rustic pumpkin pie recipe

Rustic Pumpkin Pie Recipe

Rustic Pumpkin Pie Recipe

This is my all-time favorite rustic pumpkin pie recipe. I didn’t have regular or evaporated milk so I had to improvise. No milk but I did have vanilla yogurt. Yogurt is sweeter than milk so I cut back on sugar. Duck eggs, molasses, salt, spice. Simple as can be. Adding one to one and a half cups of milk means my old pumpkin pie recipe needed almost 90 minutes to bake. When you’re cooking for a crowd and have one oven an hour and a half is a lot of time.

This might become your favorite rustic pumpkin pie recipe once you’ve tasted its deliciousness. It’s rich and creamy. Decadent doesn’t sound right for a rustic pumpkin pie but it really is quite decadent.

rustic pumpkin pieCool completely and serve with whipped cream.

Rustic Pumpkin Pie Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 8
  • 2 cups prepared pumpkin
  • ½ cup vanilla yogurt
  • 2 duck eggs or 4 large chicken eggs
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 pie crust
  1. Place the crust in the pie plate. Or skip the crust.
  2. Mix the rest of the ingredients together. Pour into the pie plate. Bake at 450° for 15 minutes. Turn the oven back to 350° and bake 45 minutes more. If I butter knife inserted into the middle comes out clean the pie is done. If not, continue to bake in 5 to 10 minute increments.
  3. This pie is very dark compared to "normal" pumpkin pie. There's less milk to lighten the color. Twice the molasses as usual darkens the color. If there's any pie leftover after dinner I have it for breakfast.


A Year of Practiculture, Rohan Anderson

A Year of Practiculture – Rohan Anderson

A Year of Practiculture – Rohan Anderson of Whole Larder Love

I’m a huge Rohan Anderson fan. I have Whole Larder Love and pre-ordered A Year of Practiculture. Rohan isn’t a television star, doesn’t travel the world to hunt, and doesn’t want to be a celebrity. He’s an uncommon common man. According to Rohan’s website A Year of Practiculture “is full of stories and recipes from a year of living a self reliant lifestyle.” The book isn’t available in the US until March, 2016. I want it now. Right now. Actually, I wanted it months ago when I first learned of the book.

Rohan gardens, forages and hunts for his food. Doesn’t this sound familiar? He works with farmers to distribute locally grown food (if you’re local to me I want to talk to you about this). I hoped to go to Boston to meet him in person last year while he was visiting the US but didn’t make it. Very disappointing.  whole larder love

A Year of Practiculture- Rohan Anderson from SCRUFFALO on Vimeo.

Inspiring. Honest. Down to earth. My style of authentic living.

ohhhh monday

Ohhhh Monday

Ohhhh Monday

At 4:50 am I told myself I’d get up in ten minutes, get the fire going, and get my shower while the coffee maker worked its magic. I knew it was snowing and I didn’t want to get up. I dragged myself out of the warm sheets at 5:10 am. I don’t want it to snow for another month. I’m not ready for snow. Ohhhh Monday. The porch light confirmed what I already knew. Yes, it was snowing. <sigh> Strike one.

I’d already made my mind up that snow wasn’t going to dictate my mood. I turned on the kitchen light and bent to get Ava’s water dish to be washed and refilled. I don’t like to waste water even though we have too much right now. I tend to Ava’s water dish while the warm water works its way through the pipe to the faucet. Our well water is so cold it makes warm coffee if we don’t warm it up with a little hot water. Anyway. There it was, strike two. A mouse floated in the bowl. It sunk and popped back to the top like a bobber when I poked it with my finger. Poke. Poke. Yup, dead. Well alrighty then. Is the water bowl half full or half empty? Half full and it has a mouse. Ohhhh Monday. Attitude adjustment.

ohhhh Monday, white pine tree, white pine, snowThree strikes, Monday. Three strikes and you’re out, except I can’t really make Monday go away so I adjusted my attitude. One less mouse in the house is a good thing, right? So ohhhh Monday, take that.

Attitude adjustments. My day has been full of them. Ava was excited to find snow. She had a gleeful “you didn’t tell me there is SNOW!” look of surprise on her face. We checked the game cameras (nothing) and went for a walk. I went hunting for a while but didn’t find any deer tracks. The time in the woods was nice.

vernal pool, ohhhh Monday, snowy vernal pool, do vernal pools freeze

The largest of the vernal pools.

I’ve made the bread for stuffing for Sunday’s Thanksgiving turkey and though I feel like I’ve been busy, I have little else accomplished. It’s okay. I don’t have deadlines this week. I’ll see some of my family on Thursday. Taylor will be home Friday. I have a package of little goodies to send to Kristin and Matt. I’ll draw the winners of the wreaths tomorrow and ship them on Wednesday. It’s all good. Today I’m thankful that I’m not a mouse in the water bowl. It’s a good day!

ohhhh Monday, pond, Ava, English shepherd, farm pondohhhh Monday, snow on apples, snowy applesohhh Monday, sun peaking out

enter to win a handmade Christmas wreath

Win a Handmade Christmas Wreath!

Enter for a Chance to Win a Handmade Christmas Wreath!

handmade Christmas wreath, how to make a christmas wreathMaking Christmas wreaths will always be one of my favorite parts of Christmas. We tip balsam, white pine and cedar trees, collect cones from white and red pines, and gather reindeer moss for a little extra color. All of the decorations are natural. There’s room to add a bow if you’d like to. Enter below for a chance to win a homemade Christmas wreath!

I’m giving away three wreaths this year. One will be given to Facebook followers, one to a newsletter subscriber, and one through the blog. You may enter all three! Winners will be drawn on November 24th. Follow on Facebook and subscribe to the newsletter to enter all three times.
Win a Handmade Christmas Wreath!

oatmeal for breakfast

Oatmeal for Breakfast

Oatmeal for Breakfast

4:01 am. Late enough, time for breakfast. Oatmeal for breakfast! It was hot and waiting for me because I had the forethought last night to start the slow cooler.

oatmeal for breakfastI planned to hunt very early this morning so I started steel cut oats in the slow cooker last night. Plans changed abruptly and oatmeal for breakfast served as my comfort food. It was pouring rain. Knowing it would stay above freezing last night I let the fire in the woodstove go out. The house felt a little damp and chilly. I gave the coals a quick stir, left the door ajar and headed for the kitchen.

Seven hours on low; bubbling goodness. Steam rose and spread the maple aroma through the kitchen. Ahhh…oatmeal for breakfast. Two scoops of oatmeal, about that much maple syrup and a handful of pecans. I set the bowl aside to cool while I cleaned ashes from the woodstove and built a small fire.

My plans for the day changed, and I am home all day. Morning meeting via phone, and then a lot of writing. I might even quit work a little early today and spend some time knitting or flip through a few magazines and make another pot of coffee.

What’s your go to comfort food?

Oatmeal for Breakfast
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Start steel cut oats in the slow cooker before bedtime for a hot and hardy breakfast.
Serves: 6
  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 4½ cups water
  • ½ to ¾ cup maple sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  1. Add all of the ingredients to the slow cooker and turn it on low for the night. If you want plain oatmeal you can replace it with another sweetener. Honey works well. Molasses is hardy. Or don't use a sweetener at all.


alone in the dark

Alone in the Dark

Alone in the Dark

hunting stand, alone in the dark, hunting, deer huntingThe air was still and 58° and the sky was crystal clear. Walking the clovered road is peaceful, barely a sound, but turning onto the trail to the stand isdifferent. Dry leaves crunched and shuffle under my boots no matter how careful I am. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how careful you are, leaves are noisy. Walk like you belong in the woods.

Slow, deliberate scans of the five acre field as I approach turn up nothing. A partridge sounds its “quit quit quit quit quit” as it scrambles from the edge of the field into the woods. Had it stayed still and quiet I’d have missed its presence.

I drop my Prois Pro-Edition Pullover Jacket and pack to the plastic lawn chair in the stand, open the windows, and settle in for the last 90 minutes of the hunting day. The bleat and grunt call rest on the ledge. Deep breath. My goodness this place is beautiful. Hardwoods are bare except for a few leaves on the oaks in the food plot and the grass is pale but the sky is blue and crisp and clear. Blue streaks cross the width of the field on the far side some 300 yards away – blue jays. Bleats echo back to me. If there’s a buck around he’ll hear what he thinks was a wanton doe.

Ten minutes after sunset and 20 minutes before the hunting day ends, a great horned owl hoots from the east. hoo-h’HOO-hoo-hoo. hoo-h’HOO-hoo-hoo. Chilly, I pull on the jacket. It’s nice to not be clad in thermals and layer after layer of warm clothes. Jeans, shirt and now the jacket are all I need. alone in the dark

Bleat bleatbleat

The food plot changes with the light. Legs? Are those legs on the far side? That wasn’t there three minutes ago. Binoculars give me a good look at clumps of tall oat grass, brown and dry, three feet apart. Not legs, just tan grass showing in the low light against the dark woods. The black spot half way across the field…what’s that? More grass. Before long I’ll be alone in the dark.

hoo-h’HOO-hoo-hoo. hoo-h’HOO-hoo-hoo. alone in the dark

Time check; two minutes left. I can see clearly even though the sun has been below the horizon for 28 minutes. hoo-h’HOO-hoo-hoo. hoo-h’HOO-hoo-hoo. Time check; done. The hunting day is over. I pull two 168 grain silver tipped bullets from the clip and slide another out of the chamber. I could close the window, put the bleat and grunt calls and my coffee back in my pack. It’s time to go. I value this time alone in the dark. When I can’t see what’s around me I hear more, feel more, smell more. alone in the dark

I am alone in the dark and the silence is stunning. The wind isn’t blowing, oak leaves aren’t rustling and birds aren’t singing. Nature is seldom silent. Rather than return to the road by way of the noisy trail I plan to follow the edge of the field, walking on the grass and clover so I don’t break the silence, but I stop. I stop and sit at the edge and look at the stars.

hoo-h’HOO-hoo-hoo. Ten more minutes of solitude and twinkling stars and being alone in the dark.

Two years ago I would have been out of breath after the first tenth of a mile up the hill. Eighty-five pounds and a hell of a lot of exercise later, this is an easy little walk. It’s pitch black, no moon tonight. Rustling in the bushes gives away the location of a meadow vole or field mouse. I can barely see a thing but trust myself to plant my feet firmly with each step. I know this road like I know the layout of my home. Ruts and puddles are predictable. Bends in the road never change. Through the woods and into the clearing, I lean against the metal legs of a stand that used to scare the hell out of me. Eight feet up a ladder, through the floor, struggling to lift myself on shaking legs. And here I am, alone in the dark, many miles from a paved road, rifle unloaded, and not a fear in the world.


A November Day on the Homestead

A November Day on the Homestead

november dayNovember is one of my favorite months for many reasons. A November day on the homestead is busy with hunting early morning and later in the afternoon. I did a little weed control in the garden. There are turnip, beets and broccoli in the garden. Every time I cut the broccoli’s side shoots I think it’s the last time I’ll have fresh broccoli this year but it’s still going. My plan was to rototill the plants under but since the doe and fawn have have started coming to the garden to eat the plants I’ll be leaving them. I might pull a few more turnip but the rest and the best are left for the deer. Two does and a fawn have been here most nights for the last week. The lone doe is old and has a splayed foot. The other is young enough that this might be her first fawn. A very large coyote track is right beside the doe and fawn tracks in the garden.

Isn’t the graphic pretty? It’s perfect for a November day. It was painted by  Aniko. She blogs at Place of My Taste. Thanks Aniko!

Monday started off with a little hunting. There was so much to do I didn’t have time to sit for long enough. It was a beautiful day, sunny and warm, and barely a breeze. I had soil to amend and rototill and garlic to separate and plant. I got the wood ash and dry/powdered chicken manure spread and the soil tilled but the garlic hasn’t been separated or planted. I’m aiming for Wednesday now. The ninth cord of wood has been split and next year’s cedar for kindling is almost finished. One cord of firewood to go, and and lot of moving the wood to the shed, throwing it in, and stacking. I’m holding off on that while the weather is still favorable for drying.

November days, firewood, old, Kubota trator, tractor

It was a lot warmer when I started working on firewood.

A glance at the forecast (oh I wish I hadn’t) shows I’ll be moving the wood soon. It will take three days to get the job done. After that I’m going to have to figure out how to get my weight-bearing exercise in. When the firewood is done and deer season is over (I’m likely in a ground blind trying to end my season as you read this) I have to go back to the reality of writing a book.

While splitting wood this afternoon I noticed two birds soaring east of me.

A crow moved closer to a bald eagle each time it completed a circle. closer. closer. closer. And they they flew together. They stayed to the east but they were close enough to upset the chickens and ducks. The chickens hid while the ducks dove, raced around, splashed and quacked like crazy. The eagle and crow paid them no attention. They were still riding the current when I lost track of them north of the homestead.

I hope to send the newsletter out on Wednesday. You have time to subscribe if you haven’t already. I’ll be giving away Christmas wreaths to two subscribers!