I have been eyeballing this recipe card for a years, I decided it was time to make it.
As you can see the recipe is really easy. I'm not sure what year it's from but I would guess 70's or possibly 80's. I used fresh pumpkin not canned and it came out amazing! If you are looking for an easy pumpkin spice dessert for Thursday this is the one.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
I have heard about "Spud Harvest" since I was a teen and my older brothers went to Idaho to live with my dad. Stories of freezing cold weather, shoveling dirt and moving pipe were incomprehensible to a city girl. All I really knew was it sounded miserable. When my brother had kids and they were old enough to do this dreaded "Spud Harvest" he asked me if my kids wanted to do it too. First time I wasn't so sure, but two years ago we dropped my older daughter off at his house near the end of September and didn't see her again for three weeks. When we finally had her back she had tales of mud, lack of sleep and angry coworkers.
This year my younger daughter decided the pain was worth the cash and since I had to drive her anyway I decided it was time for me to experience the torture that is "Spud Harvest".
It all started innocently enough.
Then I discovered that as a girl I would be spending the next two to three standing here. Usually we spent the entire day just standing sorting dirt, vines and rotten potatoes out of the good potatoes but, occasionally, we got the pleasure of actually being allowed out to shovel dirt or clean up mud.
To be honest, I didn't mind the job at all. You get a lot of time to think. To just let your brain float away without feeling guilty about it because you are supposed to be doing something else. With the exception of the occasional night of only four hours sleep and the freezing temperatures it was a great experience.
The days were long and hard but I took so much away with me. I learned more about potatoes than I ever wanted to know. I wrote an entire short story. I got to know my niece and nephew better. I developed a love for the scenery of southeastern Idaho, something I never thought would happen. I got to have a tiny taste of what it's like to be a farmer and am even more grateful for them.
I was afraid I that being one of the oldest people working would make it harder for me but, really it gave me the patience and life experience to be able to actually enjoy the work that the dozens of teens I was working with didn't.
171 hours of work in two weeks. A paycheck that wasn't worth the effort. Two hundred pounds of potatoes, part of which we donated to the food back we volunteer at. And an amazing experience I wouldn't trade and will never forget. I could write pages about "Spud Harvest", share dozens of photos but it's time to move on to the important part....what to make with all the potatoes.
With Thanksgiving coming, uses for all the leftovers are always something I search for and this one was simple, different and tasty.
The cheesy deliciousness was too much for my family to wait for and all ended up burning their mouths on this one. Make sure you let it cool before your family sees it to save them the pain of cheesy potato burns.
This time of year there are certain foods that you can't really avoid, one of which is pumpkin. I was walking through the grocery store last week and saw the big brown palette of adorable little pie pumpkins and decided to bring a couple of them home.
I have a confession to make; I've never made pumpkin pie using fresh pumpkin. I've always just reached for the convenient orange cans that my mother and grandmother always used. I've felt massive shame over this fact, felt that, as a person who has worked in restaurant kitchens for years, that I should have used fresh pumpkin, that nothing should ever be from a can, that I am a failure for not having slaved even harder over the holidays to make the perfect meal. But, then the mom in me comes out and I grab the orange cans again.
I brought my little pumpkins home with the intent of making delicious pies out of them. Then, while flipping through one of my favorite cookbooks, I came across the recipe that I ended up making.
I know, totally not pie, but I love pumpkin butter, and this looked like pumpkin butter with apricots and raisins, two more things I love, so I had to try it. There was just no other choice.
The recipe makes about 16 cups of jam which is way more than my family can eat, so I went ahead and canned it. I have a glass top stove, so I'm not supposed to use a standard canner. This has prevented me from making applesauce for years, but I still can jams, I just use a stock pot.
When using a stock pot, you follow the normal procedures for canning jam but place a towel in the bottom of the stock pot to prevent the jars breaking and you can only process three or four jars at a time. The towels cause weird bubbles to form and you end up with a bit more water loss than a normal canner but it is a way to preserve food if you don't have a canner, or for some reason can't use one.
This jam is delicious and I adore it. The recipe has already been added to my personal cookbook and I am sure I will be making it again.
Have a fantastic week!