Monday, September 27, 2010

Pumpkin Pie Bars ~ Competitive Pumpkin Picking!

As we turn the corner my palms get sweaty. The kids carry on in the back of the car...their aloofness to the upcoming event irritates me. Don't they understand we're building a family tradition? The crowded parking lot elicits panic...we should have gotten here early!

There's a vast sea of orange and green. There are people everywhere! They're selecting pumpkins and placing them in wagons. I'm contemplating ownership rights.  I hardly think a wagon ride constitutes a pumpkin being off the market...please. 

I check my pockets one last time ensuring I still have my cash. No credit cards accepted. (One year we learned THAT the hard way.) The air smells of gourds and dirt. Now the kids are excited!  It's exhilarating to be alive!

Along with picking up the Thanksgiving bird and the spiritual event that is selecting our tree...the annual trip to the pumpkin farm ranks up there with those outings that transform me from... "loving wife and mother of two"...into a competitive, crazed lunatic who sees "little Sally Smith"  - over there - as my greatest competition!

I morph into all of the following...

THE PESSIMIST: I'm sure the best ones are already gone!

THE OPTIMIST: But the weather has been dry, so there should be a bounty of beauties!

THE SCOUTER: What's that... a birthday party?! There must be 15 kids...that's 30 adults! Could equate to 45 pumpkins! Good God people that's pumpkin picking gluttony!

THE PLANNER: OK family...everyone split up and take a corner of the field... gather the best pumpkins you can find and meet back here!

THE CHECK AND BALANCER: Oh wait, you're 4 and you're only 2... change of plans...boys go one way, girls go the other!

THE OPTIMIZER: If we're forced to double up (because of our age) we're covering half the amount of ground - we must be twice as efficient!

THE MOTIVATORSize...shape...carving ALL matters....remain focused and stay the course!  Potty breaks are for the weak!

THE JUDGE: Out. Out. In. Really, who picked this one...Out! In. In. Ugh!

In the end we all get our favorite pumpkins. My husband's... tall, skinny, symmetrical. Mine... large, round, plump. My daughter's... medium, lopsided, long curly stem. My gourd in one hand, fist of dirt in the other. An instant nuclear pumpkin family whom we're emotionally attached to and can't wait to bring home to display on our porch... 

And there...on the porch... the chosen ones will sit.... until we cut them open to toast their seeds and roast their flavorful innards!  After all...what's Halloween....without a little gore!

(This is just the beginning of my Halloween posts...I can't control myself...I love this time of year!)
I came across these Pumpkin Pie Bars on a fellow food bloggers site. Jennifurla at Indigo's Sugar Spectrum featured them a few weeks ago and I was sold at first glance!  If you haven't already checked out her so because it's wonderful!

This fun spin on the classic pumpkin pie, is simple to make (even for a self proclaimed non-baker) and amazingly delicious! Make them this season for sure!
Pumpkin Pie Bars
via the blog Indigo's Sugar Spectrum

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
2 eggs
3/4 cup white sugar
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves


1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

2.In a medium bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Mix in flour. Fold in oats. Press into a 9x13 inch baking dish.

3.Bake in preheated oven 15 minutes, until set.

4.In a large bowl, beat eggs with white sugar. Beat in pumpkin and evaporated milk. Mix in salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Pour over baked crust.

5.Bake in preheated oven 20 minutes (mine set at 30 minutes), until set. Let cool before cutting into squares.


chow and chatter said...

oh wow these look awesome post a pic of the pumpkins !

Courtney said...

This post was amazing! I love all the "characters" you turned into - I can relate to just about all of them! :)

Miss Meat and Potatoes said...

You are freaking hilarious. I don't have kids but I can completely picture having them and wanting the perfect pumpkin picking outing with this post. Too funny and TRUE. And anything with pumpkin is more than fine by me. I might have licked the screen. Thanks for sharing!

Katerina said...

Apart from the first anxious part, I am sure you had a great time there and your bars look like the perfect treat. They are sure worth all the trouble you got in.

The Food Hound said...

Haha, I love it! Pumpkin picking as an extreme sport, with strategy and everything! I'm the same with Christmas trees. We bring the hounds, who scare everyone away from the one I want :) These look delicious-- I'm having a hard time finding canned pumpkin this year, but I haven't checked in a few weeks so maybe my luck will improve!!

Unknown said...

This post made me LOL, and I am loving your picture with the cinnamon sprinkle. Lovely, thanks for sharing my blog too!

Simply Life said...

wow, I'm drooling over these!...

Andrea the Kitchen Witch said...

We can never go pumpking picking together, it'd end in a fist fight I'm sure LOL!! I'm the SAME way :) Pumpkin picking is so much fun, I'm glad you all had a blast!

The bars look amazing!!! I want them now. I'd go make them now but silly me forgot evap milk, and everyone knows that pumpkin dishes need evap milk! To the store!

Unknown said...

Thanks all, they're SO GOOD with coffee!

Andrea, love the fist fight! Totally true! LOL!!!!!

Clint said...

You are quite ill, you, scratch that...if that were true it would mean I would be, too. Hmmm. Loved your descriptions of your mental machinations! Also, I thought I didn't care for anything pumpkinny---until I saw that pumpkin bar pic and recipe. Yummmmy.

Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen said...

We've picked out our own Christmas tree, but we've never been to a pumpkin farm. How fun!

Your pumpkin pie bars are gorgeous.

Nirmala said...

These look great. I love pumpkin especially in pies.

blackbookkitchendiaries said...

omg! these look to die for:) great recipe. thank you for sharing.

Aunt Lollie said...

These look wonderful!
I think i'll have to find time to try them out.

laurie said...

I miss those days! {empty nest} We always had so much fun picking out our pumpkins and carving them. I work at an elementary school, so I still get in on some fun fall activities,though.

The pumpkin bars look really good. My hubby was just asking me to make his fave ones with the cream cheese frosting. I may try a pan of these,too!