Monday, November 5, 2012

Pumpkin Pancakes for Fall

It's fall on our hill. With the winds of last week, the trees' leaves are steadily falling. Our chickens are molting. And there's a crispness to the air that we don't get to experience for very long in South Carolina. 
Our house is looking very settled in now.

And since it's fall, it's time for all things pumpkin. Saturday I roasted a pumpkin we had grown (volunteer) and stored the pumpkin puree in the fridge. 

Back when I was pregnant with my second son, Ashley's cousin Martin invited us over for breakfast one morning. He made the best pancakes, which motivated me to try to learn how to make pancakes (in the past mine would burn, be too dense or not flavorful). I'm been making the White Lily pancake recipe with consistently good results. This morning I used that recipe with tips from King Arthur Flour on how to make pumpkin pancakes.

Here's my Pumpkin Pancake recipe (updated 10-4-2013):
1 1/4 c self-rising flour (I'm excited about the SRF from KAF --will order some soon)
2 T sugar
1/4 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. ginger
dash of nutmeg
* Whisk these in a bowl.

In separate bowl, combine:
1 c milk (less if your pumpkin puree is more watery)
1/2 c. pumpkin (you can use canned or roasted, depending on what you have)
1 egg, slightly beaten
Dash of vanilla extract

Add milk mixture to flour mixture. Whisk together. I made the pancakes on my griddle, the temperature between 325 and 350. I loved them, as did the boys (especially since I made them in Mickey Mouse/bear shapes).

Friday, November 2, 2012

Fun at the Fair

A few weeks ago, the South Carolina State Fair opened. Since we live near the capital city, we always try to go. Last year was my first time entering goods into the fair and I won two blue ribbons (dill pickles and molasses-ginger cookies) and one second place (brownies). Though it may seem silly to some people, I really am proud of my ribbons. As a stay-at-home mama, I don't receive much outside recognition for the work I do around the house so the ribbons in my pantry remind me that I do know what I'm doing sometimes! All that said, I entered 6 things into the fair this year: dill pickles, pickled beets, strawberry jam, brownies, molasses-ginger cookies (these go in the "drop cookie" category), an apron, a bag and a pillow. 

My dill pickles won blue again this year.

My pickled beets also won a first prize!

As did my molasses-ginger cookie. We all love looking at these old cases filled with baked goods. It's neat to think about all the folks who have entered things over the years. So three blue ribbons (and $19 in prize money...I'll be sure to not spend it all in one place..ha!) for Okra Hill Farm. 

Seeing the exhibits is always a highlight but this year we chose to take the boys on some of the amusement rides. All five members of our family rode the Ferris wheel (the baby is riding in my front carrier). 

The view from the top of the Ferris wheel--that's Williams Brice stadium in the background, where the University of South Carolina Gamecocks play. 

Our 2 year old and 4 year old had their first ride on a few other kiddie rides. 

A few days after the fair concluded, I had to go back to the fairgrounds to pick up everything and my blue ribbons. Here's a little photo shoot of these two winners (I threw the cookies away because they were hard as bricks after being on display for almost two weeks). 

 Fair season always signals the beginning of fall and we're certainly having fall now--the leaves are changing and we've had blustery winds all week. More later on the goodness growing in the garden.