Thursday, October 18, 2007

Fall Foliage in Boise

The colours in Boise this time of year definitely rival those of New England, in my opinion! I've never BEEN to New England but of course I'm biased towards Boise anyway!

Lochie and I went to check the post office box for my new business a few days ago and it is opposite a beautiful look-out on Federal Way. When I first drove past the mountains were a gorgeous purple hue but by the time I returned after checking the mail, the dusk was already turning into dark.

Lochie and I went to Shopko to pick up some stuff and he found this BSU supporters hat - he really, REALLY wanted it! He was pretty cute in it so I took a quick picture but I think that hat would be pretty dorky on a grown-up! Would definitely keep your ears warm though!

We've been slow-cooking a lot in the crock-pot - stews and pasta sauces mostly but I tried a spinach Indian curry last week and simmered the meat in the curry sauce for about an hour and a half and it was delish!! I have been cooking heaps lately - taco salad on Monday, Italian Meatballs on Tuesday and today we're making a potato soup. I have a cold right now so might make a chicken noodle soup instead but it is soup weather right now - it was so cold today it felt like it could snow but forecast said it will only get down to 42f today - low of 36f on Saturday so looks like we didn't have much of a Fall this year - pretty much went from Summer to Winter it feels! Glad we're taking Lochie to the Harvest Festival at the Idaho Fairgrounds for Halloween - it is a huge event out church sponsors and its free popcorn, sno-cones, cotton candy, rides, games, etc. It was so cold on Halloween last year so we were glad to be in a nice heated pavilion at the fairgrounds!!

Lochie & I are going to go snuggle and watch a DVD with some warm popcorn now...

Jack-o-lantern Video #2

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Lochie's Adventures in Pumpkin Carving!

We had a great day today - Lochie had his chance to carve his pumpkin! This is the first year he's been big enough to actually do most of the work himself! I helped him with cutting the top but he scooped all the pumpkin goop out himself, and after I shaved it down inside on the "face" side to make cutting easier for him, he drew his own design and carved it himself! And I think considering the puny kids knife we gave him he did a pretty good job of it! And I actually accidentally invented a new use for the pumpkin seeds! I rinsed and removed as much of the pumpkin from the seeds as I could then soaked them in water for about 20 mins. I read on the internet about honey-roasting pumpkin seeds so I used a cast-iron skillet and toasted the seeds in some butter until they "popped" a bit and got toasty looking - then I thought I could skip the whole roasting part and honey-roast them in the skillet (duh!) so added golden syrup from Australia (like a cross between molasses and corn syrup I think for you yanks!), white sugar and cinnamon and before I knew it, it took on a toffee consistency and was hardening faster in my nice cast-iron skillet than I would have liked! So I threw the whole mix down on a baking sheet and put in the oven on low (250f) for about a half an hour and voila! Pumpkin Seed Brittle!! The boys LOVED it and it had kind of a nutty flavour like peanut brittle but a little more chewy. Lochie thought it was the best and we plan on doing the same thing with the seeds in the other pumpkin. Lochie wants me to carve a "Yoda" pumpkin - I did a pretty fancy Spongebob on a watermelon last year - I practiced on the melon and it was so time-consuming I didn't have the energy to recreate it on the pumpkin so Lochie had a Jack-o-melon last year! Will give Yoda a shot for him I guess - but if it becomes too much effort I'm just gonna punch a bunch of holes in it and we'll call it the galaxy!!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Jack-o-lantern

The object used to carve the pumpkin was a child's blunt, serrated pumpkin carving knife! We wouldn't let Lochie use a real knife - but in the blurry images of the video we just wanted to establish that it's actually quite an innocuous piece of weaponry! (in other words, Mum & Dad don't have a heart attack when you see him making violent stabbing motions with it! It's pretty blunt - thought you would like to know that!)

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Saturday, October 6, 2007

Pumpkin Patch Video Clip #1

It was windy so the audio isn't the greatest - WARNING.. might want to adjust your volume down before hiiting play so the wind sounds don't blast you...!
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Merricks & Wrigleys @ Linder Farms Pumpkin Patch Oct 2007

We had a great outing at Linder Farms in Meridian with the Wrigley family today. Lochie found some real nice pumpkins but in the end he said he wanted some little gourds instead! We'll probably go out to the Berry Ranch sometime in the next few weeks anyway and pick a pumpkin out so he can carve it. I think he thought the pumpkins would already come carved because on the drive out he said "Mum can I get a pumpkin with a happy face?"! The sun was out and it was a beautiful day if not a bit windy and the smell of fresh hot donuts was in the air (and in Lochie's tummy - thanks, Darren!). We had a great day and agreed we need to get together with the Wrigleys more often! Happy Halloween!