Embracing Fall: Pumpkin-patching at Miller Farms

Today, on a glorious Virginia fall day (44 at 6:30 a.m., 79 and sunny at 1:00 p.m.), we headed over to Miller Farms for their annual homeschool pumpkin patch visit. I love this annual tradition — dh usually has the day off and can come with … we see folks we ONLY see at this event … and we’re outside playing in the fresh air for a couple hours and have something to say for it when we’re done, after a visit to the Farmers’ Market and Gift Shop (of course).

As you can see, the kids had a successful time:

Which one should I choose?

The girls are getting so grown-up looking!

Hambone's pumpkin looks like a skull ... which he thought was REALLY cool!

And this little doll-baby is such a handsome boy that I couldn’t resist taking a picture of him. He was having great fun with one of the older boys … here he is as PumpkinHead:
One of our favorite things to do at Miller Farms (well, ok it’s probably MY favorite thing to do) is check out the farmer’s market… they carry the best ground sausage, fresh produce and treats! I picked up all the ingredients for our favorite fall recipe:
• 3 medium acorn squash
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 1 pound bulk pork sausage
• 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
• 3 med apples, unpeeled but diced small
• 3 Tbsp butter
Cut squash in half lengthwise, and remove seeds; sprinkle with salt. Place cut side down in a shallow baking dish, and add 1/2 inch boiling water. Bake, uncovered, at 375 for 35 minutes; drain. Cook sausage in a large skillet over medium heat until browned, stirring to crumble meat. Remove from heat; drain. Mix brown sugar, butter and apples together and add to sausage. Spoon sausage mix into squash halves. Bake uncovered, at 350 for 25 minutes or until tender.

Tips: A couple of tips:
1. to cut the acorn squash, pierce the uncut squash a few times with a fork, place on a microwavable plate, micro at hi for 2 min. This will soften the hide and make it easier to cut
2. my kids LOVE this recipe (and normally hate squash) … they say the only way to eat this is to scoop the squash, apples and squash out of the shell and mash it all up together. That way, you “don’t taste the squash”!

How do you embrace Fall and the glorious weather …

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