Thunder Moon and Lunar Links

IMG_1567.JPGThe Thunder Moon doesn’t technically occur until July, but if ever such a name was appropriate for a full moon, it was this one.  It seemed to rest and roll along the tops of this magnificent soaring June thunderhead at sunset, like some whimsical bright ball up there bouncing down cloud stairways.  As I watched from the porch steps, the billowing cloud rumbled faintly and the liquid gulping of a bittern echoed along the lake shore as dusk slowly fell—and I thought about David’s words:

“I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations.  For you steadfast love is great to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.  Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!  Let your glory be over all the earth!” (Psalm 57:9-11)

IMG_1569.JPGAnd, while we’re on the topic of the moon, just for the fun of it, I thought I’d share a few interesting lunar-themed links I’ve happened across recently.  Hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

Here’s an interesting article on how each month’s full moon got it’s name.

Read this book by Astronaut James Irwin for a first-hand, uniquely Christian perspective on the first landing on the moon—it’s full of pictures and fascinating!

Actual video clips and audio from that first landing, with some unexpected lightheartedness.  “Hippity hop and over a hill…”

Sometimes I feel like this, too when waiting for the moon to rise.

Moon phases explained, with Oreos.

Once in a blue moon, you should eat a blue moon torte.  But ever wondered where that phrase “once in a blue moon” came from?  Click on the torte photo or here to find out.

If you could read French, this would be a spectacular lunar treat to create.

If you’re as fond of Beethoven’s ‘Moonlight Sonata’, and Horatio Spoffard’s ‘It Is Well With My Soul’ as I am, you should listen to this.

And just in case you missed it, a previous post of mine about the Harvest Moon, and another about the Wolf Moon.

 

 

 

Ten Things To Do When Overrun With Pumpkins

img_7563And I return, with the second in my series of “Ten Things to Do With Over-Abundant Vegetables” posts.  I didn’t necessarily set out to make this a series, but last year’s post on cucumbers ended up being a popular one—and even I referenced back to it when I needed to refresh my memory this summer.  So, here we go again—and this time pumpkins get to take the stage!

Last year we got so many pumpkins, I gave some away, allowed others to freeze in their role as porch decorations instead of rushing them inside to save them, and even threw away the last couple that spoiled before I could get to them.  That was after I had frozen I don’t know how many quarts of roasted pumpkin for future baking projects.

I scaled back on the number of pumpkin hills this year, but the ones I did plant are already promising to produce abundantly.  And then, when I cleaned out our freezer last week, I discovered 20 quarts of frozen roasted pumpkin.  People, I did this is a whole year later, and I promise that I actually did use some throughout the year.  Whoa.

So it looks like I’ll be making a lot of pumpkin things in my kitchen in the coming weeks—and I thought maybe you’d like to join in on the fun?  The list that follows includes some of my personal tried and true favorites.  (It does assume, though, that you know about the tried and true classics, like pumpkin pie (Libby’s forever!!!) and pumpkin bread.)

  1. Give thanks for your blessings.
  2. Make the cupcakes that are usually my birthday cake.
  3. Make these pumpkin muffins with cream cheese filling, or these without.
  4. Make pumpkin pecan backed steel cut oatmeal for breakfast.  Pro tip: surprisingly, this dish, like pumpkin pie, is better cold so it’s great for making the night before.  Also, it’s especially amazing topped with a dollop of Greek yogurt and a drizzle of maple or agave syrup.
  5. Make sweet pumpkin scones or savory.
  6. Try pumpkin in your pasta.
  7. Try your hand at a homemade pumpkin spice latte!  My friend Erica has an awesome recipe here.
  8. Carve out the inside of a giant pumpkin and fill it with apple cider for a fun punch bowl for an autumn party.
  9. Fall decorations, of course.  I love the look of white pumpkins in rooms where I don’t necessarily want to add the color orange, but do want to add a touch of fall!  Take note for your garden next year:  this little heirloom variety is easy to grow and produces enough to decorate your whole house and share some with your friends!  (Spoken with the voice of experience!)
  10. You know how they say that the old time settlers used to use all of the pig except the squeal?  Well, you can use all of the pumpkin except the skin.  Roast the seeds, and  then recycle the stem to make these.
  11. Bonus for you: my favorite Cinderella pumpkin seeds can be found here.