I shot these images from the viewing platform because Marty is such a friendly fellow and will not move back for photos. In the image above, I had the owner throw him a pear just so he would move back from us. See how close he gets to the camera?So close you can’t even get a photo. Bet you never saw a zebra this close up.
1. A little rearranging of the squash and the peppers make for a composition of color. All farm produce from the pie pumpkins, to the various squash types, bring in the colors of Fall.
2. The peppers get time on the vine to turn all shades of yellow, orange, red and greens. The bell peppers above were combined with yellow squash, zucchini, onions, my homegrown tomatoes, mushrooms, fresh garlic, fresh oregano, and sautéed with chicken for a tasty late summertime meal.
3. The Indian corn makes an appearance ready for holiday decorating. But the squirrels got to it early yesterday morning. Last year I brought loads of it home from the farm and every last one was taken by the little rodents. I even left them some cow corn, but they had their sights set on my Indian corn. The squirrels were fat and happy last Fall.
4. Squirrels are not eaters of squash or peppers. Not one nibble. But my cockatoo loves peppers, the hotter the better and those skinny green Cayenne are too hot for me! I grow the hot peppers just for my bird.
Birds can eat peppers because they do not ‘taste’ the heat of the Capsaicin because they lack capsaicin receptors. Interestingly, the pepper sensation is not a taste. There are only five kinds of taste buds; salt, sweet, sour, bitter and MSG, recently identified, and Capsaicin is both odorless and tasteless. The sensation is actually pain. Ever get it in your eye? No taste buds there. If you want to learn more about this phenomena check out this article by an ornithologist.
5. The squash will be dinner soon and the two pumpkins, a pie.
And what is Fall without Pumpkin pie.
- 2 Cups fresh mashed pumpkin or a 15 oz. can
- 1/4 Cup sugar (I like it sweet)
- 1 (14 ounce) can EAGLE BRAND® Sweetened Condensed Milk
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon orange rind
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust or make your own special crust
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Use small-sized sugar pumpkins. Clean and slice meat from the rind. Save the seeds for later, they are great toasted and salted (but the larger carving pumpkins have bigger seeds). Cut pumpkin into squares, spread evenly, and bake in a covered dish. Bake at 400° F for 30 minutes or until pumpkin is very tender. Remove the cooked pumpkin and put it immediately into a blender and make puree.
- Whisk the fresh pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, eggs, sugar, spices and salt in medium bowl until smooth. Pour into your pie shell.
- Bake for 15 minutes at this higher temperature. Then reduce the oven to 350° F and continue baking for 45 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out clean. Cool. Garnish as desired. I serve it with whipped creme and orange slice (for company) or vanilla ice cream, drizzled with maple syrup. Store your leftovers covered in the refrigerator.
6. I can never make up my mind on the arrangements. I always like them all.
7. I do like this one….8. This one too…9. Oh, what the heck, a girl can have a change of heart, right? The leaves have only a glint of these colors and I think we need some Fall color. Fresh picked or cooked into a meal, the colors of Fall are FOOD. It is a great time of year!