Life on Regal-Hill: Nov. 5, 2008

Winter has started early here at Regal-Hill. We have 8-10 inches of heavy, wet snow and the power has been off several times already, making it even worse.
It all started Saturday night when we got heavy rain and wind causing the power to go off. I had just finished getting our supper ready. The power came back on about midnight.
Monday the light and appliances flickered on and off. Finally they went off for good as we were ready to set down to supper. This time I had used the oven and made a coffee cake and a spinach and Swiss quiche. Once again the flashlight, candles and kerosene lamp came out so we could see to get around, but were impossible to read by. I rinsed the dishes as best I could and put them in the dishwasher hoping the power would come on so I could run it on the night rate.
We decided it was time to collect some water and get out bottled water to drink. When the power is off the water pump doesn’t work so we don’t have any water. During the night the power came back on.
The snow had started before we went to bed and kept snowing quite hard at times Tuesday. Again the lights and appliances flickered on and off; right after lunch the lights went out and stayed out. The firemen were called out as there was another limb on the power line near the county line. The power came back on long enough for me to do some loads of laundry and get supper of spaghetti and meatballs. This time the power stayed off until Thursday afternoon about 4 p.m.
In the meantime I couldn’t cook, run the dishwasher, dry clothes in the dryer or run the vacuum cleaner, nor could I talk on the portable phone, use the computer or listen to the radio or watch TV. At least we could keep warm as we have a furnace that burns wood.
Once the refrigerator warmed up, and the food wasn’t safe, we took it out on the back porch but Buster got into some of that. George finally got out the generator so that we would have water and the neighbors had lights. He ran a heavy extension cord from the freezer to the generator so as to keep the food in the freezer from thawing, as it was full of meat, fruit and vegetables.
Wednesday afternoon we received a phone call telling us that power wouldn’t be restored until Sunday. Needless to say, no one here was happy to hear that. The neighbors invited us over for supper that night. We received another phone call about 12:30 a.m. asking if our power was back on yet.
Finally, on Thursday I needed to get away so I went to town. I was so bored not being able to do what I wanted to although I did sort some magazines, newspapers and mail. Before I returned the power was back on and the dishwasher was running. I sure was glad. I soon went to work cleaning out the refrigerator. I had taken the clothes out of the dryer and dried them on racks.

Perhaps you would like to use pumpkin in recipes other than dessert. Here are some recipes I hope you will try.

Black Bean ‘n’ Pumpkin Chili
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium sweet yellow pepper, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons oil
3 cups chicken broth
2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, rinsed and drained
2-1/2 cups cubed cooked turkey
1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
2 teaspoons chili powder
1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
In a large skillet, sauté the onion, yellow pepper and garlic in oil until tender. Transfer to a 5-qt. slow cooker; stir remaining ingredients.
Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours or until heated through.
Yield: 10 servings (2-1/2 quarts).
Taste of Home October & November 2008

Apple Pumpkin Soup
2 cups finely chopped peeled tart apples
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
4 cups chicken broth
3 cups canned pumpkin
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon each ground cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger
1 cup unsweetened apple juice
1/2 cup half-and-half cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
In a large saucepan, sauté the apples and onion in butter for 3-5 minutes or until tender. Stir in the flour until blended. Gradually whisk in the chicken broth. Stir in the pumpkin, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 25 minutes. Cool slightly.
In a blender, cover and process soup in batches until smooth. Pour into a bowl; cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
Just before serving, transfer soup to a saucepan. Cook over medium heat for 5-10 minutes. Stir in the apple juice, cream, salt and pepper; heat through.
Yield: 12 servings (about 2 quarts)
2008 Taste of Home Annual Recipes