one hand, fist of dirt in the other. An instant nuclear pumpkin family whom we're emotionally attached to and can't wait to bring home to display on our porch...
And there...on the porch... the chosen ones will sit.... until we cut them open to toast their seeds and roast their flavorful innards! After all...what's Halloween....without a little gore!
(This is just the beginning of my Halloween posts...I can't control myself...I love this time of year!)
I came across these Pumpkin Pie Bars on a fellow food bloggers site. Jennifurla at Indigo's Sugar Spectrum featured them a few weeks ago and I was sold at first glance! If you haven't already checked out her blog...do so because it's wonderful!
This fun spin on the classic pumpkin pie, is simple to make (even for a self proclaimed non-baker) and amazingly delicious! Make them this season for sure!
Pumpkin Pie Bars
By: JRR AllRecipes.com
via the blog Indigo's Sugar Spectrum
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup white sugar
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2.In a medium bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Mix in flour. Fold in oats. Press into a 9x13 inch baking dish.
3.Bake in preheated oven 15 minutes, until set.
4.In a large bowl, beat eggs with white sugar. Beat in pumpkin and evaporated milk. Mix in salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Pour over baked crust.
5.Bake in preheated oven 20 minutes (mine set at 30 minutes), until set. Let cool before cutting into squares.