Each fall, we put up a fair sized seasonal display- pumpkins, gourds, mums, baskets, etc.- at our Townsend TN Bed and Breakfast‘s front entrance. While it is lovely, you can thank pesky raccoons for this recipe. They found us a couple of years ago and started nibbling on all the edibles. AND they wouldn’t clear their plate, a nibble here, and a nibble there. Kind of like “Taste of Chicago”, little bites to taste everything. It was driving my mom crazy, and she started bringing some gourds inside. One day she sat down and started reading James McNair’s cookbook, Squash, and came up with Creamy Winter Squash Soup. The pumpkin shown has been sitting on our laundry room counter for 3 months. Had a soup supper last night at church so, Mom decided to give me a little more folding space in the laundry room and whacked into it!
4 Tbsp butter
1 medium to large onion, chopped
(original recipe called for 1 C of chopped leeks and ½ C of chopped shallots)
1-½ pounds pumpkin or other winter squash, which is about 3 C pureed cook pumpkin
1-quart chicken stock
1 C whipping cream or half and half
1 C orange juice, I like the OJ with heavy pulp or fresh squeeze your own and zest
it before you squeeze it reserving the zest for the garnish below.
1 tsp ground ginger
Salt to taste
Fresh round white pepper to taste
Cream fraiche or sour cream
Toasted pumpkin seeds or
Maybe some orange zest
Squashes other than pumpkin may be used (butternut or hubbard or buttercup) with good results. Cut up your pumpkin into large pieces, maybe 4 or 5, and scoop out the seeds and stringy portion. Place on a cookie sheet with sides, and put a cup or so of water on the tray, cover with foil and cook at 350° until tender but still holds its shape. Remove from oven.
In a large heavy saucepan, melt your butter over medium high heat. Add onion and sauté till tender about 8 minutes. Scoop out the pumpkin from the shell and add to the pot along with the chicken stock or broth. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to simmer until squash is very tender, about 30 minutes.
We use a Hamilton Hand Blender right in the pot and beat until smooth. (If you don’t have a hand blender, transfer to a blender in batches and blend.) Add cream, orange juice and spices. Place over medium heat until hot, but don’t boil. Serves 6.
TIP: If you want to toast the pumpkin seeds, you could spend all day trying to get the stringy orange stuff off. Instead place a half a cup in a colander and run cool water over them. It will separate the seeds from the orange stuff and you can pick the orange stringy stuff right out. Place the seeds on a cookie sheet with sides. Sprinkle generously with salt and bake in a 300° oven till crisp. Check every 10 minutes and stir with a spatula. Don’t worry about drying the seeds before placing them in the oven, the moisture helps.
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1 T olive oil
1 clove garlic minced
3 oz fresh spinach
4-6 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced
1- 10 oz can mild diced tomatoes & green chilies, drained, I use Rotel
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
12 large eggs beaten
1/2 –3/4 cup feta cheese crumbled
This will serve 4 to 6 people depending on what else you are serving with it. You can increase it to 16 eggs for 6 to 8 people and leave the other ingredient the same quantities. The original recipe called for herb and garlic feta cheese, I’ve used plain and it seemed all right.
Saute garlic in olive oil, 30 seconds; add spinach for 1-2 minutes till wilted. Add mushrooms for another 2 minutes then add tomatoes and stir. Beat the eggs and salt and pepper together and add to frying pan. Semi-cook pulling away from sides and bottoms of pan occasionally. When ¾ set, place in a 350 oven for 10-20 minutes till puffy!
A comprehensive list of events was posted in the Daily Times and online at www.smokymountains.org. The emphasis was the history of the area, and mountain music was predominant. Mom and I attended Friday afternoon’s, “Music of the Mountains” by Great Smoky Mountains National Park Park Ranger Lisa Free. It was a combination of lecture on the oral traditions of passing music down or along, playing various instruments and some singing and foot tapping! Instruments were made out of just about anything and there was a definite bias about which sex could play what instrument. For instance, a 150 years ago you normally would not see a
woman playing the fiddle or banjo as Ranger Free and Visitor Center’s Manager of Partnership Events, Jeanie Hilten, are doing in this photograph. They would have been considered “loose”! I knew Townsend was a hot bed of emancipated women!
In addition to all of the events listed above, Steve Fillmore of Miss Lily’s Cafe and the Lily Barn decided to test the waters to see if there would be interest in holding an annual craft beer festival in Townsend. National beer sales are in decline overall, but craft beer sales are on the upswing as interest grows. The event was held on Saturday at Laurel Valley Restaurant and Golf Course and was a sold out. Attendee’s were effusive in their praise! Blessings, mizkathleen@ Gracehill Bed and Breakfast
1 pound bulk pork sausage
1 pound bulk Italian Sausage
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1 C sliced fresh mushrooms
½ C chopped onion
2 ½ C onion and garlic croutons
1 ½ C milk or half and half
1 C (4oz) shredded mozzarella cheese
1 C (4oz) shredded cheddar cheese
4 Roma Tomatoes, thinly sliced
½ C grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
In a large skillet, cook both sausages until meat is browned. Drain well in a colander, pressing on it with paper towels. Saute onion and green pepper. Spray a 9X13 glass casserole dish. Place croutons in bottom of pan. Top with onion and green pepper mixture. Place ½ the meat on top of the green pepper-onion. Saute the mushrooms briefly in the skillet and place on top of the meat mixture in the casserole. Top with remaining meat. Beat eggs with milk or half and half and pour on top. Cover with saran wrap and let sit 8 hours or overnight in the fridge.
Remove from fridge 30 minutes before baking. Place in a 300 oven for 1 hour. Remove and sprinkle cheddar cheese on top, then the mozzarella. Spread tomatoes on top of that and lastly the Romano cheese. If you have some fresh chives sprinkle a few of those on top. Put back in the oven for about 20 minutes. When you remove it from the oven let it stand for 5 minutes before slicing and serving. Yield: 10-12 servings