Pumpkin – Its Versatility in Savory Recipes

autumn-pumpkinPumpkins are not just for making pumpkin pies and carving into scary faces at Halloween. In fact, there are lots of savory pumpkin recipes including classic pumpkin soup, pumpkin stew and you can even use this tasty squash family vegetable in salad recipes.

The next time you make a salad, why not chop some small cubes of pumpkin and boil them until they are soft, then incorporate them into your rice or macaroni salad for a splash of color and for their nutritional benefits?

Pumpkins and squashes are used all over the world. They are used to make curries and braises in India, risottos in Italy, oriental pumpkin soup recipes in China and Vietnam, and stuffed pumpkin dishes in the Middle East.

The best pumpkin seed oil comes from Austria and this dark green oil, which is nicknamed “black gold,” is drizzled over salad recipes for a nutty, sweet flavor, or whipped into soft cheese.

Different Types of Pumpkins

You can get great pumpkins from grocery stores or farmers’ markets. If a pumpkin recipe calls for one type of pumpkin and you cannot find it, you can usually use a different variety instead.

Baby Bear is a good variety of pumpkin for cooking. It is firm fleshed, sweet, and suitable for sweet or savory recipes. Delicata is a small white pumpkin with green stripes. This pumpkin has a nutty taste and it dries out when you cook it.

Crown Prince is a bluish gray pumpkin, which is golden inside. It is great for making vegetarian kabobs or roasting. Sweet Mama is richly orange and it is great if you cut off the top, scoop out the seeds, and then bake it whole.

Small Sugar is a medium sized pumpkin with orange flesh. Its high sugar content is the reason it caramelizes so wonderfully. Small Sugar pumpkins are great for making pie fillings. Sweet Dumpling is a small green and white squash, which has a sweet flavor when you cook it and its flesh tastes slightly like chestnuts.

How to Use Pumpkin in a Salad Recipe

The following recipe for Japanese pumpkin salad shows that you can do more with pumpkin that save it for classic pumpkin soup and pumpkin pie fillings.

This recipe is healthy and very tasty. You can use any type of small pumpkin for it. This recipe serves six to eight people.

Healthy Japanese Pumpkin Salad

What you will need:

  • 1 small pumpkin, de-seeded and quartered
  • 9 oz frozen chestnuts
  • 1/3 cucumber, diced
  • 5 oz sliced mushrooms
  • 2 sticks celery
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, sliced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive oil

For the Dressing:

  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 inch piece fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 2 crushed cloves garlic

How to make it:Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Sprinkle salt and pepper on the pumpkin and drizzle it with olive oil. Bake it on a roasting tray for 20 minutes, then add the frozen chestnuts and bake it for another 15 minutes.

Let the pumpkin and chestnuts cool. Chop the pumpkin into bite-sized pieces and mix it with the chestnuts and the other vegetables.

Whisk the dressing ingredients together and pour them over the pumpkin salad. Toss well and serve.

 

Christine Szalay-Kudra is an author, food expert and mom of four boys. She is the owner of the Recipe Publishing Network, a group of sites dedicated to fine food and information for cooks. When not busy with her business you can find her sharing on one of these social networks at her own URL: http://www.recipepublishingnetwork.org/

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Haunted Gettysburg – A Beginner’s Guide

Ohio's Tribute monument to Carroll's Brigade on East Cemetery Hill

Ohio’s Tribute monument to Carroll’s Brigade on East Cemetery Hill

Is Gettysburg haunted? It’s sure hard to ignore the large number ghostly encounters that visitors and residents of this historic Pennsylvania town claim to have experienced over the years. Of course, skeptics will always find other explanations for the phenomena but the sheer number of reported experiences certainly lends support to those convinced that something unusual is happening here.

The idea of a haunted Gettysburg doesn’t really seem so ridiculous when you consider the magnitude of the events that took place on this soil for 3 days in July, 1863.

In the sweltering, summer heat, two deadly armies – over 165,000 soldiers – met in Gettysburg and fought what history would record as the bloodiest battle of the Civil War. When the horrific haze of battle had cleared, there were 51,000 casualties and many believe that those involved in this epic battle still linger, eternally bound by ties forged in the agony and trauma of war.

Where is all this haunted activity taking place? Basically, any place the battle was fought is a likely place to encounter something paranormal. Many visitors to Gettysburg look for the “official” battlefield–the 6000 acres of federally maintained battlefield just outside of town–not realizing that much of the town also saw action from sharpshooters, skirmishes, field hospitals and tactical occupations. This abundance of battle-worn real estate makes it easy for even the beginner to stumble upon places that are linked to some type of haunted activity.

What should you do if you wish to see a bit of haunted history? Naturally, no one can guarantee that you will have a paranormal experience when you visit Gettysburg but there are guides, locations, and times to visit that can greatly improve your chances. Below, I have gathered together enough information to get you well on your way to your first “haunted Gettysburg” experience.

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The Best Times to Visit

For those wishing to experience the haunted side of Gettysburg, there are a few things to consider when timing your visit:

Some have noticed more reported paranormal activity at Gettysburg during the anniversary of the battle – July 1, 2, 3. However, since this is a peak tourist time, it’s hard to say for sure if there’s more paranormal activity or just ore people around to experience it.

Night time, starting with dusk, seems to be the best time – but not the only time – to have paranormal encounters. There are many ghost tours in town that offer candlelight tours for this reason but more on the tours in a minute.

Some paranormal investigators see a connection between the energy produced by thunderstorms and the manifestation of ghosts so, being in the right place just before or after a thunderstorm, could improve your chances significantly.

Taking a Ghost Tour

There are several companies doing ghost tours in Gettysburg, so take some time to check them out before you go. People reviewing the Gettysburg ghost tours on Yahoo Travel gave them mixed reviews. It seems that skill level of the guide is of vital importance so I would suggest asking a lot of questions about your guide’s experience and popularity before you sign up. Another sticking point for a lot of people was the fact that, with some tour companies, the guides aren’t paid and they ask for tips at the end of the walk. If that doesn’t bother you, great, otherwise check before you go.

Here’s a list of tour companies:

The Ghosts of Gettysburg Tours

These are the only ghost tours based on the excellent, best-selling books, Ghosts of Gettysburg, by Mark Nesbitt and include four different tours–one is a bus tour and the rest are walking tours. Contact Info: 271 Baltimore Street, Gettysburg, PA 17325 Phone: (717) 337-0445, Toll Free: 888-337-0445, Fax: 717-337-9673

Historic Farnsworth House Candlelight Ghost Walks

This group is connected to the very historic and haunted Farnsworth House. According to them, they have the “most unique walks,” and are “not confined to scripted and printed stories of recent years.” They have received press coverage on TV, and in books and magazines. Contact Info: 401 Baltimore Street, Gettysburg, PA 17325 Phone: 717-334-8838, Fax: 717-334-5862 |

Sleepy Hollow of Gettysburg Candlelight Ghost Tours

Owned and operated by a 6th generation Gettysburg resident, Sleepy Hollow says it “features storytellers with over 50 Years combined storytelling experience.” Their tours combine first hand experiences with tales and legends, human interest and historical facts. Contact Info: Phone: 717-337-9322 Fax: 717-337-9327

Ghostly Images Tours

This company offers four tours, one of which is a bus tour. The tours from this company often include a visit inside a haunted building but it would be a good idea to check just to be sure. Contact Info: 778 Baltimore Street, Gettysburg, PA 17325, Phone:(717) 334-6296

Some Haunted Places to Visit

1) Haunted Places in Town

This is by no means a complete list of places reputed to be haunted in town–consider it just something to get you started:

The Farnsworth House Inn, Pennsylvania Hall and Brua Hall in Gettysburg College, The Wills House – Lincoln Room Museum, Herr Tavern and Public House, General Lee’s Headquarters Museum, The Jenny Wade House, and the Cashtown Inn.

2) Ghosts on the Battlefield

As you might imagine, the battlefield is extremely active when it comes to experiencing all types of hauntings. While paranormal experiences could occur anywhere, some of the known hot spots include: Devil’s Den, Spangler’s Spring, Iverson’s Pitts, the Triangular field, the fields where Pickett’s Charge took place, Little Round Top, the Peach Orchard, the Wheatfield, the George Weikert House, the Rose Farm, and the Eternal Light Peace Memorial. Information about visiting these places can be found at the National Park Service (http://www.nps.gov/gett/home.htm).

 

Copyright Natalie Lynn, 2006. Natalie Lynn is a founding member of the Traverse City Paranormal Society (http://www.traversecityparanormal.com), an artist, and a business owner.

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Nagel Photography / Shutterstock.com

10 Magical Halloween Decorating Ideas from Instagram

halloween-decorationsIf you’re looking for some Halloween home decorating inspiration, then check out these fun & festive fall Instagram ideas for both inside and outside of the home!

  1. Naturally Enchanting
  2. The Hole in the Pavement
  3. Porch-ready
  4. Cute Halloween
  5. Halloween Party Setup
  6. In case you couldn’t tell from my last post, I’m all about the cutesy, girly, boo-tiful version of Halloween, because momma don’t play with that scary stuff! 💜👻💜 printables by the fab-boo-lous @jentbydesign 📷 cred: my fab ghoul friend @marelaude . . . . . #halloween #halloweenparty #halloweenready #halloweenfun #halloweendecor #halloweenideas #trickortreat #partyideas #party #boobash #partydecor #flashesofdelight #petitejoys #livethelittlethings #abmcrafty #makersgonnamake #diypartydecor #abmhalloween #creativityfound #livecreatively #creativelifehappylife #thatsdarling #celebrateinstyle #nothingisordinary #balloons #partyideasgroup #ihavethisthingwithviolet #livecolorfully #diyitsfallohmy #mypartystyle

    A photo posted by Made of Sugar & Spice (@madeofsugarandspice) on

  7. House Guest
  8. Halloween String Art
  9. This is so cute #boo #halloweendecor #ghost #pumpkins #halloweenstringart #halloween

    A photo posted by @leaves_and_snow on

  10. Minnie Mouse Halloween
  11. What better way to paint your pumpkin for Halloween then a Minnie Mouse tsum tsum way?! 👻🎃

    A photo posted by Sara 🌊🌊🌊🌊🌊🌊🌊🌊🌊🌊🌊 (@saramonster) on

  12. Magical Witch Circle
  13. Halloween Mantle

Halloweentown is St. Helens, Oregon!

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Halloweentown in St. Helens, Oregon

Many people are familiar with the movie “Halloweentown”, which is a 1998 Disney Channel movie about a 13 year old girl named Marnie Cromwell, which is a must-see kid and family friendly watch.  In the movie, the main character, Marni learns that she is a witch.  After finding this out, she helps save a town full of other supernatural creatures.  It’s a great movie to watch with younger kids, teens and even adults can enjoy!

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Animal graveyard in Halloweentown (St. Helens, Oregon)

However, what you probably do not know, is that the official “Halloweentown” where the movie was filmed is St. Helens, Oregon.  This quaint little town is located in Columbia County about 30 miles north of Portland, Oregon.  I’m quite familiar with St. Helens (AKA Halloweentown) as this is where I live and work!  We take Halloween very seriously here and devote all of October to loads of Halloween activities.

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Lighting of the Great Pumpkin! (Halloweentown, St. Helens, Oregon)

Every year in St. Helens, beginning around October 1st, the spirit of Halloween comes alive! St. Helens is a very family-friendly town and loves to throw costume contests, trick or treating celebrations and even has the yearly ceremonial “lighting of the great pumpkin”.

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Cab from the movie, Halloweentown

Usually a celebrity or two comes to visit St. Helens during Halloween season and this year I hear it is Xander from Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Nicholas Brendon).  It is a great place to visit in the month of October to get you in a spooky mood! Also, if you’re a “Twilight” fan, Bella’s home is also located in St. Helens, OR.

Witches legs in Halloweentown (St. Helens, Oregon)

Witches legs in Halloweentown (St. Helens, Oregon)

If you’re ever in upstate Oregon, stop by Halloweentown and say hello – I’m sure you’ll have a frightfully wonderful good time!

Haunted Lighthouses of Maine

Owl's Head Lighthouse, Maine

Owl’s Head Lighthouse, Maine

Ghostly forms, loud voices, ethereal whispers, phantom lights, the cries of drowning men on a cold still night are all part of haunted lighthouse legends. Maine holds the title for the most haunted lighthouses in New England.

Isadore
Nubble Light

We start our tour at Nubble Light on Cape Neddick where the legend of the ghost ship Isadore, is a favorite among the locals.

Capt. Joseph Smith, petitioned Congress for a lighthouse at York Ledge where mariners were constantly lost to the treacherous Bald Head Cliffs. Congress allocated the money, but the cliffs remained dark, causing more loss of life. Nubble Light, built in 1879, came too late to save Leander Foss, Captain of the Isadore and his crew.

Thomas King, a seaman on the Isadore had a vivid nightmare of the ship and crew crashing on the cliff rocks and perishing. The captain, hearing his story was suspicious and scornful, and refused to relieve him of duty. King was not aware that a shipmate had a similar dream and saw seven coffins including his wash up on shore.

In spite of the crew’s fears, they sailed on a bitterly cold November day with wind driven heavy snow swirling about, greatly reducing visibility. Shortly after leaving port, the Isadore, crashed against Bald Head Cliffs, killing everyone except Thomas King, who escaped to Kennebunkport.

Many fishermen reportedly have seen the ghostly shadow of the Isadore and her crew sailing along the coastline.

Nubble Light, Cape Neddick, Maine

Nubble Light, Cape Neddick, Maine

Suicide Light
Mantinicus Lighthouse

Lighthouse keeping, a lonely life at best, saw several keepers unable to deal with the constant danger and loneliness commit suicide.

The new keeper of the Mantinicus Rock Lighthouse, unaware that his predecessor killed himself, decided to open a portion of the lighthouse he found closed. Suddenly, doors angrily slammed open and shut, light bulbs died when placed in their sockets, cups and dished flew off the table in a rage and cupboard doors refused to remain closed.

Peace returned when the new keeper re-closed that area. During a scheduled inspection, the area was re-opened and everything broke loose, however the inspectors reported “nothing unusual” to their superiors.

Owl's Head Lighthouse

Owl’s Head Lighthouse

Division of Labor
Owl’s Head Light

Two ghosts haunt this lighthouse off the coast of Rockland.

The first, keeper hated the daily task of polishing the brass, and when finished walked outside to relieve his stress and boredom. Several successors reported seeing his footprints in the snow after a storm. According to legend, a three-year-old girl, awakened from her sleep, urged her parents to ring the fog bell, to warn approaching ships of danger. When questioned, she told them her invisible friend who looked suspiciously like the keeper’s portrait, told her to warn them.

The keeper still polishes the brass each day and saves energy by lowering the thermostat.
The second ghost, or “the little lady,” is a pleasant peaceful presence who is sometimes seen performing various kitchen duties. People report hearing rattling silverware, and doors opening and closing.

Sequin Island Lighthouse

Sequin Island Lighthouse

Play It Again…and Again
Seguin Lighthouse

Seguin Light, off the coast of Boothbay Harbor is the highest above sea level and home to one of the most grisly haunting legends.

Lighthouse keeping was not for the faint of heart. While men kept busy with required duties, wives often found the loneliness, boredom and isolation nearly impossible.

One newlywed keeper brought his bride with him to Seguin Light. Her complaints of loneliness and boredom prompted him to order a piano to help occupy her time.

Although delighted with the gift, she found the piano came with just one piece of sheet music, which she repeatedly played throughout the long, isolating winter, driving her husband mad. When spring arrived, her husband purchased new sheet music, but she insisted on playing only the original tune. Driven insane, he took an ax to the piano, and then turned the ax on her, nearly decapitating her before killing himself.

Locals say that on a still, cold night, they can hear the tinkle of the piano, and see the keeper performing his duties.

Portland Head Light House and Ram Island Ledge Light House, Maine

Portland Head Light House and Ram Island Ledge Light House, Maine

The Lady in White
Ram Island Light

Before a lighthouse appeared on Ram Island, a fisherman started the tradition of hanging a light on his dory, warning mariners of impending danger. Other fishermen soon followed his example.

When the light was not bright enough for sailors to see, a woman in white reportedly appeared waving a brightly lit torch. Several fishermen reported seeing her just in time, avoiding disaster.

Some reportedly still see her waving her torch and saving lives.

Hendricks Head Lighthouse in Maine's Boothbay region, is known for a famous baby rescue and a woman who haunts the area before sunset known as the "Lady of the Dusk."

Hendricks Head Lighthouse in Maine’s Boothbay region, is known for a famous baby rescue and a woman who haunts the area before sunset known as the “Lady of the Dusk.”

What Beauty Walks Here?
Hendrick’s Head Lighthouse

A beautiful ghost whose identity and fate sparked much speculation walks on the beach near Hendrick’s Head Light.

During a March gale, a ship crashed on the ledge a half mile from the lighthouse. The keeper, unable to rescue the passengers watched helplessly as the ship, its passengers and cargo disappeared under the waves.

The next day, while searching through the debris, the keeper and his wife found two feather mattresses tied together, and heard a strange noise coming from inside. When they untied the mattresses, they found an infant girl snuggled inside a wood box. Believing the mother placed the baby in the box to save her life, they took the child home and raised her as their own.

Many believe the beautiful, grief stricken woman seen walking on the beach is the child’s mother.

Wood Island Lighthouse in Maine

Wood Island Lighthouse in Maine

Dark Shadows
Wood Island Light

Murder and mayhem stalk this lighthouse. Sheriff Fred Milliken rented a chicken coop on Wood Island to a drifter named Howard Hobbs.

When he threatened to arrest Hobbs for fighting with Mrs. Milliken, Hobbs shot him. Witnesses helped carry the mortally wounded sheriff to his house where he died. A distraught Hobbs raced to the keeper’s house, and despite Keeper Orcutt’s attempt to calm him shot himself.

Locals believe the strange noises heard coming from the chicken coop belong to Milliken and Hobbs. They also reported seeing dark shadows roaming the grounds and hearing locked doors mysteriously flying open.

Keeper Orcutt’s terrified successor, fled to a mainland boarding house one night, and jumped to his death the next day.

There are many seemingly haunted American lighthouses, and each has its own chilling tale. Several are open to the public.

 

Marianne L. Kelly a former chef is a journalist, editor, web content writer and lighthouse enthusiast. Marianne has written three themed main stream cookbooks, including one featuring lighthouses. She is currently working on a third that follows each season with stories, poems, thoughts and sayings along with healthy recipes from the bounty of each season. Marianne works with a web designer writing original content and re-writes, and is available for hire. For more information visit [http://www.safeharbourpress.com] or http://www.strawintogold.weebly.com

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

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