Saturday, October 16, 2010

Learn to Be Frugal or How to Slaughter a Pumpkin

My mother was very careful with money.   I was young, but I knew that she did not spend money foolishly.  Her sister said she could stretch a dollar until it snapped.  I did not learn that lesson from her.  I wish I had. 

Frugal does not mean cheap.  Frugal means you use goods or resources to the fullest measure.  You don't waste it.  I did learn that part from her.

This week I was frugal.  My church participated in the Pumpkin Patch.  To engage in an activity to extend the money making potential of the Pumpkin Patch, the youth department hosted a bake sale.  That is being frugal:  Use the activity to the best advantage. 

It so happened that the local grocery store did not have any canned pumpkin.  I thought it would be nice to have pumpkin pie and pumpkin bread, but because of a bad crop last year, they had run out of pumpkin.  The obvious solution to this dilemma was to cook the pumpkins from the Pumpkin Patch.  I did it.

I bought a small pumpkin.  They call them pie pumpkins.  Now if you have never slaughtered your own pumpkin, take it from me, it is an experience.  I had pumpkin blood and guts all over me, the cabinet, and the floor.  I baked the pumpkin, per instructions from the Internet, on a cookie sheet with a little water to prevent it from burning at 350 degrees for about an hour--maybe not that long.  I don't know.  It was soft and squishy.  I scooped the pulp from the peel.  It was perfect; it made six cups of pumpkin. 

The recipe called for 2 cups of pumpkin pulp.  I had bought 2 pie crusts. Obviously I had to make three pies.  Frugal, remember?  The problem then was when I adjusted the recipe to triple it, God blessed it, and I still had filling left after I filled three crusts.  I bought more crusts.  I made five pumpkin pies. 

I later did it all again and made pumpkin bread.  It did the same thing.  Instead of the two loaves I intended to make, I ended up with four.  And I roasted the seeds.

I truly hope my frugality helps the youth make money for their trips and activities.  And I have learned a lesson that I don't think I will soon forget:  the lesson of frugality.

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