I spent Thursday and Friday morning in the school kitchens baking pumpkin bread for Barnesville's annual pumpkin festival. The Olney Friends School senior class sells the bread as a fund raiser for the senior class trip.
Every year, the largest pumpkin is crowned King Pumpkin. This year's pumpkin came in at more than 1,500 pounds. This is close to the world record for the largest pumpkin ever, which is 1,528 pounds. However, the Barnesville pumpkin festival allows gourds into the competition. The largest gourd on record weighs more than 1,800 pounds.
The new King Pumpkin is huge ... and flat.
While I was helping to bake pumpkin bread, I learned some other interesting facts:
Persimmons don't ripen until after the first frost. Interesting.
Don, the Olney farm manager, said he is having the Jonathan and Empire apples (hope I have those names right) made into apple butter. First you boil the apples down into apple sauce, then you boil them down even further, adding a lot of sugar (apple butter is apparently half sugar) until you have a nice smooth paste. The key is never to stop stirring with the paddle.
Jessica, our gardener, came in with a plastic bucket filled with giant kale leaves. They were as big as palm leaves and a vivid green. I couldn't over how huge they were. My baking partner, Richard, told me it was a good season for kale.
About half a dozen wild turkeys have been shredding Richard's kale and other vegetables. It's hard to shoot them, Don said.
It's been raining buckets today, but Roger and I still went to the book sale that the Barnesville Historical Society holds on Pumpkin festival weekend. Do we need MORE books? Not really. But at 10¢ for paperbacks and 20¢ for hardbacks, it's hard for us bibliophiles to resist.
With the rain pouring down, we've yet to stroll the fair proper, so no fried snickers bars to sooth our tastebuds ... so far.