I dreamed pumpkins grew in trees

November 6, 2009 at 12:45 pm | Posted in art, country life, country living, family, food, gardening, Halloween, Holidays, knitting, Life, love, photography, pumpkin recipes, recipes, relationships, romance, Thanksgiving, yarn | 34 Comments
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frostyleaves2

We were expecting freezing temperatures overnight a couple of times this week, along with a few evening snow showers. So far we have had a good frost, some rain, and some cold temperatures … but no snow. Knowing that colder nights were coming, I began to worry about our pumpkins because they are out on the porch and in the yard for display purposes right now. However, I want to store and in some cases freeze some of them for cooking purposes throughout autumn and winter.

frostyleaves1Those worries led to an interesting dream the other night, some of it scary and some of it interesting. I dreamed we had pumpkins of all sizes and varieties growing everywhere on our lawn … and in our trees. Sunlight filtered through the trees and the plump pumpkins dangling from their branches, as if the pumpkins were apples in amongst the beautiful autumn leaves–it was quite beautiful, the images are still vividly impressed upon my mind. Our yard had become a split level yard and all manner of pumpkins were growing abundantly everywhere, the split level aspect of it making the scene even more dramatic.

Although the pumpkins were of many different varieties, they were a bright yellow-orange color. I think the Great Pumpkin himself must have inspired this dream.

frostyleaves4However, the beauty of the dream soon came to naught because when I approached any pumpkin and touched it, it fell to mush beneath my fingers … absolute lifeless mush. In a panic, I rushed from pumpkin to pumpkin, tree to tree, fruit to fruit testing the pumpkins and each and every pumpkin was ruined.

In my dream, the explanation was that a hard frost had hit the night before, and what had been a yard full of lovely ripe pumpkins ready for harvest became instead a scene of wounded, painfully translucent produce. In my dream I was upset with my husband because I had warned him that the coming frost might harm the pumpkins and that we should relocate them, but he was equivocal about the importance of protecting them from the cold. I told him that I assumed full responsibility for the loss because I could have moved them all myself but that I was upset with him for having a lackadaisical attitude about protecting them.

Perhaps I should have written this dream backwards, so that it started out scary and sad and ended up beautiful. That is how I remembered the dream: first I recalled the destroyed pumpkins, the mushy texture and the horrible feelings of losing them all as well as the sad conversation I had with my husband about responsibility. After recalling the nightmarish quality of that portion of the dream, I remembered the beauty of the opening scene with glowing orange pumpkins hanging from limbs and dazzling my eyes from multiple levels of spreading lawn.

frostyleaves3Now the beauty of the dream pumpkins shines brightly in my mind, completely overshadowing any negative feelings about the ruined crop of pumpkins.

Side Bar: For my knitting and other needle craft readers, I posted a new entry at The Knitting Blog this morning (9 Nov 09).

Speaking of pumpkins, we had a perfectly beautiful and fulfilling Halloween this year. I don’t think it could have been more perfect, perhaps the Great Pumpkin did visit us that evening–after all, the perfection of our Halloween began with the Sincere Pumpkin Patch we planted last spring.

Much of our modest pumpkin crop was scattered about our two front stone porches and stairways, lending a higher degree of rustic charm to our old farm house. The lawn was covered with a thick carpet of autumn leaves only recently fallen to the ground. Around the property and across the street over the river trees still had one third to one half of their colorful leaves intact. With so many of the leaves gone from the trees on the bank of the river, I could see the river clearly through our kitchen windows.

We had a high wind advisory, and what could be more perfect for Halloween Day than gusty bursts of wind stirring up whirlwinds of autumn leaves round and round the yard, against the house and windows, in short bursts of startling and magical fun.

Then there was a power outage in the middle of the day. Fortunately I had already cooked the fresh pumpkin soup and homemade bread we would be having at dinner, and my husband offered to cook the meatballs we were going to serve out on the grill if needed. We had fun gathering up all manner of candles and lanterns and arranging them around the dinning room in case the power was not restored before dark. We were expecting a couple of friends to arrive about dinner time and thought it would be fun to have to spend the evening in the dark, lit only by candles, on Halloween night.

LongIslandCheeseI don’t have a photograph of the pumpkin soup I created for Halloween because we ate it all up before it could be photographed, but I will share the recipe with you (see below). I used this Long Island Cheese pumpkin from our very own crop; my husband cut it up for me into large chunks and we froze what we didn’t use in this batch of soup.

When our friends arrived, I drew Jack o’ Lantern faces on three of our Howden’s Field pumpkins and the men took them out on the porch to carve, light, and display them. It was so beautiful to see big plump, carved Jack o’ Lanterns that we had grown ourselves. Standing together after the carving, watching the flickering candlelit faces of the Jack o’ Lanterns, gave us a definite feeling of completion to the goal we had set out for ourselves one year ago when we first decided to create the Sincere Pumpkin Patch.

jackNow we have to get on with the business of cutting up and freezing some more of our pumpkins, storing others, and giving some away … while we still have time. I’ll end off for now, I mean, I do have all of these pumpkins to deal with. Hope you and yours have a wonderful weekend coming up and that you enjoy a fall day as much as we enjoyed our perfect Halloween.

~firefly

Pumpkin Coconut Soup

  • 3 lbs fresh pumpkin, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 2 to 3 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp raw or brown sugar
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 3 to 4 cups vegetable stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil

LongIslandCheeseCloseNote: Set aside 1/2 lb of pumpkin for roasting separately.

1. Melt the butter in a large crock pot on high.; toss pumpkin cubes in melted butter.

2. Cook pumpkin in crock pot on high for one hour.

3. Add spices and sugar to crock pot and stir well; add coconut milk and vegetable stock. Add salt and pepper to taste.

4. Continue cooking in crock pot until pumpkin is tender (varies depending on the crock pot you are using; my pumpkin was tender after one more hour or so on high in my crock pot).

5. Meanwhile, cut the 1/2 lb of pumpkin you set aside earlier into 1/2″ to 1″ cubes. Toss liberally with olive oil. Sprinkle black pepper, salt, and a bit of ground cinnamon and toss again to coat seasonings evenly over pumpkin cubes. Roast in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes, or until pumpkin is tender when poked with a fork. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

6. Puree the soup in a blender or with a hand-held blender until smooth. (If using a blender, you should process the soup in small batches to prevent backsplash burns. Of course, be sure to put a cover on your blender also to prevent backsplash.)

7. Serve the pumpkin soup with a few pieces of the roasted pumpkin plopped down into it, a dollop of sour cream or plain yogurt in the middle or crumbled blue cheese sprinkled on top. Garnish with a sprig of parsley or rosemary for color. Big, chunky fresh homemade croutons seasoned with cinnamon and butter are wonderful in this soup.

Variations: 1. Use only three cups of vegetable stock if you want a thicker soup. 2) For a richer, creamier soup, use only one or two cups vegetable stock and a total of two cans of coconut milk. 3) Add one to two additional tablespoons of sugar and increase the amount of cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg if you would like a sweeter soup reminiscent of pumpkin pie.

Copyright © 2009 J. L. Fleckenstein ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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34 Comments »

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  1. Nice photos–pumpkin coconut soup sounds good as well.

    • Oh my gosh! My grandmother always put coconut into her pumpkin pies. It gave a nice texture to the filling and tasted soooo good. Thanks for the newsletter. Love, Linda

  2. Pumpkins in trees? Entirely possible. When I was a little girl (7-8) I was gifted some pumpkin plants, little ones. I planted them in our garden, but didnt care so much for them – when the fall came my mother wondered what strange plants the apple tree carried – they were pumpkins, who only got bigger and bigger, so we had an apple tree with pumpkins of rather respectable sizes hanging down from it. They tasted really good, but at least one dropped from the tree before we could pick them – and what a mess it was!

    • I thought it weird that I see someone had a dream of pumpkins on trees and there you have it, a real-life experience from Lene.
      I have to say its possible when the world is so warped up with changes of weather and most probably the variety of viruses seen in this year as the Swine flu. So maybe that’s how pumpkins look like for our future children. Tales of pumpkin-grow-on-land might haunt their dreams instead >.<

  3. What very beautiful leaf pictures from an unusual perspective! A treat to see.
    Patty

  4. Your Pumpkin Coconut Soup sounds delicious! I’ve never cooked with pumpkin before, but I would like to try. Can any regular pumpkin work, or should I purchase a specific pumpkin for cooking?

  5. Beautiful pics and I LOVE you Jack-o-Lantern! 😉

  6. I just discovered the Long Island Cheese Pumpkin this year and it is now my favorite – the color is so lovely and the taste so great. I can’t wait to try this soup recipe! North Coast Muse @ http://sally1029.wordpress.com

  7. pretty crunchy leaves.

  8. This was an interesting dream and I love the pictures of the pumpkins and beautiful leaves. Yay! Thanksgiving is just around the corner!

  9. wondering if you can turn a jack o’ lantern into a fondu pot for Autumn dinners … i feel inspired!

  10. Great post! Welcome to the East, and good luck in all things agricultural. Looks like you’re getting the hang of really appreciating nature’s bounty!

  11. Well well…

    Go little dreamer…
    Dream your dreams…
    Just remember they’re life.
    In them find your happiness…
    And refuge from all strife.

    The magic of your dreams grace your life
    and those lives your communications reach out and touch.
    Truly you do the work cherished by a Spirit of much greater
    Space and Beingness than those of ordinary mortals.

    Dream on dear dreamer!

    Balladeer8

  12. stumbled across your page this evening… morning…. and wondered about the kits you have pictured ..i cannot knit… but i would gladly purchase some of the items you ahve pcitured.. they are amazing…. please let me know if there is a place to purchase such items! or a way to learn to knit that is simple and that i can learn patterns later….

  13. I can’t believe the weather change so quickly. Last week in NY I was wearing shorts now I need mittens. My pumpkin is still in good shape. Cute picture of the kid with the oversized pumpkin.

  14. lol at the pumpkin baby, so cute 🙂

  15. I just came back from a small town in the NW mountains of Vietnam and guess what … there were pumpkins growing on trees! I have a picture….but have no idea how to share it with you.

  16. Well your granddaughter is absolutely adorable!

  17. What a great dream! The pictures are beautiful! You got them at just a perfect moment! The pumpkin patch paid off with a fine harvest and an abundent supply of pumpkin for soup, bread and pies.
    The Picture of Sweet Pea with the toto and pumpkins is the greatest! Many thanks!
    A great post! Have fun with all of this stuff! 🙂 Butterfly

  18. You know, stranger things have happened…love your pictures, by the way

  19. Beautiful photos! I was debating whether to get out in the florescent lights of retai and buy a camera today. You’ve inspired me!

  20. This is a very nice post. I love the pictures of the leaves, they are really cool.

  21. yes the photos are nice, but what sounded even more interesting than the dream was your pumpkin soup, i mean it sounds like it would taste good, i might have to give it a shot. what can i say, i live life on the edge.

    http://redlinemg.net/about

  22. Beatiful, really beatiful, I’ll read your blog, best regards from Spain, gabriel

  23. Hi, I am new to your site and love your biscuit blanket! What a great idea. Thanks!

  24. will be making the soup recipe next weekend. looks delicious!

  25. Those are beautiful pictures!! I love autumn!

  26. I have seen a pumpkin tree once. A plant actually, upright, instead of the usual vines. Have not seen any of them again. Maybe farmers did not buy the idea. Maybe it was a product of genetic engineering. 🙂

  27. We didn’t have pumpkins in trees, but our butternut squash grew next to a spruce tree and some vines did climb some of the lower branches. A few squash were hanging from limbs about 3 feet off the ground! (mind you it’s easier to get vines onto a spruce tree than it would be on a maple or oak tree.) So pumpkins might grow in some trees

  28. Fabulous photos of frosted leaves. And loved seeing that recipe for pumpkin soup with coconut milk. I have a nice organic Jarrahdale heirloom pumpkin that I can use to try it out. Great blog.

  29. Love your blog! I love the power of our dreams to weave between the physical world of pumpkins and trees as images from our psyche to help us through our days. Won’t try dream analysis of this one though! It is beautiful in the way it FEELS. Even with the mushy pumpkins.

  30. I love the image of pumpkins growing on trees – how beautiful! You must paint it!

  31. Hope I can source some seeds for that pumpkin variety in Australia, but will try your soup recipe with a substitute type for now.
    I am already dreaming of far away autumn as we swelter in heatwave temperatures here on the south east coast and it is officially still ‘spring’ in the southern hemisphere.

  32. For this I may finally buy a crockpot.


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