Smoked Pumpkin Soup And Ginger Rolls


1 large onion (I used white), diced

2-4TB olive oil

6-8 cloves of garlic, chopped

salt to taste

pepper to taste

1-32 ounce container of chicken stock

1-32 ounce container of vegetable stock

4+ cups of smoked pumpkin*

2 pre-cooked sweet potatoes (you can bake them–I zapped these in the microwave due to time), skins removed

1 1/2 cups half and half

1 TB curry powder

1/2 TB turmeric powder

1 TB ginger

1/2 tsp cardamom

1 tsp Chinese Five Spice


To prepare:

Add diced onion and olive oil to your soup pot.  Add salt to taste. Saute until the onion becomes translucent.  Add chopped garlic.  Continue to saute until everything turns brown and fragrant.

Add about a cup or so of stock (either one) and use that to deglaze the pot.  Scrape the sides and the bottom of the pot to incorporate all the yummy brown bits into the soup.

Add the rest of the stock.  Both containers.

Add the insides of the sweet potatoes and the pumpkin.

Add all your herbs and spices, including more salt.

Bring to a boil and allow to simmer.  I start with medium-high heat.  Once it comes to a boil, I turn it down to medium heat and allow it to go.

Stir as often as you feel called.  Beware of splashing soup.

After twenty to thirty minutes, the pumpkin and potato should be breaking down softening and becoming more soupy than structured.

Turn the heat down to low, as low as you can.  Wait for the bubbling to stop.  Puree all of the soup.  I used an immersion mixer.  Everything should break down.  You may have some chunks, but as long as they are small, it’s not an issue.  Puree more if you want to be rid of all chunks, or leave more chunks, as you like.

Leave the heat on low.  This is when my soup began to spit back at me, so be careful.

Carefully add the half and half.  Stir to incorporate.  Add salt or whatever other seasoning you need to get the soup where you want it.

I let that cook on low for about fifteen more minutes.

Serve in a bowl, topped with pumpkin seeds.

We also served ginger rolls** with our meal.


*How to smoke a pumpkin.

We ran into this by accident.  We were smoking chicken and corn on the cob  on the grill one evening recently.  We had bought a very large pumpkin the week before…and I was dreading baking it in the oven because it was so hot outside.  It hit me that the coals from the grill stayed hot a long time once our dinner was taken off.  So, I chopped the pumpkin in half, scooped out all the guts, and put the pumpkin on the grill.  I put the pieces skin side down.

After an hour I went back to check on it.  The pumpkin was cooking nicely, but had a long way to go before it was done.  I pierced one single hole in the bottom of both pieces of pumpkin to allow the collected fluid to drain off slowly without putting out the fire.

An hour after that, the pumpkin was soft all over, inside and out…and smoked (with mesquite chips) to perfection.

I removed all the skin once the pumpkin had cooled.  I put it in gallon storage bags and used it as needed.



**Ginger Rolls

Please note, I made the dough in my bread machine and baked it in the oven.


1 1/2 cups room temperature water

2 TB butter

1/4 cup molasses

1 tsp lemon extract

4 cups flour

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 TB ginger

1/2 tsp Chinese 5 spice

2 tsp yeast (dry)

I put everything into my bread machine, set it to dough cycle and let it go.

After the dough was done, I pulled it out of the machine.  I put it on a floured surface and kneaded it down.  I formed it into a long but thick tube.  I cut this into six equal (ish) pieces.  I formed these into small loaves and set them on a greased baking sheet.  I covered them with a damp towel and let them rise for 65+ minutes, until doubled.

I preheated the oven to 350 degrees and baked them for about 25-30 minutes.  Bake until they sound hollow when tapped.





Check-In For 29 Faces

I am still working through the 29 Faces challenge offered by Ayala Art.

Here are my sketches from this past week:

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WIP #29faces

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WIP #29faces

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WIP #29faces

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WIP #29faces from Sun night

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WIP found a 2nd sheet #29faces

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WIP hard to see the charcoal scribble yet… #29faces

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These are numbers twenty-six through…thirty-seven.

So the challenge is complete–but I really like this quick face practice every day…and I am set to catch up on all the previous Magic Mushroom prompts I haven’t sketched out yet…I plan on doing that this week…probably this week-end while the family is getting out all the outside Halloween decorations and setting those up.  We’ve had to curtail the toddler for about two months now….that’s how long he’s been asking, this time around, to have his Halloween stuff out in the front yard….that’s my boy…

Yes, I will continue to sketch the rest of this month…and probably longer…there will be a final 29 Faces post once the month is over.  After that, we’ll have to see how long it takes before I add color to everything.


Halloween Theme Announcement

Last year, my daughter asked me to give her a prompt a day during October to help get her creative juices flowing.

We posted a prompt a day on our facebook page (since defunct–I am limiting my use of facebook to the extreme and plan to continue to do so).  You can download those prompts here, along with some other ones, for free, right here on our family website.

We decided, in addition to keeping up the Sisters In The Shadows annual tradition, we should keep having the Halloween prompt a day thing going on.

Now, we may post some of our prompt work on Sisters, but don’t count on it.  We may post prompt work to our individual blogs, but, again, we never promise.

However, every day in October, I will post a prompt here on this blog, for your edification.

Our theme this year, chosen by my youngest, is Monsters!


Feel free to interpret these prompts in any manner that best appeals to you: art, writing, poetry, baking, macrame, whatever.

We are very open and accepting around here.

We can’t wait to see what bubbles up from the cauldron of your imagination.

Fun time starts next Saturday.  We hope you will join us for the dance.


Happy Autumnal Equinox…

As this is Harvest Time…I seek to draw in what I have put out for so long…things I have released…things that have grown…things that I need to keep tight within once more in order for myself to grow and evolve…

Now is the time for the great reveal…


She’s not very ‘garnet’, is she…or maybe she is and my perspective is skewed …

She is painted on a seven inch by fourteen inch canvas.

She knows why she is here and so do I.  For now, that is enough.

I am sure you’ll hear more about her as the days go by,