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Archive for September, 2013

Chickpea Pumpkin Curry

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

As we officially head into autumn, with the days and especially the nights starting to get cooler, I find my cooking naturally swinging away from the light and quick meals of the summer toward the hearty, rich, and sweetly spiced dishes of the new season.

I’ve already cooked up several batches of chili this month and more recently an 8×8 pan of apple crisp (from a bag of pick-your-own apples harvested with my Dad) briefly survived a couple days between the oven and my stomach. :)

Another meal that paid homage to the foods of fall was this impromptu chickpea pumpkin curry.

chickpea pumpkin curry

Near as I can recall, the ingredients, if not the exact measurements, were as follows:

  • 1 lb dried chickpeas, cooked
  • 1 15oz can pumpkin, unsweetened
  • 1 box Pomi chopped tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 green pepper (jalapeno, if you like)
  • curry powder, etc., to taste

Aside from the cooking time to ready the garbanzo beans, this was as quick as a summer meal and super easy. The pumpkin didn’t add much flavor of its own in comparison to the rest of the ingredients, but it did create a nice mouthfeel. Definitely a keeper.

Kid-Friendly Hikes in NH

Monday, September 2nd, 2013

While we haven’t done as much hiking this year as last, the good news is Scott’s daughter is now at an age (almost six) where she, and hence her mother, can join us on some of our adventures.

The trick is not the elevation, as kids like to climb things, but rather the length of the excursion. So it was that the first hike of the year saw us revisiting Pawtuckaway’s South Mountain, just via a different, steeper yet shorter (0.4 miles), back route known as Tower Trail.

Getting to the trailhead was an adventure in itself as we wound our way along a seemingly never-ending, very bumpy/rutted dirt road. At one point — which turned out to be a bit scary for the little one — we were practically driving thru a beaver-dammed marsh as the water came right up to the edge of the road on either side. Unfortunately, I have no pictures from this part of the trip, but here’s a sampling of the hike itself.

beautiful deep woods

Scott trailblazing the rocky slope

the firetower at the summit

one of the views from the tower

For the summer’s second hike, along the Boulder Field Trail, also at Pawtuckaway State Park, we stayed on more level ground and extended the time. We ended up walking out for about 45 minutes to an hour and then back the same way. The calculations were almost spot on as only the last five to ten minutes were tiring for the young’un.

after some time, you come upon a stunning body of water
complete with islands and kayakers

geese along the marshy edge
(word is great blue herons live here too)

my favorite pic (a cropped version is now my Facebook cover image)

The last picture is of one of the “glacial erratics… deposited when glacial ice melted near the end of the Ice Age.” If you look closely, you’ll see a climber about a third of the way up. The trail splits before this formation giving you the option to walk along the top. We vowed to go that way when we next make this trek.

Scott’s daughter had a blast both times and is excited to get in more hikes. Alas, the next one we have planned is Mount Sunapee with the guys, rather a more ambitious undertaking, but there will be more kid-friendly hiking in the future. If you’re looking to introduce your children to the joys of nature, the two here are a great place to start.

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