Pumpkin Patch Visit with Organic Pumpkin Ice Cream Recipe

From Lisa Barnes

I love visiting a pumpkin patch this time of year. Not the kind with a jumpy and a row of look alike pumpkins. But a real patch at a working farm with tractors, hay rides, animals, u-pick pumpkins, potato digging (my kids with their prizes), hay maze, cow milking and every variety of pumpkin and squash imaginable.

This is, of course, a fun Fall ritual, but also a great teaching opportunity to show your kids (especially those from the city) how a farm works.  We know how precious small farms are to our nation’s communities.  At this year’s Slow Food Nation event there was a wake-up call to encourage more to become involved in farming and teaching, and how vital it is for our food safety, health, environment and economy.  On the farm kids can see the balance and relationship of people, land and animal (and also appreciate how hard the people and animals work).

Across the nation there are many farms as well as farmer’s markets that have special pumpkin and harvest activities that are great for families with curious children. Besides pumpkins, autumn is also the time to find Asian pears, apples, persimmons, pomegranates, grapes, and winter squashes (butternut, acorn). To find a pumpkin patch and/or farmer’s market in your area go to LocalHarvest.

My family tradition for the past three years is to head to Peter’s Pumpkin Patch at Spring Hill Cheese Goat Creamery in Petaluma, California.  Most years we have visiting grandparents with us to share the experience as well.  Last year my son (4 at the time) asked his grandma where the “gutters” were, when approaching a milking cow.  This year my daughter (age 2) cried when we went to leave.  We asked her what was troubling her and she said she needed to see Jessie again (the same milking cow).  A big favorite activity, after getting lost in the hay maze, but before taking a wheelbarrow into the pumpkin field is eating homemade ice cream.  Not just any ice cream, but pumpkin ice cream.  This is one of my all-time favorite tastes.  While my version doesn’t do the creamery justice, I’ve included my recipe below.

Organic Pumpkin Ice Cream Recipe

Makes 1 quart

Sweet Cream Base:

2 cups organic heavy cream
1 cup organic milk
2 cage free organic eggs
3/4 cups sugar

Whisk eggs in mixing bowl.  Whisk in sugar, a little at a time until blended.  Whisk in cream and milk.

Ice Cream:

1 cup canned organic pumpkin
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg

Pour 1/2 sweet cream base into a second bowl.  Mix in pumpkin until blended well.  Stir in cinnamon and nutmeg.  Add remaining sweet cream base.

Place mixture into ice cream maker and freeze per manusfacturer’s directions.
See also LIsa’s Happy HallowGreen – Roasted Organic Pumpkin Seeds Recipe
Lisa Barnes is author of The Petit Appetit Cookbook: Easy, Organic Recipes to Nurture Your Baby and Toddler, Williams-Sonoma: Cooking For Baby, and lives in Sausalito, California.
Image Credit: Soybeans © Norman Chan | Dreamstime.com

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