Delicious & nutritious

A large and lovely Sweetmeat winter squash. After the initial baked squash as part of our supper, we have gone on to make muffins, pancakes, plain fried patties, and added it to polenta. Baking the whole thing at once for two people was a mistake! There’s way too much to eat up! (Good thing our dogs like it too…)
We saved the seeds as our fellow gardening neighbor asked us to, hoping to get a good localized variety going for the future. Managed to save seed from delicata squash, buttercup, and butternut. Also from several chile peppers: jalapeno, Anaheim, Siberian grandpa’s hot, Bulgarian carrot, and some Thai hots that both I and my oldest grandson saved seed from.

Speaking of seeds, here is a recipe from my upcoming book The Wild & Weedy Apothecary. It’s healthy and delicious, especially filled with chunky applesauce or sliced canned pears with honey yogurt and a dusting of cinnamon.

Sunny Oatmeal Crepes
1/2 cup sunflower seeds (shelled), ground but not buttery
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup flour, preferable whole wheat pastry flour
pinch of salt
2 eggs
1-1/2 to 2-1/2 cups milk
Combine the ground seeds, rolled oats, flour and salt. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, then add 1-1/2 cups milk. Add to dry ingredients, adding more milk if necessary to make a thin batter. Brush a small hot skillet with a bit of oil, and swirl around just enough crepe batter to cover the pan, about 3 or 4 tablespoons (make a couple of practice crepes to see for yourself). Cook over medium heat until top of crepe is dry, no need to turn over. Makes 15–20 crepes.
I grow sunflowers in my garden every summer, and am always amazed that the stalk can support the weight of the flowerhead. Sometimes they do lean a bit after a heavy rain. While our northern Idaho summers don’t always allow for full maturity, I grow them anyway, watching their wide golden faces follow the bright sun as it passes through the sky, shining down on the garden and reaching the sunflowers first.

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the Winter of ’67

… we’re havin’ fun now!

I can still remember the sound of cars driving by with chains on the tires, sounding like gigantic locusts or something. It was an experience. They even let us out of school for a few days, it had snowed so much. The Chicago Public School system didn’t let you out for nothin’ back in those days. So we built snow caves, snow forts, snow men, snow pies, and threw snow balls. It doesn’t look like much in the photo (we’re fairly close to the house), but we got about 3 feet in two days. The photo is of me and my little sister, I’m 9 and she’s 5.

I don’t think 3 feet in 2 days is all that fun now, but perhaps if I put my snowsuit on and made a few snow angels, I might feel different. I suppose I could go south for the winter, but then it wouldn’t be winter, would it…

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