My great-grandma, Dixie Lee Gabbard, enjoyed writing poetry throughout her life. Many years ago, my grandma worked with others in the family to publish a collection of her poems in a little booklet, “By-Paths By Dixie Foot-log and Other Poems.” Before these were published in this booklet, some of the poems were read on a radio program on KGRH in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and one of them was published in a newspaper in California.
A couple of years ago, when I was processing a pumpkin for freezing the pulp for pies and pumpkin bread throughout the year, I decided I’d try planting some of the seeds since some had already begun to sprout inside the pumpkin.
I was disappointed when nothing sprouted after about 7 days and I stopped watering and checking the seeds. But around the 2 week mark, I visited my little plot of dirt and was astonished to see a great number of little seedlings pushing up the earth. I couldn’t bear to throw away any little plants, so I transplanted them, and took many little seedlings to church to share with my friends.
I kept a couple plants for myself, but they soon became too big for the area I had to work with and I had to give up on them. But, my friend shared her seedlings with her grandchildren, and they enjoyed great success with their plants.
The children were thrilled with the results of their efforts when the time came to process their pumpkins.
Many, many pies could be made with all the pumpkin they produced. They also had fun carving some.
I became known to the children as “Grandma’s Pumpkin Friend.”
This experience of multiplied fun with pumpkins reminded me of one of my great-grandma’s poems, “Growing.”
Last fall, a neighbor gave to us
A pumpkin from his field
When he had gathered in his crop
And counted up his yield.
Now when I cooked that pumpkin
I tossed both peel and seeds
Quite thoughtlessly and carelessly
Into a patch of weeds.
We gave the shell to children
To enjoy on Hallow e’en
And shared the pulp with neighbors
For tasty cuisine.
And so this fall imagine
Our delight and great surprise
To find three nice ripe pumpkins there
And each of ample size.
Here’s proof a friendly gesture,
Kind word, or even food
Can grow, produce and multiply
And do a world of good!
My great-grandma’s poem reminds me of these verses:
Galatians 6:9-10, NASB
Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.
This year, I’m trying to prepare for the busy cooking time of the year in advance. I noticed that my sister-in-law, Amy, from whom I received the original gluten-filled pumpkin bread recipe, often freezes breads in advance to make meal preparation easier during busy times. I’ve frozen our pumpkin bread recipe before, too, and was satisfied with the results, so this year, I’m beginning to prepare now for the busy months ahead. For the recipe for Amy’s Pumpkin Bread, see page 108 of A Recipe for Survival.
The bread remains moist even after freezing as long as very little air is in the packaging with the bread.
I started with my full-sized loaves and cut them into smaller portions that would work for a 1-2 day supply for Brody’s lunches.
I wrapped the bread in BPA-free press ‘n’ seal and then aluminum foil, and then sealed it in a zip-loc bag to ensure that the foil would not be unwrapped due to the shuffling that occurs in our freezer as we rummage for different items.
Now we can enjoy fresh-tasting bread over a longer period of time!