The Patch

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Fall, Family, Life Lessons, Pumpkin, Traditions | Posted on 26-10-2016

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Our family has been going to the pumpkin patch for years. We love it! Pumpkins everywhere! The shades of orange! The shapes and sizes!

Pick any pumpkin you want, guys! Except this year, there weren’t any pumpkins. Um. It’s a pumpkin patch. Where are all the pumpkins?

Usually, there’s a huge spread of pumpkins right when you enter. Orange wherever you look. This time, there was just a sprinkling of pumpkins. Usually, pumpkins line the path to the corn maze. Nary a pumpkin lining the path this year. Usually, there’s a hidden pumpkin patch if you dare to walk through the corn. This time, it was just a muddy field.

“I was robbed!” Just as Sally utters in It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.

That is why our pumpkin patch picture this year was Children of the Corn.

But we found the bright side. There were corn stalks galore. Ample mud to squish around in. And, my youngest found me a prized heart rock!

When life gives you an empty pumpkin patch, head to the grocery store! We bailed.

Fortunately, Safeway had a wide selection of pumpkins in many shades of orange, in all shapes and sizes! We picked out our six (including one for Otis) and had so much money leftover that we bought three kinds of ice cream.

You could say that we made sundaes out of empty patches.

Happy Halloween, y’all!

A photo posted by PeskyPippi (@peskypippi) on

A photo posted by PeskyPippi (@peskypippi) on

A photo posted by PeskyPippi (@peskypippi) on

A photo posted by PeskyPippi (@peskypippi) on

That’s The Way I Like It

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Childhood, Fall, Ideas | Posted on 06-01-2013

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Running late (as always).

Trying to get my daughter to her basketball game on time. The kids shoved down sandwiches and milk.

Quick! Grab the water bottle!

“Did you remember your jersey?” I yelled to her in the backseat…being that we were already halfway there. I was hopeful.

“Yes.”

Whew.

It was Friday night, after a hard week of all of us getting back “into the swing of things” post-holidays. I was feeling. Very. Grumpy.

Then on the radio blasts K.C. and The Sunshine Band….That’s The Way I like It. Uh huh. Uh huh.

And then. My seven-year-old starts to sing along. Word for word. Booyah!

It was exactly what I needed to get me out of my grumpies. Uh huh. Uh huh. I laughed out loud.

And we got to the game. With. Three minutes to spare.

Screw You, Martha Stewart

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Celebrations, Fall, Family, Halloween, Holidays | Posted on 24-10-2012

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Oh, Martha.

Every year, I watch your Halloween specials where you create bats from black spray-painted clothespins, googly eyeballs from painted foam balls, spirited papier-mâché pumpkins, and stenciled votive candles. Your creations are magical.

Last Fall, we watched in awe at your creations. And the creative juices started to flow. We trekked to Michaels to load up on supplies.

  • Wooden clothespins
  • Foam balls
  • Tissue paper
  • Votive candle holders
  • Paint
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Craft glue

And a bunch of other crap that totaled $75.

We got home excited. Excited to create the wonders that you created, with such ease.

Fail.

  • Spray painting outside in the wind is a bitch.
  • Where exactly do you PUT wet foam balls after you’ve painted them, so they can dry?
  • Doing papier-mâché in a wet climate means that your pumpkins will get yeast infections.

I opened up our Halloween bins from the attic and discovered last year’s unfinished craft projects. Three dozen black clothespins with no bat bodies, a pack of two dozen votive candles with no stencils, and half-painted eyeballs.

This collection of craft failures was a reminder that:

I suck at crafting.

There will be no pinning of my Martha-esque creations on Pinterest this year. Sigh.

But I staple-gunned eyeball lights across the front of the house. Stuck ghosts in the flower pots. Hung store-bought skeletons from the trees. Draped fake spider webs across the doorway. And displayed our 93 lbs. of pumpkins from the pumpkin patch.

My crafting abilities may suck, but my Halloween spirit?

It’s a good thing.

12 Don’ts When Hosting Thanksgiving

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Celebrations, Fall, Family, Food, Friends, Holidays, Ideas, Kitchen, Life Lessons, Thanksgiving, Traditions | Posted on 10-11-2011

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Don’t host. Just kidding!

I have been around the Thanksgiving table, so to speak, many times. I have hosted Thanksgiving many times. Even to my own mother and to my in-laws (gasp!) And they are particular….wonder where I get it from?

I have learned a few things that you probably do NOT want to do when hosting Thanksgiving.

  • Don’t try to channel Martha Stewart. But do steal some of her tips and recipes. Martha is a kitchen fairy with lots of helpers. We copied her last year with her Pureed Butternut Squash recipe. And let me tell you, it was delicious and tasty. But it was a lot of work and you had to stir it constantly. And it took up a whole burner on the stove for hours. And ya know what, the kids hated it. Said it looked like throw up. It just was not worth the hassle for the few compliments it did generate. But if you are stubborn–and I know some of you are–here is the recipe.

http://www.marthastewart.com/312415/pureed-butternut-squash-soup

  • Don’t skimp on the pie. If you just have one pumpkin pie to share among everyone at the table: you suck. My motto and ratio for hosting: one pie per person. And who says only apple? We did apple and pecan and I just might do chocolate cream. Who says? Here’s Pesky Pippi’s Perfect Pecan Pie–I mean Martha’s recipe:

http://www.marthastewart.com/312503/pecan-pie

  • Don’t forget to take OUT the bag of giblets before cook your turkey. And don’t try to hide them in the stuffing or the gravy. I’ll heat them up for my dog, Lucy, but they are still simply repulsive to look at and eat. In my book.
  • Don’t guess how long to cook a turkey; be precise. Buy a thermometer. This is not a good time to spread salmonella or E. coli. We have gone for years guessing. Hmmm, done yet? How about now? And then we have wound up with some well-cooked turkey, that’s for sure. Pass me a glass of water to wash it down (choking).
  • Don’t dis the orange-carrot-pineapple Jell-O mold. Traditions are awesome. And this colorful dish kicks ass.
  • Don’t be shy about offering several kinds of cranberry. My husband and kids love the smooth, formed kind from the can. My father-in-law likes the chunky kind from the can. My mother and I like the cranberry relish my grandmother used to make. You chop up a bag of fresh cranberries, add bits of fresh oranges, chopped pecans, and sugar to taste. Set it aside the morning of (or the night before). It’s beautiful and fresh. I cannot have Thanksgiving without it.
  • Don’t forget to let the rolls rise…early. Craptastic: last year I bought fancy rolls instead of the crescent rolls that you bake in like seven minutes. I thought, oh, I’ll just throw them in the oven at the last minute. Come to find out, they required rising and sitting and rising and… So at Thanksgiving last year? No rolls.
  • Don’t dump flour into the turkey drippings and expect beautiful, lumpless gravy. Now, this I learned from–again–Martha. She told me to make a roux. As in, take a little bit of turkey drippings into a separate bowl, add a bit flour to help thicken, stir, THEN add into the pan of drippings and heat. I have made Pesky Pippi’s Perfect Gravy without fail every time. So good, just give me a straw! Oh, and throw in onions, parsnips, turnips, carrots, celery in with the turkey while baking. And the flavors sorta ooze into the drippings. (Another Martha tip.)
  • Don’t send guests home with leftovers. Hello, turkey sandwiches on Friday!
  • Don’t stress too hard. I actually HATE when people tell me this, because I am a stresser. But you are not Martha Stewart–unless Ms. Stewart, you are reading this–and it’s more about togetherness than if the gravy has horrific lumps.
  • Don’t forget to partake. Anything goes great with turkey: wine, beer, beer, wine. And with the pressures of cooking and serving and worrying, “Dang, did I overcook the turkey AGAIN?” it’s also time to chill and be with family and friends.
  • Don’t forget to lighten up. The most important thing: be thankful that you have food on the table and you have loved ones to share it with. Regardless of how it looks or how it tastes. Remember how Charlie Brown had toast at his Thanksgiving spread?

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

 

 

How Do You Like Them…Pomegranates?

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Celebrations, Fall, Family, Food, Fruit, Health, Kitchen | Posted on 04-11-2011

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Ha ha ha! Pomegranates are in season. Enough said.

But Holy Investment, Batman! These suckers are $3.50 apiece where I live. But how can I say no to antioxidants and Vitamin C?

My kids love them. And we associate them will our family Fall traditions. No fancy cooking here. We just slice them in half and enjoy picking out the ruby-like seeds. Eating half of a pomegranate can last through a whole movie (if you eat it slowly)!

These bad boys have quite a history. Did you know, for example, that:

  • The wild pomegranate dates back 4,000 years?
  • Indian royalty used the pomegranate in rituals and for banquets?
  • Traders in ancient days referred to the pomegranate as the “fruit of paradise?”
  • The Greek myth of Persephone, the goddess of the Underword prominently features the pomegranate? For each seed she ate, she had to stay in Hades for A YEAR.

Enjoy ’em–you are eating a piece of ancient history–and don’t wear your white toga while partaking.