Pumpkin Central.

a perfect pumpkin

We got a small pumpkin for each kid this year. A teeny tiny for our tiniest kid and a slightly larger pumpkin for our slightly larger kid.

teeny tiny

This is her first real pumpkin experience. Of course she has no idea what a pumpkin is yet (a food? a throwing object? a pillow? a teether? all of the above?) but she did instantly seem to understand that it was adorable and probably the best thing ever.

slightly larger

MM is no stranger to pumpkins or pumpkin picking but this was definitely the first year that he really got it. Of course he wanted to pick out his very own pumpkin, adhering to my request that he only look at pumpkins in the Mommy is a Cheapskate Pile. He was very smitten with this pumpkin and tells me that the stem is his favorite part.

see beautiful stem

I haven’t decided yet if we will attempt to cook anything with either of the pumpkins. According to this pumpkin pie tutorial at Rich Chef, Poor Chef, MM’s may be just about the right size, but that sounds like so much work and my Inner Lazy Mom tells me you can buy pumpkin pie at the store or make your grandmother bake you one. Also, I don’t think that the revolutionary concept of canned pumpkin needs mentioning? We’re all aware of this phenomenon?

Plus, my son might throw a fit if I murdered his poor, sweet, innocent pumpkin even if it were for something as delicious as pie. He may be a highly dedicated Pumpkin Activist for all we know and I’d hate to break his heart like that.

cheeky pumpkin lover

So what to do with our $1 investment in Pumpkinery? Besides the adorable Pumpkin Photo Shoot above? Well the Internet leaves no shortage of ideas:

  • Good Housekeeping and Real Simple both offer up no-carve pumpkin decorating ideas. Ribbons, paint, chalkboard paint, metal studs – lots of ideas to choose from.
  • Country Living offers a whopping 29 page slide show of pumpkin decorating fun. I like their idea of turning a tiny pumpkin into a votive.
  • Never carved a pumpkin before? Check out this tutorial at Good Housekeeping.
  • Even more ideas at Parents.com – I love the first one using small holes to spell out BOO! Here’s another link from Parents.com with 6 more ideas – check out the cute teddy bear!
  • I Never Grew Up has a really pretty idea involving craft paint, felt and scrap-booking paper.

Craving a pumpkin treat? Here are some yummy recipes I’ve been bookmarking, using either canned or fresh pumpkin:

  • Cooking With My Kid has a delicious looking recipe for pumpkin muffins. I’d love to make these with MM. (canned pumpkin)
  • Two more recipes from CWMK: Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal (fresh) and Pumpkin Spice Smoothies. (canned)
  • Live Laugh Eat has a yummy looking recipe for pumpkin crepes. (canned or fresh)
  • Serious Eats has a recipe for Pumpkin Cake in a Jar, combining my love of cake, pumpkins and food in jars. (canned or fresh)
  • Jen @ Our Daily Big Top just posted this recipe for Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies that look so yummy and so easy, you can bet I’ll be making these soon! (canned)
  • Skip Starbucks and make your own Pumpkin Spice Latte with this DIY recipe at The Kitchn. (canned)
  • Need more? Head to Endless Simmer for 100 pumpkin recipes. (fresh and canned)
  • And don’t forget the post at Rich Chef, Poor Chef for making a pumpkin pie from scratch! (fresh pumpkin obviously)

FIR '10: Reading Question #4 : Keeping Your Place

Fall Into Reading 2010 @ Callapidder DaysAs part of the Fall Into Reading Challenge, Katrina @ Callapidder Days has decided to post a weekly question related to the challenge.

She writes, “I thought it would be a great way to keep Fall Into Reading participants connected throughout the course of the challenge.”

Here’s the question for this week:

Do you ever dog-ear the corners of book pages to mark your spot? Or are you a faithful bookmark user, refusing to damage the pages of your books? OR do you have another way to keep track of where you are in a book?

I can’t say that I’ve never dog eared a page in a pinch, but as a general rule of thumb, I try not to. Like Katrina, although I know I own plenty of bookmarks, I can almost never seem to find one when I need one, but I try to keep bits and pieces of paper around that can work as a makeshift bookmark.

Receipts tend to be a common bookmarking device for me – especially the little papers they print at the library with your book’s due date. They serve dual purpose of keeping my place and reminding me how much longer I have until I need to return or renew the book.

I wish I was one of those people with the beautiful bookmarks, but you really shouldn’t bother buying them for me because they are destined to be lost forever in our home!

One thing I really like about my new Kindle is not having to worry about bookmarks anymore. The simplicity is just divine!

How about you? Do you use bookmarks or dog ear the pages? How do you keep track of your place in a book?