Merry Meet All,
Autumn is a magical time. A crisp chill is in the air as we share in the rich harvest of pumpkins and herbs from our gardens and fields. They inspire memories of a brewing pot of cider, carved pumpkins, and squash soups. Here are a few recipes to celebrate autumn.
Apple cider is a delicious healthy treat.
1 gallon of cider, one orange, apple, three cinnamon sticks, 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, 1 handful of rose petals.
Pour the cider into a stainless steel pot. Peel the orange and save the peel. Squeeze the juice from the oranges into the cider and let some orange slices float in the pot to absorb the flavor. Core and peel the apples and add to the cider and the nutmeg and the cinnamon. Allow it to steep and simmer. Add lemon rind to mixture. Sprinkle with rose petals before serving.
Making cider from scratch
Making cider from scratch is best if you have a large amount of free time. If you are hosting an event that calls for cider and are unable to get to a grocery store before it closed, here is an alternative way to make cider.
Go out in nature or to your backyard if you are fortunate enough to own an apple tree. Collect apples that appear unblemished and bring them inside. Wash them and core the apples, discarding the seeds and peels. Put on a pot of boiling water. Add the apples to the pot and boil then simmer. Let the apples simmer in the pot till they are soft, then strain. Add the same ingredients as above. Tip: Save the softened apple pulp to make applesauce with it to enjoy your cider.
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
1 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, two teaspoons melted butter or olive oil, salt to taste *Options* garlic powder, cayenne pepper, seasoning salt, and Cajun seasoning blend. Preheat oven to 300 F.
Clean the seeds. Toss pumpkin seeds in a bowl with the melted butter or olive oil, and seasonings of your choice. Spread pumpkin seeds in a single layer on baking sheet. Bake for forty-five minutes until golden brown.
Curried Sweet Potato Soup
1 medium sized onion chopped, two cloves garlic sliced, one tablespoon peeled and chopped fresh ginger, one large sweet potato cut into one-inch cubes, one large white potato cut into one-inch cubes, and two to three carrots sliced.
1 level tablespoon Neekoo Chai Masala (an aromatic blend of cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, fennel and ginger), one heaping tablespoon Madras curry powder, one level tablespoon organic grey salt, one teaspoon Neekoo Persian Spice and black pepper to taste. Substitute the ingredients if necessary.
Stir-fry the onions in cooking oil, when the onions are translucent, add the ginger, garlic and the other spices. Stir for a few minutes. Add the chopped vegetables and stir. Add about two litres of water, cover, bring to a boil, and reduce to simmer until potatoes are cooked. Blend smooth with blender. Wait till the food has cooled before blending the ingredients. Return the stock to the pot and reheat. Enjoy. You can store this soup in the freezer.
If you grow pumpkin or squash in your garden, the bees help to pollinate the pumpkins. The bees visit the flowers of the fruit. Pumpkins also remove toxins from the soil. Pumpkin soup is a healthful treat-and the pie is too.
These recipes will delight you and your family. Decorate the house, wear your costumes, and share in the ritual of preparing the dishes with the whole family or your friends. Enjoy the magic of autumn.