Friday, November 27, 2009

The King, the Maiden and the Pumpkin....a tale from the Phillipines

One day in a time long ago, King Adoveneis went out into the plains to hunt for deer, and he accidentally became separated from his companions.

Wandering about, the king saw a hut that was surrounded by a garden. Tending the garden was a beautiful young maiden.

The king spoke to the maiden and said, "Tell me, lass, what plants are you growing here?"

She replied, "I am raising pumpkins and melons."

Now, the king happened to be thirsty, and so he asked the maiden for a drink. "We were hunting in the heat of the day," he said, "and I felt a terrible thirst come over me."

The maiden replied, "O illustrious king! We have water to be sure, but only an old, crude jar in which to serve it. Surely it is not right or worthy that your Majesty should drink from such a crude jar! Now if we had a jar of pure gold, in which we could pour water from a crystal clear fountain, then that would be a proper offering for your Majesty."

The king replied to the girl, "Never mind the jar: I'm terribly thirsty! I care not if the jar is old, provided that the water is cool."

The maiden went into the house, fetched the jar, and filled it with clear cool water. Presently the king drank his fill.

After he had finished, the king handed her back the jar. Then, suddenly, the maiden struck the jar against the staircase. It was shattered to bits.

The king wondered at this strange act, and in his heart he thought that the maiden had no manners at all.

He cried, "You see that I am a noble king, and you know that I hold the crown. For what possible reason did you shatter that jar, received from my hands?"

The maiden replied, "The reason I broke the jar, which has been kept for many years by my mother, O king! is that I should not like to have it used by anyone else after you, your majesty, has touched it."

Upon hearing that, the king made no reply. In his heart, he marveled at the actions of the woman and determined that she was a good, virtuous maiden after all. As he returned toward the city, a thought began to grow on him. He wondered whether the maiden was as clever as she was virtuous.

After some time, the king one day ordered a soldier to carry to the maiden a new jar, one with an opening at the top not much more than one inch across. The soldier's orders were to tell the maiden that the jar was from the king, and that she was to put an entire pumpkin inside the jar. The soldier was also to tell the maiden that she should not break the jar under any circumstance. Both the jar with the small opening at the top and the pumpkin must remain whole.

The maiden returned a message to the king that she was certain she could do what his majesty ordered, but that such a task might take some time. Indeed, it was several months before the maiden arrived at the palace. In her hands she held the same jar, and sure enough, an entire pumpkin sat inside of it. When the king closely examined the jar, he confirmed that the jar was the same one that he had delivered. What's more, he saw that both the jar and the pumpkin were completely undamaged. He asked the maiden to marry him on the spot, as she was as clever as she was virtuous, and she gladly accepted.

Later, in their royal chambers, when his new wife revealed her secret, the king laughed long and hard.

How did she do it???

She had placed a pumpkin bud, one that was still attached to a vine in the ground, inside the jar through its small opening. Over time the pumpkin bud grew into a full-sized pumpkin. When the pumpkin filled the jar, she simply cut off the stem and delivered the jar with the pumpkin to the palace.

story found here at Whootie Owl's Stories

Pumpkin Cake in a Jar

Makes 8 cakes

2/3 cup vegetable shortening
2-2/3 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 cups canned pumpkin
2/3 cup water
3-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon each ground cloves, allspice, and cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
8 straight sided wide-mouth Pint Jars

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Grease 8 wide-mouth pint jars.

Cream the shortening and sugar together; beat in eggs, pumpkin, and water. Set aside.

Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, spices, and baking soda together; add to pumpkin mixture and stir well. Stir in nuts.

Pour into jars, filling 1/2 full.

Make sure to keep the rims of the jars clean. Place jars on a cookie sheet to keep from tipping over while baking.

Bake for about 45 minutes or until done, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove from oven. While still warm, place waxed paper on top of each cake and place lid on jar.

Cakes will slide out easily when they have cooled.

recipe found at

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Recipe.....a Hodja tale

The Recipe

The Hodja purchased a piece of meat at the market, and on his way home he met a friend.

Seeing the Hodja's purchase, the friend told him an excellent recipe for stew.

"I'll forget it for sure," said the Hodja. "Write it on a piece of paper for me."

The friend obliged him, and the Hodja continued on his way, the piece of meat in one hand and the recipe in the other. He had not walked far when suddenly a large hawk swooped down from the sky, snatched the meat, and flew away with it.

"It will do you no good!" shouted the Hodja after the disappearing hawk. "I still have the recipe!"

Super Simple Slow Cooker Turkey Breast


* 1 (6 pound) bone-in turkey breast
* 1 (1 ounce) envelope dry onion soup mix


1. Rinse the turkey breast and pat dry.

2. Cut off any excess skin, but leave the skin covering the breast.

3. Rub onion soup mix all over outside of the turkey and under the skin.

4. Place in a slow cooker. Cover, and cook on High for 1 hour, then set to Low, and cook for 7 hours.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Strawberry.....a Zen tale from Japan

There was once a man who was being chased by a ferocious tiger across a field.

At the edge of the field there was a cliff. In order to escape the jaws of the tiger, the man caught hold of a vine and swung himself over the edge of the cliff.

Dangling down, he saw, to his dismay, there were more tigers on the ground below him!

And, furthermore, two little mice were gnawing on the vine to which he clung. He knew that at any moment he would fall to certain death.

That's when he noticed a wild strawberry growing on the cliff wall.

Clutching the vine with one hand, he plucked the strawberry with the other and put it in his mouth.

He never before realized how sweet a strawberry could taste.

Make Your Own Strawberry Ice Cream the "Low Tech" Way


* 1 cup half-and-half cream
* 2 tablespoons white sugar
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1/4 cup chopped fresh strawberries
* 4 cups ice cubes
* 1/4 cup kosher salt


1. Combine the half and half, sugar, vanilla, and strawberries in a quart size resealable plastic bag.

2. Press the air out of the bag, seal, and shake bag to combine contents.

3. Place the bag into a gallon sized zip top bag.

4. Add the ice to the gallon bag, press the air out, and seal bag.

5. Wrap bags in a hand towel. Shake continuously, until the contents of the small bag thickens into soft-serve ice cream, 5 to 10 minutes.

6. Rinse the small bag quickly under cold water to wash off salt. Lay the ice cream filled baggie on a flat surface.

7. Use a wooden spoon handle to push the ice cream down to the bottom corner of the baggie.

8. Snip off the corner, and squeeze ice cream into a bowl.

Click this link to find a fabulous printable cookbook "Make Ice Cream in a Bag" from