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Escobar's Corn Maze Pumpkin Festival

LOU'S PUMPKIN PATCH

After you've done the Maze, come and visit our Pumpkin Patch it is a real experience to see the pumpkins still attached to the vine with some of them just turning orange. Pick out Jack 'o Lantern's for the kids to decorate, and to decorate your house.  Prices range from $1 to $15 depending on the size you pick.  We also have gourds for sale.   Don't forget those Pie Pumpkins for Thanksgiving (or for everyday - Hey, why not? Pumpkin Pie made from scratch is very good for you and tastes dozens of times better than the imitation stuff.) Get those Pie Pumpkins now or they'll be gone or frosted by the time you need them!

Mary Wakeman's Super Natural Pumpkin Pie

The thing about my mother's cooking is that a lot of it came from the wonderful old Milwaukee Settlement Cookbook, originally published 100 years ago, in 1903. This book has been reprinted zillions of times, and it is occasionally possible to find old copies on Ebay. It has been reissued in an exact facsimile of the 1903 Edition as well. As suggested by the title, it is a treasury of Old-World Recipes as well as the basics of sanitation, hygiene, and healthy housekeeping. It was meant as a sort of Home Economics course in a book for young immigrant girls.

The area of Wisconsin I grew up in was strongly German. My brother-in-law's mother used to make something she called 'Berry Kuchen'. After thinking about it, I went to the Settlement Cookbook and duplicated it faithfully by making the Fruit Custard #2 recipe and adding raspberries. These are the kind of recipes that tinkerers should stay away from. Also warned off are those who, despite current information to the contrary, think that animal fats are evil. Don't substitute artificial ingredients for these recipes, they use the foods our species evolved with. You can only destroy a Settlement Cookbook recipe, you can't improve on it!

The Pumpkin Pie Recipe is simply heavenly. Since you're using a real pumpkin (small, pie, sugar or a jack 'o lantern type in a pinch) and all you do is clean out the seeds; you're leaving in all the strings and stuff that are natural fiber, and make this Pumpkin Pie into a light and moist delicacy totally unlike the leaden pies we're used to seeing. And we strongly suggest you go all the way - if you're putting this much effort in the filling, put it in a proper lard pie-crust! It won't kill you once in a while, and you can trust me - I'm a Doctor (well, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, actually). But seriously, when the great war forced us into using vegetable 'shortening', we began the bad path that led us into 'levo-rotatory' hydrogenated vegetable fats. These turned out to be way more damaging to our bodies than pure natural animal fats ever thought of being. And when you're ready for the whipped cream, use real natural cow-produced heavy cream not some junk in a can. Whip it, put a little sugar and a little vanilla in it. Honest, this pie is too good to spoil with store-bought ready to fill pie crust and canned whipped cream. It would be a sin! And remember, I am from Wisconsin, the Dairy State.

I admit that I rarely cook. However, when I do, I'm not about to make something that isn't going to get me rave reviews. Believe it or not, I've never made anything from a box. When I trouble myself to bake or cook, the results have to be worth the effort.

REAL OLD-FASHIONED PUMPKIN PIE

Prepare the pumpkin: * cut (carefully - it's very tough) a small sweet pie pumpkin in half. Place cut-side down on a baking sheet and cook at 300 degrees until the pumpkin falls in on itself. Scoop out the pulp and put half aside for freezing to make another pie. You will usually have a bit over the 1 cup called for below - if it's not too much over, use it all. It's very good for you. I've tried it in the microwave, but it's too watery when steamed that way.

1 large cup steamed natural pumpkin*
1 pint milk (2 cups)
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon salt
-cook carefully in double boiler or in heavy pan, stirring constantly until thick
- Let cool - can be prepared the night before.

When cool add:
2 eggs beaten slightly
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg - we use fresh ground
    (you get to look at the insides of a nutmeg and that's fun)
1 tablespoon dark molasses

Pour into unbaked pie shell. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes; watch carefully. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake until tines of fork are clean when stuck in pie (about 45 minutes more).

MOUTH WATERING LARD PIE CRUST

It's just like a regular recipe but with lard. If you have trouble finding it at the super market, it is usually in the meat department not with dairy products, and may be in a butter-sized box and labeled "Manteca" which is Spanish. It is pork lard.

1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup lard
3 to 4 teaspoons water

Mix flour and salt. Add the lard, cutting it into the flour with a pastry blender or two knives. You want to work it in until it is in pieces about the size of a pea. You do not 'cream' it as you do with cookie dough. Add water slowly, folding it in with a fork. You do not want to finish up with a homogenous mixture. Take it easy on the mixing and cutting-in both. You want just enough water that it will adhere. Chill, then roll out on a floured board with a floured rolling pin. Place in pie dish and pat gently into place. Prick the bottom. Use the cut off edges for treats - place on a cookie sheet, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, and bake at 350 for a short time. (Hey - it's old-fashioned!) Then open mouth and let it melt on your tongue (after you let it cool slightly). I'm betting you'll never use 'store-bought' again.

Mary Wakeman, DVM

From Jane's sister, Margaret:
"That bit about using the leftover pieces of pie dough? Our mom would do that, but she'd spread a bit of butter, sprinkle with cinammon sugar, roll them up, slice them about 1/2" long and called them rollie-pollies. I had forgotten all about them!"

 Phone Us: 401-683-1444
Escobar's Highland Farm Corn Maze
Maze at 255 Middle Road
Farm at 133 Middle Road
Portsmouth, RI 02871
 E-Mail Us at: eskiemaze@escobarshighlandfarm.com
Copyright © 2003 - Escobar's Highland Farm
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BONUS RECIPE

BERRY KUCHEN

-- Double recipe of pie crust, line 9 x 14 pan
-- Cover bottom with raspberies
-- Double recipe of “Custard for Fruit Kuchen #2 – Settlement Cookbook
-- Bake at 375 degrees 20 minutes, then 300 degrees til brown—approx 40 min.

Custard for Fruit Kuchen #2
-- 2 eggs well beaten
-- ½ c sugar
-- 1 tsp vanilla
--2 Tblsp milk or cream


NUTMEG

Nutmeg is the fruit of a large evergreen myristica fragrans native to the Malucca Islands in Indonesia. It was once the most carefully guarded spice in the history of spice trading. It was so greatly valued that the Portuguese-and then the Dutch-limited its cultivation to only two islands in the East Indies, putting to death anyone who might elbow in on the business. Luckily, a non-affiliated group of birds carried the seeds throughout the Islands and beyond, ending the nutmeg monopoly. Peppery sweet nutmeg is a traditional flavoring for cakes and gingerbread, biscuits and fruit. It is commonly used in milk puddings, and a little grated into cherry or apple pie adds indecipherable spiciness. It is excellent in savory dishes, especially sausages, fish, and seafood. It is a necessary ingredient in many British-inspired chutneys, and grating just a bit over steamed cauliflower, baked onions or mashed potatoes is a perfect finishing touch.

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