Simple Crock Pot Pumpkin Butter – My Ode to Snow

I'm too sure what this sign says.

I’m not too sure what this sign says.

Being a native California girl I am amazed, still, that I live in the mountains where snow is imminent.  I love it.  I love seasonal changes and the thrill of actually living in a place where temperatures change more than a few degrees.

Here is my ode to snow.  Just some thankful observations/tips for the newbies…

  • I appreciate how snow accentuates slopes and hills.  If you didn’t know a hill was there, wait until a sheet of ice covers it.
  • Never had I ever changed gears on my automatic car.  Bring it to the snow and all of a sudden I am switching from the third gear, to second…back to drive (depending on how high the hill is I am coming down or sharp the turn is).  Picture 007 in a crazy car chase, that is me and snow.  But I own it.  And kick its ass.
  • Bed head covered with beanie - CHECK; cute new knitted hand warmers - CHECK.  See...adorableness.

    Bed head covered with a beanie – CHECK; cute new knitted hand warmers – CHECK; colorful scarf – CHECK; puffy jacket hiding my late night buttered popcorn craving – CHECK! See…adorableness.

    Bed head!?  Too lazy or late to get it together before school drop off?  Freakin’ beanies are in season!  Booya!

  • No need to feel embarrassed that your boots are making that shameful ‘breaking wind’ – ahem, I mean squeaking noise in the market, because EVERYONE’S is – no misunderstandings here.
  • Remember seeing all those people knitting in the airport, grocery store line, school pick up, etc?  Now is their time to shine and show off what they have been making all year.  I have never seen so many intricate beanies, hand warmers, leg warmers, scarves, and sweaters.
  • Adding a colorful scarf to a bland, everyday outfit – instant fashionista.
  • I no longer feel alarmed when I see a car moving forward and the wheels are not spinning.
  • Although I do feel alarmed when their wheels are not spinning yet they are going sideways.
  • Remember those California rolls at stop signs?  Well, we can just call them Colorado Snow Rolls because…if you have to stop you may not be able to go again…
  • We all become creative with where the driving lanes are under the matted ice/snow.  So we all just drive, and then once we see that a concrete middle divider is directly in front of us, we all just veer right.
  • Leggings all day everyday.
  • Boots.
  • Big puffy jackets to hide the extra dessert of the night prior.
  • Braking isn’t always your friend.
  • Snow gives me free weight training and cardio.  It took me over an hour to clear my deck!  My arms are killing me and my abs make me want to puke.  Thank you snow.
  • Dogs. in. sweaters.
  • Black ice is not a myth or legend anymore.  Welcome to the dark side…

With all of that insight, let me just reiterate how much I love snow.  There is nothing like the first snow fall.  It is magical.  I get chills (not from the freezing cold).  I get a glow (not because there is a fire going).  I am giddy.  This time of year is my favorite.  Hot coffee, tea or cocoa?  Good books by the fire.  Cozy blankets.  The best part is driving in it and listening to my beloved Hawaiian music.  There is something very naughty about it.  Almost cheating like.  I can’t help it though.  I see snow, BOOM! Israel Kamakawiwo’ole is instantly crooning.  I’m just cruising along, watching swear words leave a homeowners mouth as she shovels her front porch, or seeing the car to the side of me sliding into the ditch and here I am just singing…

Haina mai ka puana, kou le ‘ale ‘a paha,
He mea ma ‘a ia, for you and I

An ode I will never be making is to wind.

I loathe you wind.

Unless you are a magical, romantic Santa Ana

or a gloriously refreshing trade wind on an island –

go away.

You made the days temperature of 35

feel like-35 and

the 40 mph was just mean-spirited.

So to add a recipe to this fine post I decided on a season-friendly item that is spectacular for gifts.  Think teachers, mail service people, trash peeps and others…  Add a loaf of homemade bread or some artisan loaves from the local bakery.  I made this pumpkin butter for a baby shower party favor.  I did not have the time to seal them properly so that they could be kept in the pantry for eons, instead I just noted that these need to stay refrigerated and will keep for several weeks.  The baby shower was one of my best parties I’ve ever thrown.  I may just need to do a post solely on that.  Regardless if that post ever makes it or not – this pumpkin butter is so easy.  It uses the crock pot, it’s gluten-free and you don’t even need to roast a pumpkin (just open a few cans!).

Enjoy friends.  Stay cool.

Ingredients

  • How adorable are these party favors!?

    How adorable are these party favors!?

    4 cups pumpkin puree or 2 – 15oz cans

  • 1/2 cup raw honey
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • a generous pinch of sea salt

Preparation

  1. Add all of the ingredients to your slow cooker. Stir very well to combine.
  2. Cook on low for 4-6 hours, or until thick (this time may vary based on your slow cooker).  Stir it several times throughout the cooking process, especially if it sticks.
  3. Let cool and then fill up your jars!

High Altitude Adjustment

  • None

Compost

  • Lemon trimmings

Recycle

  • Pumpkin puree cans/lids

Reuse

  • Pumpkin butter till the end!
IMG_3076

I overachieved with my baby shower decor and food just to overcompensate for the fact that my house is under a major remodel. In other words, disregard the sub-floors.

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