9 Ways to Celebrate Pumpkin Season

dad-and-son-picking-a-pumpkin

If you’ve been dreaming about fall since July, then now is the time to rejoice! Bring out your best scarves, jump into a big pile of leaves, and, most importantly, pick out the roundest pumpkins from the harvest. Though there are so many reasons to love fall, the best reason might be that it’s pumpkin season! There’s no greater way to celebrate the season than with pumpkin recipes, crafts and carving. Here are 9 ways to help you celebrate pumpkin season in all it’s glory.

 

3 Pumpkin Recipes

Pumpkin Waffle

  1. Pumpkin Waffles

These pumpkin waffles will definitely be the first to go at any party – so be prepared! Pumpkin waffles are delicious in the morning with butter and warm syrup, but don’t be afraid to make them for a fun dessert paired with whip cream and ice cream (Yup, they are THAT good)!

Ingredients & Directions

  • Plug in your waffle iron to begin heating it up!
  • In a large mixing bowl add and mix till smooth:
    • ½ coconut oil
    • ½ cup of sugar
    • ½ cup of packed brown sugar
    • 15 ounces of pure pumpkin puree
    • 2 eggs (separated- only the yolks, but save the whites till later)
    • ½ cup whole milk
  • When smooth, add in:
    • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice extract
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Grab another bowl and add in:
    • 1 ½ cups of all purpose flour
    • 1 tablespoon of baking powder
    • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Combine the flour bowl into the pumpkin bowl until they are fully combined
  • With an electric mixer, mix the egg whites of the 2 eggs until fluffy. Then, with caution, add the egg whites into the batter
  • Put the appropriate amount of batter onto the waffle iron and cook until ready

Pair your waffles with pecans, ice cream or any other favorite toppings for a delicious treat.

Pumpkin Pie Crescents

  1. Pumpkin Pie Crescents

Make this fun and easy snack with friends or kids for a good time. It’s a creatively delicious way to make bite-sized pumpkin pies!

Ingredients & Directions

  • Turn the oven on and preheat it to 375 degrees!
  • In a bowl, blend:
    • ½ cup of canned pumpkin filling
    • ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
    • 1 egg yolk
  • Open up:
    • 1 roll of Pillsbury crescent rolls
  • Unwrap one roll and place a teaspoon of the blended pumpkin filling into the roll
  • Roll the dough from the larger side to the smaller side; make sure to squeeze the sides of the roll to make sure the filling stays in. Repeat this step till all the rolls are filled
  • Place the filled rolls on parchment paper in a pan
  • Place the pan in the heated oven for 10-12 minutes
  • Mix the glaze ingredients together:
    • ½ cup of powdered sugar
    • 1 tablespoon of pure maple syrup
    • ½ -1 tablespoon of milk
  • Place glaze in a baggy. Let crescents cool and then drizzle the glaze over the finished crescents

Bring this to any start-of-fall bash and it will for sure be the star of the party!

 

Pumpkin Alfredo

  1. Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce

Before you immediately disregard this recipe, just remember that pumpkin doesn’t have to be a breakfast or dessert food! Pumpkin is so versatile that it can serve as a great base in any main meal… So give a traditional dish an autumn spin and see what you think. It doesn’t hurt that it’s healthier than regular alfredo sauce too!

Ingredients & Directions

  • In a pot, cook:
    • 250g (8oz) of fettuccine pasta (or you favorite pasta of choice) per the pasta’s instructions
    • Drain the pasta but keep 1-2 cups of the pasta water on hand
  • During this, heat a pan to low/medium for about a minute and throw in:
    • 4 minced garlic cloves
    • 6 tablespoons of butter
  • In the same pan, add:
    • ½ cup of heavy cream
    • 6 tablespoons of parmigiano reggiano
    • 1 cup pumpkin puree
    • Pinch of nutmeg
    • Salt and pepper for seasoning
  • Add enough of that pasta water you saved to make the sauce the perfect amount of creamy
  • Finally, add the drained pasta to the pan and cook it in the sauce for a minute – until the sauce becomes smooth

Serve your delicious pumpkin alfredo dish as a comforting fall meal and watch your guests enjoy!

 

 

3 Pumpkin Decor/Crafts

Pumpkin Wreath

  1. Wreath

Pumpkin wreaths are the ultimate stamp of fall and a great accent to any home. They are easy to make and fun to personalize. The basis for every wreath is a basic stick wreath. Once you have the stick wreath, grab the items you want on your wreath. For a pumpkin themed wreath, you’ll need to grab mini faux pumpkins first. Get traditional orange pumpkins, add in some yellow or burnt orange ones, or even get all white pumpkins – this is where you can really show off your creativity and personalize the wreath to your own style. Buy enough pumpkins to make your stick wreath look full, but not overflowing with pumpkins. Leave some space in between the pumpkins for your own touch – maybe pick up some fall leaves, beaded bunches, twigs/feathers, even some butterfly accents to make your wreath look full and beautiful! Add all these to the stick wreath with glue or just intertwine the decor with the stick wreath to make sure it stays in. Then place it on your door, over the fireplace, or anywhere in your home for the perfect touch of fall.

 

Candle in Pumpkin DIY

  1. Candle Holders

Not only could these be a great addition to your table’s centerpiece – it could really be your table’s centerpiece with how classy and elegant they look! Again, these can be molded to your own style depending on what pumpkins you choose and how you decorate them. You’ll want to pick a faux pumpkin and your candle or candle holder. Trace the circumference of your candle on the top of your faux pumpkin with a pencil, and cut the circle out with a box or precision knife. Slide the candle/candle holder into the hole – it should be a snug fit so the candle doesn’t fully go into the pumpkin, but has the illusion that it’s sitting on top of the pumpkin. If this is not the case and it goes fully into the pumpkin, then place a block or something inside the pumpkin to prop the candle up. Lastly, put some final embellishments around the candle like leaves and/or stick garland to spice it up!

 

Pumpkin Coolers

  1. Party Cooler

Invite friends and family over for a fun fall bash to show off this amazingly clever and cute pumpkin party cooler! It’s so easy you’ll be wondering why you haven’t been doing it sooner. All you need is a pumpkin, a glass bowl, ice, and all your favorite holiday drinks! Get a large pumpkin that will be able to fit your glass bowl filled with drinks. In a straight line, cut the top third off of your pumpkin and completely remove all the guts and seeds from it. Then, fit the glass bowl inside the pumpkin and trim whatever is needed to make the bowl fit. Fill it with ice and drinks for the whole party – cheers to this easy holiday hit!

 

 

3 Pumpkin Carving Tips

 

Pumpkin Carving

 

  1. Cut from the Bottom

If you’re cutting pumpkins from the top, you’ve been doing it wrong…or at least making it much, much harder for yourself. The trick is to cut a circle out of the bottom of the pumpkin instead of the top. This makes the pumpkin look much better, and it makes it much easier to put a candle in it. Instead of dropping a candle into the pumpkin and hoping it doesn’t fall over, all you have to do is place the pumpkin over the candle. Voila – a perfect Halloween jack-o-lantern!

 

Pumpkin Cookie Cutter

  1.  Cookie Cutter Cheat

Instead of having to fumble with cutting knives around your kids, try using cookie cutters! Pick out your favorite cookie cutter design, a hammer, and your pumpkins. All you have to do is hold the cookie cutter up to the pumpkin in the location that you want and hammer in the sides. Do this until the cookie cutter has punctured the full width of the pumpkin’s wall. If needed, you can always clean up the sides with a small cutting knife for precision. This cheat allows you to have cute fun shapes that are cut perfectly! Everyone will ask how you did it – and it can just be your little secret!

 

  1. Preserve the Life of Your Pumpkin

Carving pumpkins for your doorstep is a definite must for this season – there’s no question about it! But it can seem off putting when you think ahead to the clean up. If you think that the mushy pumpkin you’ll have to scoop off the ground and into the trash is inevitable – think again! There’s a secret to preserving your pumpkins for longer and avoiding that mushy mess. All you have to do is wash your pumpkins! Once you’ve carved your pumpkins, run cold water over and inside your pumpkin in the sink. If you are feeling really ambitious, try placing your pumpkin in a tub of ice overnight to hydrate it even more. For the most important step, get some petroleum jelly and line the edges of your carvings with it. This will preserve and hydrate the exposed pumpkin – making it last even longer to avoid the messy clean-up.

 

For all the pumpkin necessities you’ve been waiting to use… wait no longer! Head to your local Big R store to pick up all the items you need to celebrate fall and pumpkin season.

About Big R

Bill and Pat Crabtree originated the Illinois Big R Stores in 1964. The first store opened in Watseka, Illinois. To date 18 stores have been opened in central Illinois and northern Indiana.

We have 11 stores in Illinois including Watseka, Gibson City, Danville, Tilton, Pontiac, Morris, Washington, Rochelle, Pekin, Homer Glen and McHenry. Our 7 Indiana stores include Warsaw, Wabash, Crawfordsville, Michigan City, Elkhart, Marion and Rochester. We recently expanded to Northwest Ohio, adding stores in Lima and Findlay (Coming Soon).

The offices and warehouses for Big R remain in Watseka, IL. Joining the company in 1973, Jerry Gibbs now provides family leadership for the company. New generations of the Crabtree family continue to participate in the business.

Farm and Ranch store owners in the western states started the Big R brand name; they chose the name “Big R” to convey the “Ranch” identity. The Big R group is now comprised of 12 independent owners with a growing 75 + stores throughout the U.S. They all are members of Mid-States Distributing Company of St. Paul, MN. The Mid-States Coop has over 600 stores throughout the United States and Canada.