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When you live in northern Minnesota, fall is the time of year when all the work place into growing a vegetable garden is reflected in the rainbow of colors on your pantry shelves. Red tomato products, varying shades of green pickles, orange carrots, yellow wax beans, burgundy beets and more depending on what was grown in the garden. I prefer canning over freezing. There is no freezer burn to worry about and all the flavor and nutrition is captured in the jars.

I will forever be amazed at the fact that one small seed can produce an enormous amount of food. Seeds are not that expensive and the money saved by planting a garden can have a positive impact on the grocery bill in winter. When I look at my pantry in the fall I am secure knowing I could feed my family for six months without worry, no matter what.

Thanksgiving is usually the time for pumpkin pie, but I prefer the flavor of squash over pumpkin. Buttercup or hubbard squash make the best pies. After they are picked from the garden, I cut them in half and place them on a baking sheet. I bake them cut side down and remove the seeds after they are done, I find it simpler that way. Next I scrap the flesh from the peel and mash it. Then I process it in jars for winter use.

To make a squash pie all I have to to do is open a pint jar of my squash, add one can of sweetened condensed milk, two eggs, one tablespoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg and a dash of salt. I beat it all together and pour into a pie shell. Bake for about one hour at 350 degrees or until a knife inserted in the center of the pie comes out clean. Let it cool and serve with ice cream or whipped cream. It is the perfect ending to a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. My family calls that satisfaction. Guaranteed.

Find pots and pans to cook with at Http://www.pothaven.com www.pothaven.com

Everything I write about is from my life experiences. I have lived in the woods of northern Minnesota for 40 years. I raised 2 children here, along with 2 of my brothers. It is a excellent life and I would not change a thing about it. I know I could survive without all the modern conveniences of today if I had to.

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