Pumpkins – Many uses – Pies, soups, breads, seeds…

From the fall harvest we acquire pumpkins, squash, apples and so much more.  I try to make the most of this harvest as I possibly can.  As we head off to the apple farm, making 2-4 trips each fall, I pick up bushels of apple seconds, squash and pumpkins when they are not growing in my own garden.  I usually pick up a few squash on each trip and 2-4 pumpkins each year.

Working with pumpkins is not really all that hard.  I think the reason I at first procrastinate is that I love how a pumpkin looks on my fall table setting.  The second reason is in the awkwardness in having to cut it in half in order to bake it for what I use it for, yet once I start, the process runs along smoothly.

This morning, I have baked pumpkin in order to make puree for pies, soups and breads.  In addition I decided to try my hand at making seasoned pumpkin seeds. Usually I just save a few to try planting the following year.

How I prepare my pumpkin for fresh puree to be used in Pies, breads, cookies, soups, etc.:


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degree F.
  2. I cut my pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds and strings (saving the seeds for replanting or making roasted pumpkin seeds)
  3. To save my pan from burning, I place aluminum foil on my baking pan (I use my cookie sheets) and curl up the edges so that the juice from the baked pumpkin does not burn or run off the edges
  4. Place my two pumpkin halves cut side down on the aluminum that is over the baking pan,  You can remove the pumpkin stem if you wish, I tend not to.
  5. Bake for 1 1/2 hours

  6. Remove from oven and cool.
  7. By cooling, the pumpkin get softer, making it easier to scoop out and work with.
  8. Scoop out the pumpkin from its shell and place in food processor or blender.
  9. Blend until smooth.
  10. Use immediately in recipes or freeze in quart ziploc freezer bags.  Lay flat for better storage.

Now, what about those seeds??

Some have made beautiful necklaces out of them, some have shelled them for eating, and some have roasted them in their shells for snacking enjoyment.

There are many recipes online that can share how to make roasted pumpkin seeds.  Since I try not to avoid a high intake of salt, my method does not incorporate salt.  But, if you are one to enjoy salt, consider sea salt as a healthier option.


  1. First I sprayed my cookie sheet with coconut oil, made sure it was well covered to prevent the shells from burning and sticking to the cookie sheet.
  2. In a bowl, after rinsing my seeds 4 times, I strained them, then put them in a bowl mixed with cinnamon.  Since I do not measure “how much” I will estimate maybe a 1/4 – 1/2 tsp of cinnamon.
  3. If you decide to use salt, you can use the same amount as the cinnamon, yet no more than double what you used.
  4. Mix the seasonings with your seeds.  Yes, the seeds are still wet from rinsing and draining.
  5. Lay them out in a flat layer on your greased cookie sheet.
  6. Bake at 350 degree F at 5 minute intervals, turning every 5 minutes for no more than 20 minutes.  Twenty minutes was perfect for what I roasted.  Whether it was because I oiled my pan well, or the shells were still moist, might be the reason.  I’ve read a few other places where people have trouble burning their seeds.


Plain roasted sunflower seeds w/salt, same method with 1/2 tsp of salt

Sweetened pumpkin flavored – consider 1/4 – 1/2 sugar w/1/2 tsp of pumpkin pie spice

Sweetened – 1/4 c sugar plus 1/4 c butter (or butter substitute for our family – milk sensitivities)

~ Enjoy ~


Laura D. Field
Reflective Tapestry of Life
Writer, Blogger, Proofreading & editing, Freelance contributor

Thorny Rashes and Scratches – Home Healing Remedy


Recently I have had the ultimate pleasure in being invited to pick blackberries, for FREE!!  I love it!  To have an unlimited supply of berries to make jams and desserts was a huge blessing, as the cost of such berries can limit ones ability to enjoy their flavor throughout the upcoming year.

The one thing that I did not prepare for was the abundance of thorns that blackberries have.  Most especially in the field in which we picked, as it had not been maintained in a number of years, creating a nest of blackberries vines we had to work our way through.

Still, the day was young and the berries were delicious and inviting.  After battling the vines and filling my berry baskets, I wiped off the sweat and headed home.  It was not long before I realized, actually remembered, that the scratches from the berry vines would cause a dermatitis reaction along with the potential risk of infection where I was scratched by the thorns.

This no longer alarms me, as I have discovered that four items I always have on hand are natural remedies that work well for me.  It is inexpensive and heals quickly.

  1. Antibacterial soap, such as Dial
  2. Witch Hazel
  3. Vaseline
  4. Baking Soap

How I use these products:

  1. After berry picking, once I am home, I immediately clean my hands and arms with warm soapy water, using antibacterial soap.   Depending on the heat of the day, I will possibly take a refreshing shower, using the antibacterial soap on all areas exposed to the vines.
  2. Once dried, I take cotton balls soaked in Witch Hazel, and gently apply to the scratches and any area where there is a rash.
  3. I then cover my arms and hands with a modest layer of Vaseline.  It will leave a greasy film on you, so be cautious of where you put your arms and hands.  I leave this on for as long as possible, then if necessary when you have lots to do, use a soft towel and rub in while also removing any excess.  If the greasy feeling really bothers you, you can again wash with the antibacterial soap.
  4. Later, as the day is coming to a close, I will fill the tub with warm water and ¼ – ½ cup (I use a ½ c) of Baking Soda.  I will make sure all parts of my body that were exposed to the thorns are covered as I relax for at least 10-20 minutes.
  5. Once dried off, I reapply the Vaseline like a moisturizer, rubbing it in as best as possible.  I do not completely remove the Vaseline while rubbing it in, as I want it to heal my body during the night.

This remedy has worked for me each time.  It heals the scratches and takes the rash and itch away.  I have woken the next morning with very little sign of scratching, and by the second day (if not gone the first night), the scratches are completely gone.

Why Antibacterial Soap:  These soaps are designed to kill bacteria and microbes.  You do not need to buy an expensive name brand in order for it to work.  You are basically cleaning out the dirt and chemicals within the berry thorns that are causing the dermatitis reaction.

ReflectiveTapestryWitchHazelWhy Witch Hazel:  Witch hazel is made with the hazel leaf extract, bark extract and hazel water which when used as an astringent, tightens the skin.  It also contains chemicals called tannins, which when applied directly to your skin, has the ability to reduce swelling, repair broken skin and fight bacteria.




Why Vaseline:  Vaseline has been around for many years, being used as a skin softener and repair of cuts, scraps and chapped lips.  The properties that include paraffin, microcrystalline and mineral oil have healing properties that prevent water from escaping the skin.  Water escaping causes ones skin to dry out and create the scabs that many end up picking at.  Vaseline keeps impurities from entering the wounds, softens the skin, while allowing the body’s natural healing properties to work without interruption.

Why Baking Soda:  Baking Soda is a natural remedy that neutralizes acid and alkaline, regulating pH levels.  Utilizing this amazing natural product in ones bath promotes healing while also softening ones skin.  It is recommending for infant diaper rashes, women suffering from a yeast infection, among other ailments.

How does this relate to frugality?  It keeps me from buying multiple lotions, ointments and powders from large companies toting the most effective remedy.  Since I know that this works for my family, and I always have these products on hand, I am saving our resources on the many products as well as the transportation in obtaining them.

Living a frugal life, regardless of income class, utilizing ones resources wisely.

Enjoy your summer pickins’

~ Enjoy ~


Laura D. Field
Reflective Tapestry of Life
Writer, Blogger, Proofreading & editing, Freelance contributor

Disclaimer:  Although this method for healing works for my family and I, it might not be the ideal remedy for all people.  One must know their own skin tolerances and allergens in order to be sure they will be effective.The information that I have shared is done as general information without expressed or implied guarantees or warranty.  Always seek professional medical help when you are in question about your personal health.If your situation is that of a medical emergency please seek medical attention.