It is fall harvest time!  That means pumpkins, and lots of them.  It is hard to ignore these large, orange symbols of the changing seasons, so we decided to embrace them!  Check out all the different ways we have included pumpkins in the show today!

Al’s Pumpkins

Halloween is the time for scary pumpkins and tradition holds that the carved pumpkin is the way to greet those trick or treaters as they approach your doorstep.  But we found a bunch of different ideas for decorating your doorstep this Halloween.  Josh from Al’s Garden Center (503-981-1245) in Woodburn gave us 3 or 4 different ideas to try.  First of course was the traditional carved pumpkin, but with a few twists.  First, Josh recommended that you look for a pumpkin that will fit your space.  Don’t always look for the larger pumpkin.  Think about your doorstep and what you have to work with.  Next, look at the stem size; larger stems add character.  As far as lighting the pumpkin he recommends the new LED battery lights.  They don’t have to be relit if a breeze comes along and they can be reused on different holidays.   We also saw some planted pumpkins. These pumpkins were hollowed out and planted with various fall color perennials.  You use soil in the pumpkin and after about a week you can replant them in your landscape or a container.  Since they are plants and have moist soil they will make the pumpkin rot a little faster than normal.  To extend the life of the pumpkin you can apply Vaseline to the inside of the pumpkin to block the moisture.  Finally we moved to the painted pumpkins.  Josh used masking tape to cover parts of the pumpkin and then removed to tape to show off the unpainted areas, or reapplied the tape to paint other areas of the pumpkin.  To finish it off he used a spray lacquer to protect the paint and add a shine.  To see these and some of his other creations you can stop by the Al’s in Woodburn.


Preparing Squash

William from the Garden Time show decided to show Chef David his Pumpkin Roll recipe, but to get started he had to pick up a fresh pumpkin for the recipe.  He made a stop at Bauman Farm and Garden (503-792-3524) to check on the best pumpkin for the job!  Brian told William that he may not want a pumpkin at all.  Even though it is a ‘pumpkin’ roll, the best meat for this recipe is found in the ‘Sweetmeat’ squash.  William then met up with Chef David to learn how to get the meat out of the squash to make his recipe.  First you cut it in half, clean out the seeds and place it on a cookie sheet.  Put it in a 375 degree oven for about an hour.  You pull it out of the oven when the outside is soft.  Once it is cooled you can just pull off the outside skin and run the meat through a food mill or a food processor.  You will have a lot of meat when you are done.  You can save the extra by putting it in a freezer bag in 1 cup portions and dating it.  To get a recipe on preparing your squash, click here.

A Tad, a Dash and a Pinch

If you have an older recipe or cook book, you may notice that it calls for a dash, a tad, a pinch or a smidgen.  These older style measurements are hard to describe, but we will try…  For most people the smallest measuring spoon in your drawer may be a 1/8 of a teaspoon.  If you cut that in half (1/16), it is a dash.  1/2 of that (1/32) is a pinch or a smidgen.  As you can see it is a very small amount of seasoning.  But don’t worry; they just want you to use a small amount in the recipe and most likely it will refer to a very flavorful or spicy ingredient.  In fact, most new recipes will tell you to ‘season to taste’.  So if you are concerned that it will ruin your recipe proceed with caution and use your best judgment.

Pumpkin Roll

Earlier we cooked a Sweetmeat squash to get our filling, and now we are going to use that filling to make a recipe for a pumpkin roll.  William once again joined Chef David in the kitchen to share this old family favorite with us. You start with 3 eggs and 3/4 cup of sugar.  You will start to blend those together and then add your pumpkin meat, lemon juice, flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.  Once those are blended you pour the ingredients in shallow pan lined with parchment or wax-paper.  This goes into an oven heated to 350 for about 10-15 minutes.  Be careful not to over cook this, look for the ‘cake’ to spring back to your touch and then pull it out of the oven.  Flip the cake over onto a tea towel that has a light covering of powdered sugar, roll it up and let it cool.  Once it is cooled you will unroll the cake spread out your cream cheese filling and re-roll it up with a sprinkling of nuts evenly distributed over it and place it in the fridge again.  Once it has ‘rested’ you can bring it out and cut the end off (for appearance) and serve it on a plate.  For the complete recipe you can check out the October 2009 edition of the Garden Time On-line magazine.  You can sign up for your free monthly subscription to be delivered to your e-mail at the Garden Time website!


Interstate Siding Tips

With the change of the seasons we have been showing you tips to help you make sure that your home is ready for the elements.  Today we met up with John from Interstate Roofing (503-684-5611) to talk about siding and what you should look for.  He met us at a home that had old siding recently replaced and we talked about things you should look for.  Starting at the roof we talked about the need to keep a gap between the roof and the siding.  You will also want to make sure that the tops of your windows are protected so water can’t get behind them and ruin you structure.  What you are looking for is a good seal around all your windows, corners and doors.  You will want to use a good flexible, weather-proof sealer or caulk.    That will ensure that the rain and wind doesn’t penetrate and you will have a dryer and warmer house.  Finally we got to the bottom of the wall and we talked about keeping your siding up and off the soil or cement.  You will also want to keep your plants away from your siding.  You want to keep airflow around your house so the siding can dry out after a rain.  For more tips and information about your siding check out the Interstate Roofing website.

Quick Tip – Thermostat

Our quick tip this week is another money saver.  Jenna from NW Natural told us about programmable thermostats.  She mentioned that if you have a programmable thermostat and you lower it by 10 degrees during any 8 hour period you can save over 10 percent on your heating bills.  By having a programmable thermostat you can lower it during the daytime when you are at work, or overnight when you are sleeping.  You can then have the furnace kick-in just before you get up or right before you get home.  For more money and energy saving tips you can check out www.nwnatural.com.



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This page last modified
March 06, 2010.