The fab 5 that keeps me going...

The fab 5 that keeps me going...
One generation plants the trees; another gets the shade. ~ Chinese Proverb

Friday, November 20, 2009

Cream of Pumpkin Soup Served in a Pumpkin Shell

"Served it in a pumpkin shell and there you'll keep it very well." The presentation of this savory soup is spectacular!


1 large fresh pumpkin (about 12 inches in diameter) for serving the soup

2 ½ cups fresh, baked/cooked pumpkin or canned pumpkin (see below)

3 cups chicken broth

1 cup heavy cream

½ cup dry sherry (optional)

4 tbsp. butter

1 small onion, chopped

¾ cup diced celery

1 sprig of fresh thyme

2 cloves garlic, minced

¼ tsp of salt Toasted pumpkin seeds for a garnish

fresh grated ginger or 1 tbsp. ground ginger

fresh cracked pepper to taste


Cut the top (one third) of your pumpkin to create a lid for your pumpkin serving bowl. Scoop out the seeds and strings, cleaning the inside well of any debris. Clean the seeds and place them on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle the seeds with a little salt. Roast in a 200°F oven until lightly golden brown. Set them aside to be used as a garnish.

2 ½ cups of fresh pumpkin can be cooked on the stove top or baked for a stronger taste. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees or boil a pot of water. Cut up a large pumpkin into small pieces that will fit in a baking dish. Remove the strings and debris with a large spoon. Place pumpkin upside down (peel should be up) in the baking dish - the baking dish should have sides that come up at least 2 inches. Once you have the pumpkin in the baking dish, add an inch of water to steam the pumpkin in the oven. Bake or boil until tender (approximately 45 to 60 minutes depending on the size of the pumpkin.

Remove the pumpkin from the water/baking dish and let cool. Scoop out and measure 2 ½ cups of pumpkin into freezer bags and store. The pumpkin is good for a year in the freezer.
In a large soup pot, melt 2 tbsp of butter over a medium heat. Sauté onion, celery and garlic for about 10 minutes. Add the pumpkin, sherry and chicken broth. Blend in well with a whisk. Add the thyme sprig. Simmer for an additional 20 minutes. Remove thyme sprig. Remove the mixture from the heat and puree in a blender. Be careful to puree small amounts of the hot mixture with the blender top on to avoid having the mixture burst out of the blender. Alternatively, if you like it a bit more substantial, mash with a large fork or potato masher. Return the mixture to the pot. Melt the remaining 2 tbsp of butter in a separate sauce pan. Whisk in 2 tbsp of flour. Whisk in the cream. Blend well. Cook for one minute. Whisk the flour, butter and cream mixture into pumpkin puree. Simmer for 5 minutes more.
Heat the pumpkin shell in a 200ºF oven for 10 to 15 minutes before adding soup to keep the soup warm for a longer period of time. Pour soup into your hollowed-out pumpkin serving bowl. Serve the toasted pumpkin seeds on the side for garnish and plenty of fresh cracked pepper.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Giving Thanks...

There are times when I sit down with pen to paper (really keys to computer) and I'm at a loss for words. And other times (if you have read some previous posts), my heart spills out on the pages. I also make it a somewhat standing policy to not engage in political discussions. Some of those things are better left unsaid.

This I know:

* The neighbors that have so generously made our One Can A Week a super-success the past 4 months are FANTASTIC PEOPLE! I really 'heart' you all! There is not one of you that I wouldn't readily open my door to with open arms, and I do hope you take me up on it!

* Your encouragement was/is absolutely incredible. The notes you left, the smiles you flashed and the little shouts of encouragement on Sundays kept me going! And none of this could have happened without YOU!

* You are the 'unique and special ones'. You see the good in giving.

* Past two weeks collectively: 168 lbs.!

* About 54 homes in 4 months, you have donated a total of 979 lbs. of food, 10 lbs. of non-food items and $50.00.

* Life is Good. Really Good. Have a Fabulous Thanksgiving! And know, that there will be food on the tables of many families because of YOU!!!

Hope to see you ALL and your families

at Tahoe Park in Catalina Vista for our

"Party in the Park!"

Sunday, December 6th


Lunch/beverages will be provided.

Monday, November 2, 2009

I was invited to talk with folks, along with Peter Norback (One Can A Week - Miles Neighborhood) at the Sam Hughes Neighborhood Association meeting this past week, about One Can A Week. I was really struck by the cohesiveness that is so apparent among neighbors in this neighborhood. Inevitably, FOUR people jumped up with enthusiasm to start One Can A Week in the Sam Hughes neighborhood. I think they too, see the benefit of how 'giving' brings about Community. I'm still not exactly sure how this works. I think it is the fact that everyone is on board to a common cause. And basically, It Feels Good to do good. I can't think of a better way to unite!

And there was even talk about starting a "Dining For Women" ~ Sam Hughes chapter. Can you imagine if EVERY neighborhood started a chapter?! Yeah, I can't help but to think of possibilities ~ its more Fun to think Big. (This is why my husband is the 'brakes' in the family, because undoubtedly I'd have a small village of kids at home! Okay, I guess we do ~ a Big Village then!)

And when people are united, and there is community ~ there is safety. And Happiness! Go Sam Hughes!!!
Another cool thing that happened was at an RV park we stayed at Halloween night. A woman (picture on right) approached me and asked if I was Lisa Hepner with One Can A Week and I said, "yes." She said that she had seen my blog, wanted to make a food donation, and asked for a business card. Pretty neat! Thanks Terry!!! We love random donations!!! :)

Hope ya'all had a Fabulous Halloween!

88 lbs. this week, including 4 lbs. of non-food items and $50.00 cash!

THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lot's to be Thankful for...

See ya Sunday!