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Monday, September 28, 2015

My edible decorating for fall

Fall is a fabulous time of year for edible decorating. Many produce items in fall are also long-keepers, so can remain unrefrigerated for a week or more. In addition, in fall, our homes are often cooler than they have been for months, extending produce life even further. And the colors and shapes of fall fruits and vegetables have visual interest.

As a person living a frugal lifestyle, edible decorating has a special appeal -- the decorations don't get tossed in the trash or need to be stored until next year, but they become part of the menu in future weeks.

For our gathering on Sunday, I had two places in the house where I wanted a little edible decoration -- the dining room table,

and a side table in the family room.

I didn't wash the squash and pumpkins, but used a slightly damp rag to wipe off any dirt. Soaking or washing in water could lead to premature mold development, if moisture settles into the crevices next to the stem. And as we'll be eating these over a period of a month, I didn't want to risk losing any to mold.

More on our gathering, later this week.


Live and Learn said...

Lovely. I'll be interested to hear how you eat the little, decorative gourds.

Lili said...

Good morning, live and learn!
They are all squash, delicata, baby blue hubbard, kuri, golden nugget, acorn, and two others whose names escape me right now. I'll probably roast most of them, simply, as is, as that's simplest for me, and the way we love our squash.

Cat said...

Very pretty! Do I spy Delicata Squash amongst the others?

Lili said...

Hi Cat,
Yep! I love delicata! Do you have a favorite way to prepare that one?

Laura said...

I love roasted squash, especially acorn squash. We prepare it quite simply just sliced with olive oil, salt and pepper. I can buy a small amount for decoration, but have to use them up in a couple of weeks. They keep well, all things considered, for this climate, but still need don't last as long as they would up north. I used to buy pumpkins for the porch that we'd then use for carving, but they tend to rot (being outside in the damp and heat) so now I use the fake ones. They have the benefit of lasting year after year, at least!

Lili said...

Hi Laura,
I use a fake pumpkin on the porch, too. For us, the problem is squirrels. With real pumpkins, the squirrels come along and take a few bites, here and there. They don't bother the fake ones, though!

Anonymous said...

That is a great idea, actually I did not know you could eat gourds! It never dawned on me that they were forms of squash. I usually get a real pumpkin & our squirrels don't seem to bother it, now corn stalks that is another story, they have a great time with those. Our squirrels are a tad bit spoiled as our neighbor has bird feeders up that they raid so they are always in our yard but we have come to enjoy watching them. Yes we are easily entertained!

Lili said...

Hi Rhonda,
All of those in the pictures are squash, and not gourds. There are a few edible gourds, but mostly what you see as gourds in the markets are for ornamental purposes.

Oh, your neighbor has what we call "squirrel feeders"!

Anonymous said...

When I was in Guatemala many years ago, we at some type of squash just plain sauteed and they were good. I'm think patty pan. I thought at first they were gourds but I know that most gourds are inedible. I have never found those tiny little squash here in West Michigan. I wonder if anyone knows what the name is of what I ate. I know they were quartered and then sauteed but I didn't see any seeds in them.


Lili said...

Hi Alice,
were the insides of that squash white or yellow-orange? I grow patty pan summer squash. The insides are white and the skin edible. They look a bit like flying saucers in shape. I I also quarter and saute them, skin on. Very delicious!

Kris said...

My hubby shakes his head when I steal his farm market squash and use it to decorate my front porch--but now I know I'm not the only one who uses them for dual purposes! :)

Anonymous said...

I love love,love your decor. I love fall I am hoping it cools off soon it is still almost 90. Maybe by the end of October :) Lili do you know how to remove white deodorant stains from under arms on black or dark clothing?
Thank You,

Lili said...

Hi Kris,
Ha! Stealing hubby's squash! Squash and pumpkins are the perfect decor item for fall, IMO! And then later, they make a nice addition to the menu -- pumpkin bread or soup or roasted, as is! Yum! I'm hungry for fall foods these days.

Belinda said...

They look beautiful, Lili. I love this time of year and am looking forward to the cooler weather so much.

Lili said...

Hi Belinda,
I love it, too! The cool nights make for better sleeping, and the days are so crisp and air feels so clean.

Lili said...

Hi Patti,
That IS very warm! At least knowing it will cool down in a few weeks must give you some psychological relief.

If the deodorant stains are set-in ones, there are a variety of household product to try. First of all, if it's silk, take it to a dry cleaner. Most home remedies will weaken silk fibers. If the fabric is not silk --
Try wetting the stained portion of the fabric with white vinegar. Allow to sit. Then use am old toothbrush to gently scrub at any build-up. Place the garment in a tub of warm water with detergent added, and allow to sit overnight. Then launder in cold or warm water (no hot), but hang dry.

If the stain remains, try sprinkling the fabric with baking soda, then white vinegar. Scrub again with the toothbrush. Sprinkle with more vinegar and baking soda. It will foam up and help loosen some of the deodorant build-up. Launder, and hang dry.

If the fabric is still showing heavy staining, and it is a fairly durable fabric, try a salt scrub. Wet the fabric, sprinkle with salt and allow to sit for 30 minutes, scrub it with the toothbrush. Launder, but air-dry. If you allow the shirt/dress to air dry after laundering each time, you can continue to work on the stain, without further setting it.

If it's a fresh stain (like when you'r pulling a shirt over your head and the deodorant streaks onto the fabric) take an old pair of pantyhose, scrunch it up, and gently wipe away the deodorant, in light, circular motions. It works like an eraser.

Good luck, Patti! Sometimes it just takes a lot of tries, getting less and less noticeable each time.

Cat said...

Just roasted and topped with some butter and maybe cinnamon.

Lili said...

Yum! Sounds delicious! I'll be roasting squash a little later this week. I love the caramelization from roasting.

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