The Book - Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper
I chose this book, not simply because it has charming illustrations and fits our theme, but because it teaches children that true friends are tolerant of each other. Preschoolers are hardly known for placing friendship above personal desires, but it's an important lesson even adults need to be reminded of time and again.
Cat, Squirrel, and Duck live harmoniously together in their pumpkin-shaped home. Their lives have a certain rhythm and each have their own role in making their favorite pumpkin soup. One day Duck wants to stir instead of add the salt. When a fight breaks out among the three friends, Duck runs away and the others decide to make the soup without his help. Of course, it doesn't taste the same and when Duck returns they make up and let him stir. He splashes soup everywhere, but the others don't mind. They realize that the friendship is more important.
The Menu - Pumpkin Soup and Pumpkin Cupcakes
Let's do dessert first! My big sister made these cupcakes for her kids last week and she swore they were "easy." She happens to be an artist and excels in the medium of frosting, so I knew our definitions of the word "easy" are very different. But I can honestly say that if I can make these, anyone can.
What you'll need:
- cake mix
- orange frosting (please do yourself a favor and make it from scratch)
- orange sugar sprinkles
- rainbow twizzlers
Pour the orange sugar into a small bowl. I used a large measuring cup, which worked really well. Dip the cupcakes into the sugar to completely cover the frosting.
To add a stem, snip a green twizzler into pieces and push into the top of the cupcake. You can trim "strings" of the twizzler and roll out with your fingers to be vines. Flatten a twizzler with a rolling pin and trim to make leaves.
For the final touch create indentations into the cupcake. Take the back of a knife and press lightly into the frosting, starting at the top and rocking towards the bottom. Now they're ready to enjoy! Who wouldn't want a piece of this scrumptious pumpkin patch?
Speaking of scrumptious... you have to try pumpkin soup. It's easy and so delicious.
- 1 baking pumpkin
- 1 apple
- 1 onion
- chicken stock
- 1/2 cup half & half
- 2 t curry
- 1 t cinnamon
- salt and pepper to taste
- To bake the pumpkin, cut it in half and scoop out the seeds. Place in a baking dish and cover with tin foil. Bake at 350 for 1 hour or until flesh is soft. Set aside.
- Core the apple, place in a microwaveable bowl, and cover with seran wrap. Microwave for three minutes. Set aside.
- Dice the onion and cook with a little butter in a pan until translucent and soft. Set aside.
- Scoop out the flesh of the pumpkin and apple and put into a blender. Add whatever apple juice may be in the bowl. Add the cooked onion. Turn the blender on and slowly add chicken stock until it becomes a smooth but thick consistency.
- Pour the pumpkin puree into a pot and warm over medium heat. Add the half & half, stir. Add chicken stock until the soup reaches desired consistency.
- Add seasonings to taste.
- Serve with a dollop of sour cream.