A Creepy Non Ghost Story & Salted Triple Chocolate Pistachio Cookies

“She really really wants to rent your house, Papa Giorgi”, my translator Yiannis said to the old, bearded priest as we walked briskly beside him towards his home in the center of town.
“No,” came his translated reply, “there’s no electricity. It’s not safe.”
“Tell him I don’t mind ” I told Yiannis. “Tell him I’ll have gas lights and don’t need a fridge, or anything that will need electricity, since I’ll only sleep there and it’s only for the summer”.
I waited until my answer was relayed but was disappointed when the old man raised his head up, closed his eyes, and made a “tsou” sound. It meant no.
“But why? I heard that he used to rent that house for the summer. Has he already rented it to someone else?”
“I don’t know,” said Yiannis. “He doesn’t say.”
It was two weeks before Easter on Mykonos, 1988, and I was looking for a place to live for the summer. By driving around on the island, I had found a lovely little single room house, high above  Agrari  Beach, looking out towards the sea and the island of Naxos. It looked like it had an attached bathroom, a water tank on the top of it and a donkey wildly braying in its front yard. Perfect. Since my working hours were so long and I spent so much time in the shop, I didn’t need more than a place to shower and sleep. I didn’t want to pay a fortune for this, so if there was no electricity, I knew it couldn’t be very expensive. Gas lights and camping gas burners for the odd coffee were all I needed. I had found out who owned it and hoped they would rent it to me for the summer, since there was definitely nobody living in it, even though it looked very well maintained. Apparently this was not going to be easy.

After spending the following week searching unsuccessfully for alternative accommodations, I went back to Papa Giorgis’ house and tried again. This time without a translator. I found him in his living room room sitting on a chair, surrounded by palm fronds, busily weaving something out of a single palm leaf. He waved me over as if he’d been expecting me and showed me what he was making. It was a cone shaped container made out of the interwoven leaves of the palm frond. He picked up a palm leaf off the floor and gave it to me, motioning for me to make another one. So I did. Many many more. Two hours later we were still sitting there in peaceful silence making these strange palm leaf vessels when a neighbor of his came by with a plate of food for the priest. He asked me in English what I was doing there, and I explained how I had ended up there and why.
“Dear girl, he’ll never rent you that house,” the neighbor explained. “Not any more. Not to anyone.”
“Why?” I asked.
“Do you remember last year when that monster was loose killing the girls?”
“Yes, very well. I had an escort to and from the shop every day during that time.”

One year prior, a convicted serial killer had been released early from a Dublin Prison, due to a fatal heart condition. But before he succumbed to the ailments of his heart, he succumbed to his sick mind by heading to southern Europe and continuing his cruel killing spree. His particularly horrid modus operandi quickly notified Interpol to his presence in Greece, where young women had started to disappear. Some from the island of Mykonos.  He was eventually found in Athens while trying to burn the car that he had used to incapacitate his victims with. He was brought back to Mykonos where he proceeded to show the police where he had buried some of the women. Afterwards, he was placed in a holding cell on the island of Syros where he was found hung the next morning.
One of the women had been buried on a property belonging to Papa Giorgis. The one with the house and the donkey that I wanted to rent.
“So you see, you will have to find another house to rent, ” the neighbor explained.

I tried. I really did. But that house and that sad story kept coming back until I finally drove out to the property again. I stood at the low wooden gate and called to the donkey I knew was there. He ran out of his stall but stopped when he saw me, braying so loud I was worried he would attract attention. I calmed him with some fruit I had brought, then I walked into the yard next to the house I liked so much. To the left of the house when looking out to the sea, was a rocky area. It was close to the road and leaning against one of these boulders, I saw an unmarked plain marble gravestone, hardly visible from a distance. I suddenly realized what I needed to do.

I returned to town, packed myself a sandwich, a bottle of wine, a bottle of water, a beach mat, and a sleeping bag, and returned to the house. The sun was just setting and the view was gloriously amazing as the sea reflected the colors of the setting sun. I threw the beach mat down near where the gravestone lay, unrolled my sleeping bag, and made myself comfortable against one of the larger stones. The donkey stood attentively nearby, happy after more apples, while I ate my sandwich. It was calm and peaceful. Every now and then, I heard a car drive by, but I was invisible where I sat and tried to see if I would sense any of the pain, despair, and fear that the unfortunate young woman must have suffered in her final hours. But I sensed nothing of the sort. I wanted to say to her, “I’m here, don’t be afraid, he’s gone forever”, but I didn’t feel a presence to say it to. I don’t know whether the alcohol had made me bolder or numb, but other than peace and quiet, and the donkey rustling in his stall, there was nothing. I stayed there many hours, then dragged my sleeping bag to the front inner yard of the house and slept.
The next morning I went back to town to find the neighbor and asked him to go with me to visit Papa Giorgis.
“Please tell him there are no ghosts. Please tell him what I did.” I said after we were standing again in Papa Giorgis’ living room. “Tell him he is not responsible.”
When the neighbor had finished, Papa Giorgis looked at me, then got up from where he was sitting to go into another room. He returned holding a key, which he softly folded my hand around.
“Ευχαριστώ (Thank you),” he said to me, then a few words of Greek to his neighbor.
I was told the ridiculously low amount of rent I would owe and that I had the responsibility of making sure that the donkey always had enough water.

Happy Halloween!

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Salted Triple Chocolate Pistachio Cookies
(this recipe originally appeared in Gourmet Magazine, May 1998, was adapted by Yvonne Ruperti, and posted to Serious Eats: Recipes, on February 29, 2012)

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Makes about 4 dozen 2″ (4cm) cookies.
Chocolate bars can be used instead of chocolate chips, just chop them into coarse chunks.
Avoid over baking to keep the chewy texture.

2 1/3 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
20 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup shelled pistachios, coarsely chopped
coarse sea salt for final sprinkling

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Preheat oven to 350F (170C). Make sure your baking shelf is situated in the middle of the oven, not too high, not too low. Cover cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Sift together flour, baking soda, cocoa powder, and salt. Set aside.

Cream together butter with sugars until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla until well combined.

Slowly add dry ingredients until just combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary to incorporate ingredients evenly. Add all chocolate chips and pistachios until just combined.

Place heaping teaspoons about 3″ (6cm) apart on baking sheet. Lightly roll into balls and flatten them slightly. Sprinkle a few flakes of sea salt onto each cookie.

Bake until cookies have puffed and small cracks appear. About 12 minutes.  Immediately remove from oven and let cool on sheet 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire cooling rack.

The cookies pair fabulously with a Gewurztraminer or a port.  If you would rather not bake all the cookie dough right away, you can also, roll it into a log, wrap it in cellophane, and freeze it. Don’t forget to label what it is!

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Instructions for Next Year’s Hay/Straw Bale Gardners & Skordalia

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My blog subscriptions are piling up in my mailbox which sucks, because it makes me feel like I don’t post as often as I should. Maybe because everybody else who has been blogging so much longer than I have, has the rhythm down, and wham bam they press out their posts. I don’t have time to read all their posts, much less do more than I already am except constantly taking pictures of our food.
Who would have thunk that now every time before we can sit down to eat, I have to be all over it with a camera first.
Picture files are piling up and need sorting.

Lentil soup and fresh sesame and caraway rolls were last Friday's dinner

Lentil soup and fresh sesame and caraway rolls were last Friday’s dinner

Seriously, I see fabulously talented bloggers and as I have mentioned in an earlier post, I try not to become too overwhelmed.
I do think though that my last post was a bit on the too longish side, so I shall be brief this time.

Roasted turkey thighs with acorn squash and potatoes

For those of you who want to do a bale garden (like we have been doing for the last three years):

Bales laid out before planting. Ideally they will need to 'season' (decompose) for 3 -4 months.

Bales laid out before planting. Ideally they will need to ‘season’ (decompose) for 3 -4 months.

If you’re thinking of doing a hay or straw bale garden next year, AND are also using hay bales as autumn decorations on your front yard; you might want to consider buying enough hay or straw bales to fully complete next year’s garden IF you have a place to keep them covered (like under a weighted tarp) until February. This will be the time when you would take out the bales to start ‘seasoning’ them prior to being able to plant in them.

To establish how many bales (the small rectangle kind, not the large round massive ones) you will need, you will first need to consider what vegetables you want to plant and how much of them. If you are doing it for the first time, I suggest you stay within conservative amounts. Then, if you find you are really into it, like us, then you’ll feel more confident planning the following year’s even bigger garden.

Our first garden. We had 20 bales in an E shape along a fence. The fence worked great for climbing beans. You need to be on good terms with your neighbor for this.

Our first garden. We had 20 bales in an E shape along a fence. The fence worked great for climbing beans. You need to be on good terms with your neighbor for this.

Each bales holds two (2) well established and fully grown plants. It might seem in the beginning like one could fit more, but the plants get big quick, and the bales also decompose more throughout the summer. By the end of the summer,when you will have two gigantic tomato plants in a bale, or two humungous zucchini plants, you will understand.

Mid summer bale garden.

Mid summer bale garden.

The things that we have found grow well in bales are:
tomatoes, basil, marigolds (those you plant all together), cucumbers, all kinds of squash, zucchini,cucumber, melons, beets, beans, and eggplants.  I haven’t tried leafy vegetables like lettuces or kale and cabbage, because they are for cooler weather and by that time I’ve lost my oomph.

Summer squash happy in a bale garden.

Summer squash happy in a bale garden.

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So, get your bales and think about how you will arrange them in the garden next year. After Halloween, if you don’t have a barn, stack them in a pile and cover them up with a tarp. I’ll tell you more when the time is right.

Skordalia (Greek garlic paste)
Great for serving with boiled, steamed, or roasted vegetables, grilled meats,  or as a dip.

Root vegetables roasted with olive oil, oregano, salt, pepper, and lemon.

Root vegetables roasted with olive oil, oregano, salt, pepper, and lemon.

When I first started this blog two months ago, I was asked by my virtual friend Harry (we met through friends on facebook) to post a recipe for skordalia. I immediately got to work. The reason it took so long is because there are three kinds of skordalia that I know of, and for each post I need to take a few pictures, don’t I?
There is also a limit as to how much skordalia one can eat in a month.

So sorry for the delay, Harry, and may you have as much fun trying these as we have had eating these!

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Skordalia 1 – with a walnut base
This is the most unusual version, but my favorite, so I will start with that one.

1 cup of walnut pieces
2-3 garlic cloves (depending on how potent you like it)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup of breadcrumbs
1/4 cup (aproximately) lemon juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
coarse sea salt
fresh parsley

Blend everything except parsley in blender until. If too thick, add a few teaspoons of water or lemon juice until it has the consistency of a thick dip. If too thin, add a little more breadcrumbs. Season with salt. Garnish with lots of roughly chopped parsley.

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Skordalia 2 – with potato base

1/2 pound of potatoes
2 -3 cloves of galic
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
coarse sea salt
fresh parsley

Peel and boil the potatoes. When they are soft; drain them, then mash them in a bowl with a fork or wooden spoon.
Press garlic through a garlic press and add with remaining ingredients to the potatoes. Season with salt. Garnish with roughly chopped fresh parsley.

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Skordalia 3 – with bread base
This recipe is great if you live in an area where you can easily get loaves of fresh bread from a bakery.  When this kind of bread is stale, it is the best for this. Otherwise, use breadcrumbs.

1 cup of breadcrumbs (with 3/4 cup of water) OR 3/4 lb of stale white or whole wheat bread slices
2- 3 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon wine vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
coarse sea salt
fresh parsley

If you are using stale bread, cut it in slices, soak in water, and when soft, squeeze out the excess and place in food processor, then add other ingredients
If you are using bread crumbs, add them with the water directly to the food processor and combine with the other ingredients until smooth. If too thick, add a little more oil and water, if too thin, more breadcrumbs. season with salt and garnish with plenty of roughly chopped parsley.

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On Climbing Mount Olympus and Processing Pumpkins

I won’t do a post about fall colors and the sounds of rustling leaves as they are joyously walked through. I’ve read too many recently and I’m thinking about October in another way today.

Greece – October 1988

We were all extremely exhausted after a grueling seven month tourist season of 13 hour/seven day work weeks. We needed a change of scenery, some good food we didn’t necessarily have to cook ourselves, and a place to sleep uninterrupted until our systems got caught up again.

On the suggestion of one of our crew, we headed to northern Greece. Macedonia. Achilles’ and Alexander’s stomping grounds. Lands of fabled creatures; half man, half horse. Home of the twelve Gods. I had just finished reading Mary Renault’s Alexander trilogy so my mind was full of history and mythology. We would find a lazy route up Mount Olympus, numerous beautiful and inexpensive lodgings, a full service lodge for hikers with delicious food, and unparalleled scenery. Made to order.

We traveled by bus from Thessaloniki to Katerini, then on to the town of Litoxoro. From there, two helpful taxi drivers crammed us and all our stuff into their vehicles and drove us up higher into the forest to a trail that would lead us to the monastery of Agios Dionisiou built on a rock ledge over the Enipeas river and gorge. From there we would follow an official trail (E4) up towards the hikers lodge where we could sleep some more before we made the final assent to the top of Olympus.

We reached the monastery at dusk after a longer-than-expected haul through deep, thick, virgin forest. We were carrying too much unnecessary  junk (bread, cookies, a birthday cake, balloons, wine, tomato sauce, etc), had no proper shoes, and had no clue as to what we were getting ourselves into. Hungry, and even more exhausted than when we left Athens a few days earlier, we looked at the monastery in front of us with a mix of curiosity and dismay at the work we definitly needed to do in order to provide some basic comforts. What we found in front of us was a dilapidated old monastery with nothing cozy about it. Half the stone building around the courtyard had tumbled down after years of neglect, leaving a huge wall with arched openings where windows may once have been. We walked past them to the center of the courtyard where a small chapel remained with a sagging round roof; ceramic tiles missing in some places, patched in others.  A pot of fresh basil stood next to the low entrance of chiseled marble. Inside, a candle could be seen burning next to the icon of a saint. Amongst the fallen stones in the courtyard a path had been swept and cleared. We followed it to a more intact part of the old monastery which seemed to contain some creepy looking rooms.
Water from a re-routed spring dripped onto a marble trough built into the side of the rock wall. The monastery was built on the ledge of a steep cliff.

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From top left, clockwise: 1) me looking down to the gorge below the monastery, 2) the monastery, 3) hiking along the Enipeas River, 4) lighting a fire to add some heat to our celebrations, 4) the dilapidated center of the courtyard. (Click the picture to zoom in)

Suddenly we heard something stir and we looked up to the second floor and a balcony along which was a series of rooms, or cells. Two cells had no doors and out of one them appeared a tall grey figure. We instantly tensed and huddled. The figure came towards us out of the shadows he was standing in. It was a monk with a long scraggly beard and even longer hair tied back. He wore the black robes typical of orthodox priests; this one patched in places, actually more gray than black.
“Καλός ήλθατε (Welcome),” he said with the softest voice ever.
He moved to the other side of the balcony towards the stairs, opening the doors to two rooms as he passed. Then he returned to the room he had originally appeared from and brought out a large basket and a plastic bag.
“Ελάτε εδώ πάνω (Come up here),” he said moving into one of the rooms.
Nikos immediately sprang forward towards the stairs, followed by Petros. Ritsa explained to me that monks often lived in old monasteries like this, preferring a secluded life. They also played the role of guardians to valuable icons or relics of saints. She told me that they must also abide by the rules of hospitality to strangers and travelers by sharing whatever comforts they have.

Upstairs we found our two companions sitting on low stools lighting oil lamps while our new friend,  Papa Yiorgi, went about lighting a fire. He made tea, then pulled out cheeses, smoked meats, dried figs, and walnuts out of his basket. He cut up some tomatoes in a deep plate, added a handful of olives, then liberally poured olive oil over it all. He pulled some dried oregano out of the plastic bag and rubbed it between his large hands, sprinkling everything in the bowl with the dried herb. He had hands like a builder who worked with marble and stone and it made an impression on me because I had been expecting old, frail, hands. He explained to us how he kept a goat, made his own cheese, and was relatively self sufficient even though the villagers often came by bringing him bread and treats. The villagers also came to visit the chapel, he explained. Inside it was a very old box containing some of the saint’s bones. The villagers often came by to pray, and ask for the saint’s blessings and of course, leave provisions for the old priest who guarded him.
We pulled out our bread and cookies, and between us all we shared a great meal. When we had eaten, the priest went into his room one more time to bring us a bottle of tsipouro that he had received from some visitors earlier. He declined to join us, telling us that he wanted to rest. He wished us a good night, and left.

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Clockwise from top left: 1) waiting for the water to boil. 2) the view from the outhouse built directly over the gorge, 3) more dilapidated walls, 4) Petros with a well earned beer, 5) Hanging out at the Hiker’s Lodge.
(Click on picture to zoom in)

The room was warm, dry, and swept clean. Other than the low stools and a low table made out of what looked like a slice from an ancient column, the floor was covered by many thick hand woven rugs and blankets. More were folded in a corner in a tall stack. We found the same was in the other room where we lighted a second fire. Plastic covered the windows to keep out any drafts. We rolled out our sleeping bags and slept feeling happy, sated, and safe.

The next morning was misty and cool as a fog rolled off Olympus and down through the gorge. We could hear the river passing under the cliff that the monastery was built on, but we couldn’t see it, so we decided to rest and wait for better weather before climbing the mountain higher. We stayed at the monastery for two more days; eating, taking short walks through the woods, having a birthday party, sleeping, and drinking tsipouro. The old priest joined us often and told us stories about his visitors and some of the pilgrimages they had made in honor of the saint whose bones he guards.

When the weather cleared we laced our flimsy sneakers and pulled on our packs in preparation to tackle a small portion of the mountain, before reaching the Hiker’s Lodge. We followed gorgeous scenery along the Enipeas River, part of the E4 European hiking trail, until signs directed us to head up along an ever more narrowing and steeper path. I had to make myself go into a trance to forget the weight on my shoulders and the pain in my feet and legs. I had long conversations in my mind, berating myself for being such an idiot for thinking that Olympus could be climbed by a “lazy route”. We climbed for many, many hours.

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Sometimes the path was a series of steps chiseled out of the mountainside, other times, we were simply scrambling over stones; up, up, up, the signs kept saying.

My legs were like jelly when we reached the hiker’s lodge. I was too tired to appreciate the scenery. I didn’t see the huge outdoor patio amongst the fir trees. I honestly didn’t give a shit at that point. I was blind with exhaustion and my feet were blistered and in pain. We were served dinner by a huge fireplace. Huge portions of bean soup, thick slices of toasted bread rubbed with garlic and drizzled with olive oil, and wine. Lots of wine. Sitting on the wooden benches and leaning against the rug covered walls, I felt virtuous because I was climbing that mountain. Then I passed out.

Above the dining area of the lodge, the attic space had been divided into two areas of open floor space, each capable of boarding at least 25 people. One area for the men, one for the women. In a corner of each space, were piles of foam mats that could be borrowed and lain on the wooden floor under ones’ sleeping bag. Somehow I managed to get up there because that’s where I woke up.

We had only one last leg to reach the top of the mountain.
Going up, and coming back down would be done in the same day since it was only a few hours each way. No trees, no lodges, no bean soup, no wine up there. I wasn’t the only one exhausted. Our friends from Thessaloniki decided that they would forsake this final privilege of hauling themselves up the mountain, promising they would attempt it again some other time. Petros and Nikos of course were going up, and me… well, let’s just say I felt challenged in spite of it all.
We set off after a fortifying breakfast. We left our packs behind with our friends, taking only a small day pack with water and dried figs – a gift from the priest.
We climbed and climbed and climbed, and soon we cleared the tree line. In front of us was a trail walked by thousands, a mere shade lighter than the terrain surrounding it, cleared of stones, and marked by the feet that had pressed it into being.

I was tiring faster than the boys who kept moving way ahead of me. At some point I lost them, but saw a vertical wall of stone to my right, which looked more fun than that slow and steady incline that was killing my legs. It didn’t look all that high and it was definitly a short cut. I decided to climb it. Looking back now, I am amazed at my audacity to climb that thing without ropes, without a helmet, or even a partner. I just climbed it and when I had reached about half way up, I looked down and realized that if I fell down, I would die. I hadn’t calculated how different the height would appear from the foot of the rock wall, and how big it would be when I was actually up on it. I saw Petros and Nikos, as they saw me from the snaking path that they were on.
“Keep going! Don’t look down! We’ll meet you at the top!”, they yelled into the warm southern wind which carried their voices to me.
I kept climbing, one move at a time. My arms and legs were straining but I didn’t have any more choice in the matter. I had to keep going and tried very hard not to look down. I reached the top and hauled myself over the edge and lay there until the boys caught up to me. I was completely done in and couldn’t get up. Maybe the air was thinner up there, maybe I had used the last of my resources, but I wasn’t going one more step.
The boys urged me to get up and join them for the last easy walk to the top. It did look easy. The path went up a short ways then along the top of a ridge, to another peak in easy distance. Maybe no more than a half hour’s walk. But I couldn’t. It took a lot of convincing to make them go and at last they did. With a few tears in my eyes I lay there and watched them as they reached top, then return to where I was lying. It was very beautiful up there. They helped me to my feet, and together we slowly hobbled down the path that led us back to the lodge. We stayed there another two days before we climbed back down the mountain.
One week later I flew home to my mom in Austria and slept for a week.

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In the fall I like to cook a lot of things that have pumpkin as an ingredient. I couldn’t find canned pumpkin in Greece because they don’t really cook with it as much as here in the states, so I taught myself how to process pumpkin. I hope to post many recipes that focus on this beautiful gourd, but before I can show you any of these, I need to first show all my friends in lands without canned pumpkin, how to have this ingredient at hand all throughout the year.

Processing Pumpkin for Later Use

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First you need to accumulate a few pumpkins designated for cooking. These you can usually get a bit cheaper than the pumpkins used for decorations. We just recently got a huge more box for $5 from a stand at the side of the road, because they were weird shapes, or maybe a tiny bit bruised, which is OK for processing/cooking. The riper, the better, the sweeter.

The Oven method is the easiest way to cook the pumpkin without them accumulating extra moisture – like from boiling or steaming.

An oven full of pumpkin halves.

An oven full of pumpkin halves.

Roast at 350F (170C) for about one hour, or when the pumpkin is soft. When done, empty the water that has accumulated in its center.

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Let everything cool and take some pictures because it looks impressive. 🙂

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On the table is my ceramic yard fairy. A gift from Ceramist Alma Moriah – Winik.

Scrape the cooked pumpkin into a sieve that has been placed into the sink. Allow it to strain (stirring it up every half hour or so) for about 4 hours.

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Line a cup container (a plastic yogurt container would do) with a sandwich bag, and fill with strained pumpkin goop. Twist and seal each bag. When done, place all small bags into a larger zip-loc bag to help prevent freezer burn. Place in freezer until ready to use. Cup sized portions are practical because they can easily follow smaller recipe amounts.

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How To Make The Pumpkin/Apple Butter That Snuck Into The Above Photograph:

When I start processing Pumpkins, then I also prepare something with it while I have it fresh. These days I had a bunch of apples that grew on an abandoned tree and of course had to pick some. Pesticide and fertilizer free apples! They had a few wasp stings, but nothing that a knife tip couldn’t get rid of.

So I peeled the apples [about 12 pounds (6 kilos)], and threw them in a huge pot with a little fresh apple cider on medium heat so they wouldn’t burn. When bottom half of the apples in the pot had turned to mush, I stirred it all up, then added some pumpkin chunks [about 6 pounds (3 kilos)] that I had previously peeled. About half the amount of apples in volume. I’m sorry, but I was totally playing it by ear. All guesswork and estimation. I lowered the heat and left it on a low slow simmer until the pumpkin cooked and some of the liquid cooked out.

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That enamel lard pot (schmalztopf) was my grandmother’s. It now serves as our Kitchen Compost Collector. 🙂

Then I added to the pot of thick bubbly mush:
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon clove
1 teaspoon allspice

I brought it to a full boil then added 6 cups of sugar to what appeared to be almost 2 gallons of mush. I kept stirring (you will need to protect yourself from burns at this point because the mush will be thick and sputtering out glops of very hot stuff until the sugar is dissolved) and brought it to a rolling boil again.
I added 4 packages of low sugar pectin and and kept stirring at a low boil until it was completely dissolved.

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In the meantime, jars had been sterilized, which I filled with the Pumpkin/Apple Butter. They were canned in a hot water bath for 15 minutes.

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