In the Kitchen : Pumpkin Pear Soup

pumpsoupThis Pumpkin Pear Soup is a delicious and warming meal on its own or paired with a salad or homemade spelt rolls. It is also a wonderful recipe for the whole family to make together.

Very young children can cut a soft, ripe pear with a blunt knife and add a dash of cinnamon to the pot (be careful that they don’t inhale or try to eat the dry cinnamon!).

Older children can help peel and cut the butternut pumpkin and use the can opener to open the coconut milk.

All the children can help to knead dough if you’re making rolls, spin the salad if you’re serving and set the table.

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Ingredients

1/2 onion or leek, diced

coconut oil

dash of dried cinnamon and dash of dried cumin

1 butternet squash, peeled and cut into large cubes

1-2 ripe pears

1.5 L stock (homemade bone or vegetable)

salt and pepper to taste

1 can of coconut milk

Let’s Begin

Put the coconut oil in a pot and add the onion or leek and cinnamon and cumin.

Fry until fragrant and the onion is soft.

Add the squash pieces and pear and stir to coat in spices.

Add the stock and more water if needed to *just* cover the squash/pear.

Let this simmer until the squash is cooked through and soft.

Puree with a hand blender or in a food processor until smooth.

Add salt and pepper to taste and serve with 1-2 TBS of coconut milk in each bowl.

 

 

 

Crafting : Birchbark Napkin Rings

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We’ve been celebrating a lot of birthdays the past two months and consequently adding homemade beauty to our table setting.

I had the older children collect some birchbark on a recent family hike and then we simply glued the pieces onto halved toilet paper rolls. The effect is a lovely rustic looking napkin ring. Their simple beauty and charm also inspires the children to set the table- a win for everyone I think!

They would be a lovely addition to a Thanksgiving or Harvest Table.napkinring1napkinring2

Summer : In the Garden

A peek at our garden before we tear it all down and then start again on our new property. We move to our very first home in two weeks so there are many, many things to harvest, prepare and either cook or freeze in the meantime!

We’ve learned a lot (mostly from our mistakes) this first season of growing in North America with some questions still unanswered (are curly carrots just a cause of not enough thinning?). We know we need more space and that although we love our raised beds, they aren’t ideal for everything (pumpkin mayhem!). And we also learned that yes, you really can replant those whole lettuce heads (the head carefully cut, with the base, roots and dirt attached still attached) from the supermarket and they will regrow.

Speaking of pumpkins- we grew our very first pumpkins and squash this season- a dream (albeit quirky) of mine for years to be able to harvest such beauties! garden1garden3 IMG_5822 garden7 garden6 garden2 garden4garden5

Our harvest season was cut short this year by the move, but I am so looking forward to another and even more bountiful one. It feels so good to head outdoors each morning and to observe (in wonder) the slow progression of seed to seedling to flower to fruit. We also took one tiny step in the right direction towards self-sufficiency and certainly cut quite a few weekly items off of our grocery list.

How has your garden grown this summer? Or conversely if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, what are you planting this Spring?