Chalk Painting Class at the Lebanon Antique Mall & General Store

We had a blast this afternoon at our chalk painting class held at the Lebanon Antique Mall & General Store.  These 4 ladies blew me away with their beautifully transformed pieces!  Awesome job ladies! Enjoy the “Before” and “After” photos.  Make sure to check back on Lebanon Antique Mall’s FB page where we’ll be posting when we’ll have our next chalk painting class!  If you are interested in purchasing Chalk-tique Paint Additive or Chalk-tique neutral or dark waxes, you can purchase them at the Lebanon Antique Mall or here on my website, by clicking on “Greytful Acres Storefront”.

before pics of sara and jessicas furniture after pics of sara and jessicas furniture before pics of grace and susans furniture after pics of susan and grace furniture

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How to Make Your Own Pumpkin Puree (and Recipe for Baking a Pumpkin Pie)

pumpkins

I was thrilled to harvest 5 little sugar pumpkins from our garden this year!

The easiest way to make your own pumpkin puree, I think, is to bake the pumpkins.  First, wash any dirt off the outside of your pumpkin(s).

 

 

 

 

Cleaning pumpkins-001Then, carefully cut the pumpkin in half.

After you’ve separated your pumpkin halves, use a spoon to scrape out all the seeds and stringy stuff.  If you’d like, you can save the seeds and dry them to plant in your garden next year. 🙂  (see how to prepare the seeds to dry and store them, later in this post).  When you’re done, you’ll have two nice clean pumpkin halves.

 

 

Baking pumpkins-001Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line a large pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper. (This is optional, but it saves a lot of time in clean up since the juices will run out and burn during baking.  Because of the juices, you’ll want to use a pan that has edges to it, not just a flat cookie sheet.)  Lay your pumpkin halves face down on the pan.  Put the pan in the oven, and bake for about 1 to 2 hours.  The actual time will vary depending on how thick your pumpkins are and how hot your oven actually gets.  You can check the pumpkins periodically, to see if they are tender by sticking a fork in them.  When they are soft, that’s when they are done.

 

pureed pumpkin

Once your baked pumpkin halves have cooled enough to hold, use a spoon to start scraping the soft pumpkin flesh off the skin and into a bowl.  (Don’t forget to compost the pumpkin skins, and pulp, or feed them to your goats! 🙂 )

 

 

Pumpkin Pie Recipe:

Ingredients:

2 Cups of pumpkin puree

2 Eggs

1 Cup packed light brown sugar

1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour

1/2 Teaspoon salt

2-1/2 Teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk

Directions:

pumpkin pie filling in mixing bowl-001In a large bowl, slightly beat eggs.  Add brown sugar, flour, salt, 2 cups of the pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and evaporated milk.  Stir well after each addition.

 

 

 

 

 

Pumpkin in pie shellsPour mixture into the unbaked pastry shell(s).  Place a strip of aluminum foil around the edge of the crust to prevent over-browning.

 

 

 

 

homemade pumpkin pie-004Bake 10 minutes at 450 degrees F, then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.  Bake an additional 40 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.  Remove the strip of foil about 20 minutes before the pie is done so that the edge of the crust will be a light golden brown.

 

Pumpkin PiesCool pie, and refrigerate overnight for best flavor.

 

 

 

 

Instructions for drying and storing the pumpkin seeds:

pumpkin seed in bowlTake the seeds that you removed from the pumpkin(s) and place them in a colander and rinse them under running water.  As the water runs over the pulp, start picking the seeds out from the pulp.  Rinse them in the running water as you do.

There will be more seeds inside the pumpkin than you will ever be able to plant, so once you have a good amount of seeds rinsed, look over them and choose the biggest seeds.  Plan on saving 3 times more pumpkin seeds than the number of plants you will be growing next year.  Larger seeds will have a better chance of germinating.

 

Pumpkin seeds on a trayPlace the rinsed seeds on a dry paper towel.  Make sure they are spaced out; otherwise, the seeds will stick together.

Place in a cool dry spot for one week.

Once the seeds are dry, store pumpkin seed for planting in an envelope.

Store them so that they will be ready to plant for next year.  Any seeds, pumpkin or otherwise, will store best if you keep them somewhere cold and dry.

One of the best places to store pumpkin seed for planting next year is in your refrigerator.  Put your pumpkin seed envelope in a plastic container.  Place several holes in the lid of the container to ensure that condensation does not build up on the inside.  Place the container with the seeds inside at the very back of the fridge.

Next year, when it comes time for planting pumpkin seeds, your pumpkin seeds will be ready to go!

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Handmade Lebanon and Nashville Subway Art Souvenir Towels

Lebanon Souvenir Towel  nashville towel

I am honored to have my custom designed Lebanon subway art towels, featuring Lebanon historic landmarks, on sale at the Lebanon Antique Mall & General Store.

For Middle TN folks who are interested in purchasing my towels, you can either purchase them at the antique mall or contact me through my website or Facebook page to arrange payment and pick up locally.  For those folks outside of Middle TN, you may purchase the towels through my website.  Click on the “Greytful Acres Storefront” tab to place your order.  A portion of the sales of my towels will be donated to 2 greyhound adoption groups that are near and dear to our hearts here in Tennessee.

I have also custom designed a Nashville subway art towel and at the current time, it can be purchased through my website or if you are local, you can contact me through my website or my Facebook page to arrange payment and pick up locally.

I am currently working on another subway art design towel and will post it as soon as the design is finished and printed. 🙂

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Our Lavender is Growing and Has Many Blossoms

I am thrilled to see my lavender plants doing so well! I think it’s safe to say a field of lavender will grow here at Greytful Acres!

lavender in bloom close-up  So many pretty blossoms!  Eeeek!

lavender in bloom close-up with little purple butterflies  The blossoms are attracting these tiny little purple butterflies (at the bottom left and center of the photo).

lavender in bloom - entire row  All plants are blossoming!

 

lavender in garden  This photo was taken when I first planted them on May 27th (they had a few blossoms when planted, but so many more have bloomed in a weeks time!) 🙂

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Lavender Has Been Planted!

lavender in garden          I got the lavender planted in the garden (I’m so thankful for my husband who came to my rescue to finishing digging the last couple of plants. Everywhere I dug, I hit rock, which explains why I have a couple of plants that are slightly askew, well more than slightly askew. ;-)). Experimenting with a few plants to see how well they grow here. I pray that next year, I’ll have at least a partial field of lavender at Greytful Acres!
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DIY Hay Feeder

My husband got an idea for a hay feeder on the goatspot.net forum. It’s made out of an 18 gallon Rubbermaid tote. The instructions: Cut out 2 openings towards the bottom of the tote that are 4×4 then filed and sanded the edges to be sure there were no sharp edges. Placed a piece of 2×4 inside the top flat area of the tote and screwed it into the stall boards at a good height that the goats can reach it. Took another piece of 2×6 and placed under the tote to give it extra resting support. Cut 2 pieces of scrap wood that fit below the 2×4 inside the tote and rest at the front bottom of the tote, laying at an angle to help direct the hay toward the openings. Place the lid on top to seal the tote (important step if you’re keeping it outside your barn–it will help keep rain out of it). Dave constructed an angled board to mount above the tote (hinged to the stall, and has a hook and chain to keep it raised while refilling the tote with hay). He constructed the angled board to deter the goats from jumping on top of the tote and possibly knocking it off. (I will be posting a hilarious video of Esmeralda jumping up on the angled board and sliding off. We are seeing how clever these little goats are. Smart idea Dave!)

Scarlet & Esmeralda eating from hay feederinside hay feeder

slanted board over top of hay feederside view of hay feeder

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The Soil is Tilled!

Dwayne, from Broken Arrow Farms, came and tilled our garden plot for us this evening.  What a blessing to have someone with a tiller implement on his tractor do this for us.  This saved us so much time, and back-breaking work!  Now to get the vegetable and herb seeds/plants in the ground!

Garden plot staked out-2 Dwayne from Broken Arrow Farms with Kobota tractor

Dwayne getting ready to till the garden Garden tilled

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