Who We Are

The past few years, the area where I live, Crawford County, Ohio, has seen a wonderful explosion of younger families who are embracing the joys and challenges of living off the land. Because of them, amazing things are happening which have been embraced by our community. Farmer’s markets have been created and on-farm stores have opened. Families dedicated to growing organic produce and naturally raised meats are meeting the public’s needs for locally raised foods. And at the heart of this movement are the women.

Ohio Country Journal is my attempt to share the essence of farm life, focusing on, but not limited to, women. My goal is to bring you into our circle of friendship by inviting you to share your stories and experiences with us. You don’t have to be a full time country woman to benefit from joining us; you just have to be you.

The full-time country women featured in Ohio Country Journal are an inspiration to anyone who dares to follow her dreams, whether it is to live in the country or to bring the country life-style to their urban neighborhoods.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Yummy Treat for a Winter Morning: Pumpkin Butter

Pumpkin isn’t just for autumn. This nutrient power house is welcome in my world any time of the year, but I especially love it during cold weather.

The other day, I opened a can of pumpkin to add to the chili I was making for lunch (and to sneak into other foods, too…shhh…don’t tell), which left me with a whole lot of pumpkin puree to use up. A great solution is to make pumpkin butter because it cannot be easier to make, it is delicious, and it makes a nice little “Thinking of You” gift.  I am not sure how long this recipe has been around. I came across it in the late 70's, when the mother's club I was in made it and sold it at bazaars. It is a tried and true recipe that remains a favorite. This afternoon my friend, Denise, and I are going to be gadding about, checking out thrift and craft stores. She doesn’t know it yet, but she’s going to get squashed! (heh! heh! heh!)

Pumpkin Butter

One recipe fills a jelly jar

1 stick butter (or margarine)
¼ cup pumpkin puree
¼ cup brown sugar (I used half maple sugar from Erlstien’s Maple Products and half brown sugar)
1 – ½ teaspoon spice mix (I used apple pie. Pumpkin pie or your own mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, etc.  will work. Just use what you have).

Cream butter and sugar together, add pumpkin puree and spices.  Package in jelly jar or plastic container. Easy-peasy, eh? But be sure to keep refrigerated since this has not been canned or processed.

To gussy this up if you are giving it for a treat, cut a 5 to 6 inch square of fabric and place over top of jar. Secure with a rubber band.  You can also hand-write the recipe and suggested uses on a recipe card, card stock, repurposed greeting card, again, whatever you have. For something unexpected for a jarred food gift, I used a shipping tag. Tie it on the jar with twine, ribbon, jute, string, or as I did, with a piece of yarn.
Marcheta *looking forward to tomorrow's breakfast...oh, heck! I see a piece of toast w/ pumpkin butter in my immediate future...

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