Pumpkins will soon begin to appear in farmers' markets and grocery stores. Pumpkin pies and roasted pumpkin seeds are just a few of the delicious treats that can be made with pumpkins. This is the perfect time to start collecting a few recipes for preparing pumpkin treats in the next few weeks. You can start with reading about pumpkins with a few great read-alouds. A great story to begin with before you choose a pumpkin recipe is Wendy Pfeffer's "From Seed to Pumpkin". This story will take your child from the planting of a pumpkin seed to harvesting the pumpkin. This book is part of the "Let's Read and Find Out Science Series", published by HarperCollins for ages 4-8. The realistic watercolor and pencil illustrations are an interesting part of the book. The easy recipes that are included with the book are of particular interest when starting to cook with your pumpkin.
Linda White's "Too Many Pumpkins" is another great choice for a fun read-aloud about pumpkins for the fall season. A woman has too many pumpkins after she starts to harvest her patch, and she uses her extra pumpkins to make wonderful treats to share with her neighbors. Your children will want to prepare some pumpkin treats for sharing after reading this fun book.
An child-friendly recipe for Easy Pumpkin Butter is a great way to start cooking after reading some books about pumpkins.
*1 29 oz. can pumpkin puree
*3/4 cup apple juice
*2 teaspoons ground ginger
*1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
*1 1/2 cups white sugar
*2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
* 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Directions: Combine pumpkin, apple juice, spices, and sugar in a large saucepan. Stir well. bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer for 30 minutes or until thickened. Stir frequently. Transfer to clean containers (baby food jars are great).
You will want to attend Hunsader Farms Pumpkin Festival on one of the last three weekends in October, starting on October 12. Picking your own pumpkin is the highlight of the festival in Sarasota. The pumpkins are available in a variety of sizes and you are sure to find the perfect size for use in a recipe if you prefer to use fresh pumpkin instead of a pumpkin puree. The Hunsader Farms Pumpkin festival is located at 5500 County Road 675 in the Sarasota-Bradenton area. Information about the festival can be accessed by logging on to www.hunsaderfarms.com, or by calling 941-322-2168.
Enjoy the first days of fall with cooking some great treats with pumpkins.