October 30, 2014 archive

Pumpkins, Not Just For Carving

Re-posted from October 22, 2011

When most of us think of pumpkins, we think of the orange orbs that get carved up for Halloween and pumpkin pie with gobs of whipped cream for dessert at Thanksgiving but pumpkins come in all shapes, colors, sizes and varieties. Some are good only for decoration, while others are not only decorative but very tasty in pies, soups and stews.

According to Wikipedia pumpkin “is a gourd-like squash of the genus Cucurbita and the family Cucurbitaceae (which also includes gourds). It commonly refers to cultivars of any one of the species Cucurbita pepo, Cucurbita mixta, Cucurbita maxima, and Cucurbita moschata, and is native to North America.” Some of the fun activities besides decorative carving for Halloween are Festivals and competitions with pumpkin chucking being among the most popular. Chucking has become so popular that some competitors grow their own special varieties that will survive being shot from catapults and cannons. The festivals are most dedicated to the competition for recipes and the competition for the largest pumpkin. This year that honor went to a 2058 pound beauty from Northern California will be on display this weekend at the Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival in San Francisco.

The pumpkin is one of the main symbols of Halloween and the Wiccan holiday of Samhain, which is a celebration of the end of the year, the final harvest and the coming of winter. The earliest that a craved pumpkin was associated with Halloween is 1866. Throughout Britain and Ireland the turnip has traditionally been used at Halloween, but immigrants to North America used the native pumpkin, which are both readily available and much larger, making them easier to carve than turnips.

In cooking, the the fleshy shell, seeds, leaves and flowers are all edible. Canned pureed pumpkin is readily available in stores, as are the small, sweet variety of fresh pumpkin for the ambitious cook to make their own puree or for stews. When it comes to pies, the easiest is the canned, my favorite being Libby’s with the recipe on the label, label, label. It’s the only recipe I have ever used for pumpkin pie and I’ve never has a complaint.

Pumpkin and all it parts are also very nutritious, containing many vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidents. There is also an interesting medical study of pumpkin extract on type-1 diabetic rats:

(P)ublished in July 2007, suggests that chemical compounds found in pumpkin promote regeneration of damaged pancreatic cells, resulting in increased bloodstream insulin levels. According to the research team leader, pumpkin extract may be “a very good product for pre-diabetic people, as well as those who already have diabetes,” possibly reducing or eliminating the need for insulin injections for some type-1 diabetics. It is unknown whether pumpkin extract has any effect on diabetes mellitus type 2, as it was not the subject of the study.

One of my favorite recipes is Pumpkin Cheesecake with Bourbon Sour Cream Topping that is more popular than pie with my family.


Recipe and baking tips are below the fold

Just Change the Name Already

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

My suggestion: The Potomacs

Just change the damned name. It ain;t that hard and they’d be able to keep the logo.  


The Breakfast Club (The Witch’s New Year)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover  we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

Samhain: The Thinning Of The Veil

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Samhain is one of the eight festivals of the Wiccan/Pagan Wheel of the Years that is celebrated as the new year with the final harvest of the season. It is considered by most practitioners of the craft to be the most important of the eight Sabats and one of the four fire festivals, Imbolc, Beltane and Lughnasadh. Beginning at sundown on October 31 and continuing through the next day, fires are lit and kept burning to recognize the shortening of days and the coming of winter’s long cold nights. [..]

It is also the time of the year that we reflect and honor our ancestors and especially those who have departed since last Samhain. According to Celtic lore, Samhain is a time when the boundaries between the world of the living and the world of the dead become thinner, allowing spirits and other supernatural entities to pass between the worlds to socialize with humans. The fires and the candles burning in western windows are believed to help guide the spirits of the departed to the Summerlands. Like all Wiccan festivals, Samhain celebrates Nature’s cycle of death and renewal, a time when the Celts acknowledged the beginning and ending of all things in life and nature. Samhain marked the end of harvest and the beginning of the New Celtic Year. The first month of the Celtic year was Samonios – ‘Seed Fall’. [..]


This Day in History

‘War of the Worlds’ spooks Americans on Halloween Eve; A deadly mudslide hits Nicaragua after Hurricane Mitch; Muhammad Ali beats George Foreman in the ‘Rumble in the Jungle’; Comedian Steve Allen dies.

Breakfast Tunes

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On This Day In History October 30

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

October 30 is the 303rd day of the year (304th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 62 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1938, Orson Welles scares the nation.

The War of the Worlds was an episode of the American radio drama anthology series Mercury Theatre on the Air. It was performed as a Halloween episode of the series on October 30, 1938 and aired over the Columbia Broadcasting System radio network. Directed and narrated by Orson Welles, the episode was an adaptation of H. G. Wells’ novel The War of the Worlds.

The first two thirds of the 60-minute broadcast were presented as a series of simulated “news bulletins”, which suggested to many listeners that an actual alien invasion by Martians was currently in progress. Compounding the issue was the fact that the Mercury Theatre on the Air was a ‘sustaining show’ (it ran without commercial breaks), thus adding to the program’s quality of realism. Although there were sensationalist accounts in the press about a supposed panic in response to the broadcast, the precise extent of listener response has been debated. In the days following the adaptation, however, there was widespread outrage. The program’s news-bulletin format was decried as cruelly deceptive by some newspapers and public figures, leading to an outcry against the perpetrators of the broadcast, but the episode secured Orson Welles’ fame.

Muse in the Morning

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Muse in the Morning

Science is mankind’s brother

Late Night Karaoke



Great Country Song or Greatest Country Song Ever?

War on Halloween

The real news, the Web exclusive 2 part extended interview with Joaquin Castro, and this week’s guests below.

2014 World Series Game 7: Giants at Royals

Well, last night’s game was very disappointing.  More disappointing than that is that Bochy is not planning on starting Bumgarner.

Yes, you heard me right.

Now if I had my way Bochy would already be playing golf because he didn’t start Bumgarner in Game 4 on 3 days in which case he’d have been available on the same 3 days for yesterday.

Suck it up you pampered preening pets, plenty of Managers have used a 2 man rotation.  To now hear that Bumgarner “is only human and we’ll have him in the bullpen”…

He, like you Bochy, will have plenty of time to play golf in the off season.  What are you saving him for?  Do you want to win The World Series or not?

Now I have my beefs with George Steinbrenner including his illegal campaign contributions and the fact that he traded my Uncle (yup, no fooling), but I never doubted that he was a man who absolutely understood that professional sports is not a business in the traditional sense.  It’s a Billionaire’s ego toy and either you pay what you need to win or you’re just another loser and he didn’t tolerate losers lightly.  If George owned the Giants are, Bumgarner would have already plaed 3 times and been ready in relief tonight and if any of his “Baseball People” disagreed they’d be gone.

Last night’s action-

Bottom 2nd, Leadoff Single, Single, Runners at Corners, RBI Double, Single, RBI Single, 2 RBI Single, Wild Pitch, 2 RBI Double, RBI Double.  Royals 7 – 0.

Bottom 3rd, Double, RBI Double.  Royals 8 – 0.

Bottom 5th, Leadoff Single, RBI Double.  Royals 9 – 0.

Bottom of 7th, Solo Shot.  Royals 10 – 0.

Game Over Dude.

Starting tonight for the Royals is Jeremy Guthrie (R, 13 – 11, ERA 4.13).  Post Season he has 1 Win with an ERA of 2.70 based on 10 Innings Pitched with 7 Hits, and 7 Runs scored.

He will be matched for the Giants by Tim Hudson (R, 9 – 13, ERA 3.57) who has 1 Post Season loss with an ERA of 3.72 based on 19.1 Innings Pitched with 18 Hits, 1 Home Run and 8 Runs scored.

Bumgarner has said he could pitch 200 Innings, but he won’t because Bochy is an idiot.  The Royals Bullpen is fully rested.

2014 World Series: How did we get here?

Well, Game 7 of The World Series.

I thought it might amuse you to see the path we took through the Wild Cards, and Division and League Championship Series.

Details below the fold.