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Autumn Home and Garden 2013

Autumn Home and Garden 2013

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Published by PauldingProgress

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Published by: PauldingProgress on Sep 18, 2013
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 A Special Supplement To ThePauldingCountyProgress September 18. 2013
2 - Paulding County Progress Autumn Spectacular Wednesday, September 18, 2013
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Put pumpkins to use in many different ways
Autumn is the season when pumpkins are ripefor the picking, and thousands of people flock tolocal farms and roadside vendors to select per-fect pumpkins. Many pumpkins are turned intodecorative jack-o’-lanterns for Halloween, onlyto be tossed in the trash come November 1. Thatcould be because many people are unaware of the various ways they can put pumpkins to gooduse.Pumpkins are gourds and members of thesquash family and have been grown and used for thousands of years. Evidence suggests that pump-kins date back to 7000 B.C., possibly originatingin Mexico. Today they are widely used for deco-rating around Halloween, but there are manyother things that can be done with pumpkins.
Create a food vessel.
Pumpkins can betransformed into bowls to hold soup, punch,fruit, or even dips. Make sure the pumpkin has been cleaned well of its pulp and seeds, as wellas the stringy flesh that is inside. Rub the insidewalls of the pumpkin with oil to keep them fromdrying out and caving in, then fill with your foodof choice.
Make pumpkin puree.
Puree from a pump-kin can be used in all types of recipes, fromsoups to baked goods. The puree also can re- place the oil in cake recipes. Cut the pumpkinand scoop out the seeds and stringy membranes.Then place it cut-side-down in a pan with a littlewater in the bottom. Bake at 350° for around 90minutes. The flesh will become tender and easilyremovable. Blend the resulting puree in a food processor and reserve flesh for recipes. Some pumpkins are sweeter or better to use as part of recipes. Check the variety you’re purchasing.
Whip up a facial.
Use some pumpkin pureewith a little brown sugar and a dash of milk tocreate a vitamin-rich facial mask.
Get illuminated.
Turn hollowed-out mini pumpkins into candles. Melt soy wax, beeswaxor the gel type of candle wax that can be foundat most craft stores. Add your favorite scent and place a wick into the bottom of the pumpkin.Then pour the wax into hallowed-out space andallow it to harden. Try the same thing with bumpy and multi-colored gourds for added dec-orating appeal.
Turn the pumpkin into a flower pot.
Fill ahollow pumpkin with soil.You may not have to worryabout scraping the pumpkincompletely clean because the pulp can be used to help fer-tilize the potting soil. Plantyour favorite fall flowers intothe festive and earth-friendlyflower pot. When the pump-kin shows signs of rotting,simply put the whole thinginto a traditional flower pot or  bury it directly in the ground.
Make pumpkin stock.
While vegetable or meat- based stocks may be the stan-dards, pumpkin can be usedto make stock as well. Cleanout the seeds from the stringyguts of the pumpkin and put
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the guts into a pot filled with water. Add celery,carrots or any other aromatic vegetables for extraflavor. Allow to boil for at least 30 minutes. Thestock is ready when it begins to change color.Strain and reserve the stock for use in a varietyof recipes.
Add to compost bins.
Pumpkins are rich inzinc, vitamin A and vitamin C, among other nu-trients. You can add the discarded pumpkins toyour backyard compost bins to further replenishthe soil.
Turn into a billowing cauldron.
Instead of a standard jack-o’-lantern, put a glass jar into thecarved pumpkin, add dish soap and hot water tothe jar and then put in a piece of dry ice. Bubblesand smoke will pour out of the pumpkin to cre-ate a spooktacular effect.
Answer key on page 6
Wednesday, September 18, 2013 Paulding County Progress Autumn Spectacular - 3
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A panoply of pumpkin picking particulars
Without a doubt the most recognizable symbol of Hal-loween is a pumpkin carved into a jack-o-lantern. To under-stand the origins of how pumpkin carving began and what itreally means we must first take a look at the holiday itself.How long has Halloween been around? Have there alwaysbeen pumpkins carved?
For most of the general population it is known as Halloweenand is a night for dressing up, telling ghost stories, havingspooky parties, Trick-or-Treating and pumpkin carving. Whatmost people don’t know is that Halloween is actually basedon an ancient Celtic holiday known as Samhain (pro-nounced “sow wan”), which means “summer’s end.”It was the end of the Celtic year, starting at sun-down on October 31st and goingthrough to sundown November 1st. It was a night to honor loved ones that had passedon since the veil betweentheir realm and ours isat its thinnest on thatnight.Celebrated for cen-turies by the Celts of old, witches andmany other nature- based religions, it isthe most magicalnight of the year. Al-though the religioussignificance of it has passed for the general public, Halloween is a“magical” night for all.
On this magical night, glowing jack-o-lanterns, carved from turnips or gourds, were set on porches and in windows to welcome deceased loved ones, but also to act as protection against malevolent spirits.Burning lumps of coal were used inside as a source of light,later to be replaced by candles.When European settlers, particularly the Irish, arrived inAmerica, they found the native pumpkin to be larger, easier to carve and seemed the perfect choice for jack-o-lanterns.Halloween didn’t really catch on big in this country untilthe late 1800s and has been celebrated in so many ways ever since.Pumpkins are indigenous to the western hemisphere andwere completely unknown in Europe before the time of Columbus. In 1584, the French explorer Jacques Cartier re- ported from the St. Lawrence region that he had found “grosmelons,” which was translated into English as “ponpions,”or pumpkins. In fact, pumpkins have been grown in Amer-ica for over 5,000 years. Native Americans called pumpkins“isquotersquash.”
Selecting the pumpkins you’ll carve for your HalloweenJack-O’-Lanterns is very important. You’ll need to pick  pumpkins according to what you want tocarve on them.Whether it’s simply carving a pumpkin to sit on the door step or holding pumpkincarving parties and con-tests, this age old tradi-tion is a main event for young and old alike.Depending on the va-riety, pumpkins canrange in size anywherefrom tiny to humon-gous. Medium sizedones work best for moststencils that you’ll makeor buy. Very large pump-kins can be carved withelaborate designs and used as“center pieces” on your porchor tables. Small pumpkins work fine for carving traditional faces, theycan be done fast and you can have many of them scatteredabout for parties, haunts or up your sidewalk as a lighted pathway.
First, decide before buying your pumpkins what designsyou will be carving into them. This will allow you to createa shopping list or at least a mental idea of the shapes andsizes of pumpkins you’ll need.For standard carving without a stencil, decide if it should be tall and narrow, or more rounded, based on your ideas.Select pumpkins that are uniformly orange meaning that areripe, have no bruises, cuts or nicks.If you will be using a stencil to carve your pumpkin, se-lect a pumpkin that is large enough and as close to the sameshape as the pattern you’re going to carve. It should be assmooth as possible, and free of scratches, dents or gouges.
 page 5

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