Frost on the Pumpkin


Hi Friends!

The weather forecast warned us of frosty nights here last weekend.

There was a definite nip in the air while I scurried around the garden,

just knowing that the end of our gardening season was quickly approaching.

There is always so much to do!


It was time to harvest fragrant herbs.

I also gathered big bunches of Annabelle Hydrangeas.

A cozy part of my paper crafting studio for designing scrapbook pages.

This cozy part of my ‘Paper Garden’ studio is just perfect for designing scrapbook pages. A nearby stamping table is just right for card making. (Sorry that we can’t peek, as Thanksgiving cards are works-in-progress.) I feel so blessed to have this special place to create and share handmade kindness! ♡

Now all of the harvested flowers and herbs

are hanging from the ceiling

in the ‘Paper Garden’

to dry.

It brings me such joy to have flowers around me all year long!

The last of the garden flowers.

The last of the garden flowers

As the sun fell lower into the sky,

my heart wanted needed

one last memory of the garden flowers.

So, I carefully clipped one stem of blossoms from each plant

and placed them into a simple, stoneware pitcher.

Containers of pink geraniums found a warm home in the garage.

I quickly covered the mum plants to keep their blossoms a bit longer

as darkness fell upon my Midwest garden.


I was ready.

Not really ready. It always makes me sad to bid the garden farewell.

 Jack Frost painted a coat of white over the garden on both Friday and Saturday nights.


Despite the chill, we felt the warm glow of Autumn fun inside.

Sunday afternoon was our annual family Pumpkin Fest!

Heartwarming memories are a key ingredient in our Pumpkin Soup.

We first tasted this wonderful soup three years ago while relaxing with dear friends,

on an Autumn afternoon

at an outdoor cafe in the beautiful Black Forest, in Germany.

A few days later, Sabine taught me how to make Pumpkin Soup

in her kitchen, as her lovely, young daughter, Hannah,

translated the recipe into English for us.

(Herzlichen Dank, liebe Freunde!) ♥♥

Organic Red Kuri pumpkin and potatoes

The thin, edible rind of the Red Kuri pumpkin adds both flavor and a deep color to Pumpkin Soup.

We always use a Red Kuri or Hokkaido pumpkin

to make Sabine’s wonderful Pumpkin Soup.

These pumpkins were much harder to find this year.

We searched all of our local markets and the Asian markets nearby.

We finally found organic Red Kuri pumpkins at Whole Foods!

(I might have done a little ‘Happy Dance’ right in the middle of the Produce aisle!) ☺

The rind of the Red Kuri pumpkin is very thin and edible. It adds rich color and flavor to the soup.

Oh, you can only imagine the fun

on that special afternoon three years ago!

Three dear friends, wearing aprons,

chopping, stirring, and laughing

in Sabine’s kitchen

while making both

Pumpkin Soup and happy memories!

I couldn’t wait to make Sabine’s Pumpkin Soup for my own family!


You can only imagine my delight as I stirred a big pot of pumpkin soup,

in our own kitchen a few weeks later.

Sabine surprised us with a phone call as I stirred,

answering all of my questions as I made my first Pumpkin Soup!

(What a blessing to have a guardian angel in the kitchen!) ♥♥

Pumpkin, potatoes, broth, and onions boiling.

Ah, the heartwarming memories of our Autumn in Germany…

now shared with our family here each October.

Our Pumpkin Fest menu

is always a very simple one,

inspired by two of my favorite cooks…

Sabine’s Pumpkin Soup  ~ Sabine J.  (recipe below)

Iowa Corn Bread ~ Susan Branch

Cranberry Apple Crisp ~ Susan Branch

Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin Soup, garnished with a sage leaf

Sabine’s Pumpkin Soup

1 onion, chopped

4-6 potatoes, cubed

1 Hokkaido pumpkin (or Red Kuri pumpkin)

          ♥    Put chopped onion and a little margarine in a large, heavy pot.

          ♥    Cut up the potatoes and add to the pot.

          ♥    Cut the Hokkaido (or Red Kuri) pumpkin in half. Scoop out the seeds and discard.

                Cut the pumpkin with rind into chunks and add to the pot.

          ♥    Next add a pinch of salt, freshly ground pepper, and a bit of sugar to the pot.

          ♥    Add boiling water and vegetable bouillon (or organic vegetable broth) to fill the pot.

          ♥    Boil the soup for 20-30 minutes, until the potatoes are soft.

          ♥    Puree the soup until creamy and taste.

          ♥    A bit of cream can be stirred into the soup at the end, if you like.    Mmmmm! Enjoy!

  ♥  Guten Appetit!  ♥

Sabine's original Pumpkin Soup recipe

Hannah (only 11 years old when we visited) impressed us all with her wonderful English skills. After only one year of studying English in school, Hannah was able to translate the recipes for Pumpkin Soup and her grandmother’s special Linzertorte! ☺ Hannah speaks fluent English now whenever we Skype. We are all so proud of her! What an amazing young lady! ♥



Do you plan any traditional Autumn activities

when the frost is on the pumpkin?

Hope you will share…

DSCN3274Thank you so much for taking the time to visit today.

Wishing you a wonderful October weekend!

 Autumn blessings!

♡ Dawn


42 thoughts on “Frost on the Pumpkin

  1. Dearest Dawn, I love visiting you—you always share warmth and love. What a special tradition you enjoy–a very special recipe of wonderful memories of times past. Your soup looks wonderfully delicious. I’m so glad you were able to find the special pumpkin it requires.
    Your paper studio is certainly a great looking place for inspiration. I love looking at all of your mementos that you have all around you as you create. Your hydrangea blooms look lovely–I bet as they dry they will make more beauty for you in your creations or arrangements.
    We have had a light frost, but not a killing frost. We’ve moved geraniums and hibiscus inside as the temps are quite cold during the nights. Thank you for such a lovely visit. ♥

    • It’s such fun when you visit, Martha Ellen! I can tell that we are kindreds, in every way! 🙂 It’s such a simple, delicious soup that holds a very special place in our hearts! I feel so blessed to finally have a little studio space to be creative and messy. It’s not fancy at all, just filled with old-fashioned charm. When I sit at the design table, I am surrounded by memories of family and friends, my teaching career, travel adventures, books, and my beloved garden. It seems like the best place to document our family stories in scrapbooks!

      After our frosty weekend, this week has been milder. So, I’ve been able to do more gardenkeeping. 🙂 It will be so nice to enjoy your geraniums and hibiscus inside this winter! Last week, I dug up my rosemary and basil and am enjoying them in our sunny dining room. Wish we were neighbors, Martha Ellen! It would be such fun to visit in our gardens (and on your lovely patio!). Happy weekend! ♡

  2. Good Morning from Across The Big Water my Friend ~~~ I’m snatching a treasured moment of peace before my day begins to read all about my favourite fruit. My heart hears your heart, the pulling ourselves indoors from our gardens and leaving them to fend against the ravages of Winter. No frost here, not just yet, but, of course, our bad weather kicks off this weekend with 50+mph winds preparing to batter our west facing shores. I would rather frost to wind. We need that killing frost that Martha Ellen speaks of, for we have not had it for two years now and garden pests and bugs run rife!
    It is that time of year again, so we must hunker down inside with our crafts and our home made soups! I will not be able to get a Red Kuri, indeed I am lucky this year to have pumpkin at all. The nutrition pedant in me says “hurrah” for an edible skin where all the best nutrition lies {and in the seeds} and I always look for organic butternuts as their skins are often thin enough to be edible.
    ~~~Waving from Across The Big Water ~~~Deb in Wales xoxo

    • I know you understand, dear Deb! Although I am sad to see the garden season ending, frost is definitely more welcome than strong winds. I worry more for our tall trees, than our flowers. It is so amazing that you haven’t had a killing frost in two years. The garden pests must and bugs must be thriving in your garden! We are so fortunate to have passions that carry us through the winter season. Now there will be more time for reading and paper crafting! 🙂 I also have some embroidery and Punch Needle projects tucked away for cold evenings. I’m so happy you stopped in this morning! Wishing you sunny days and some frosty nights! Stay safe if the strong winds arrive, my friend. Happy weekend, Deb! ♡

  3. Who could not be inspired with all those flowers drying in the room! What a lovely place to create. A happy place! That’s how I feel about my kitchen. I think all the things I love the most have found a spot in this room! The pumpkin soup is printed out and tucked away. I will keep my eye out for the Red Kuri pumpkin. Although you must know what the chances are for finding this is in San Angelo! Lol! But one never knows!
    Still waiting for Fall. The weatherman has promised rain and temps in the 70’s…….and it hasn’t happened yet! It has rained all around us.
    Aren’t traditions wonderful! They burrow deep into your soul.
    Putting on a pot of Minnestrone today and pretending it’s Fall!
    A very lovely post today Dawn. I enjoyed it so much!
    Chris. Knickerbocker, W TX

    • It is such a happy place, Chris! After paper crafting at the dining room table for a few years, I am so thrilled to have a place to leave work-in-progress and do messy projects! I just love being surrounded by dried flowers and herbs as I play with paper! Now I can be in the ‘garden’ all year long! I count my blessings out loud every day!

      It’s so wonderful that your kitchen is your happy place, Chris! I can just picture you surrounded by all of your favorite treasures in your warm, cozy kitchen making soup! Our kitchen has a very cozy, vintage feel. My dad helped me to restore it to its 1920s charm years ago, when I first bought my home. It’s very small, but cheery red and white! So many of our family traditions begin in the kitchen… and become a part of our lives forever!

      I was in a bit of a pumpkin panic, with company coming for Pumpkin Soup and no Red Kuri pumpkins in sight! In the past, I have found them at our local store. This year, we checked in ten stores and fruit markets before we found them. I was so thrilled that I bought two! So, we will be able to start our Thanksgiving Dinner with small bowls of Pumpkin Soup this year. I really love making soup at this time of year, too! Lately, our relaxing Friday dinners have been a big pot of vegetable soup, with leftovers for the weekend!

      Oh, Chris! I wish you gentle rains soon. I must look on the map to find Knickerbocker. The forecasts of 15 inches of rain headed toward San Antonio are frightening. So, I hope you are not in the path of this terrible storm! Hope that Fall will arrive soon in your area! In the meantime, a big pot of Minnestrone soup, Autumn decorations, and Susan Branch’s Autumn book will be a very nice way to celebrate the season! ♡

  4. My goodness but that looks delicious. I love pumpkin anything. 🙂 There’s not a lot of fall activities around here except for putting the gardens to bed and getting the sewing machine oiled up and ready to go. Nice studio you have for creating those beautiful cards. Thank you for mine. 💗

    • Oh, Judy! You are the busiest gardener I know! You have undertaken some huge end-of-season projects that will bring such delight when Spring arrives in New Hampshire! I always wish I could do more big garden projects at this time of year (while the ideas are fresh in my mind), but Fall allergies often keep me inside when the leaves begin to fall. Soon you will be able to rest your back after all of the gardening…

      What fun to know that there is a king-sized quilt to finish at your house! Can’t wait to see it! Do you have a sewing and quilting room? We have some lovely antique quilts and small Amish quilts hanging on the walls in our home. I’m a quilt-lover, but not a quilt maker. I could never attempt a real quilting project, so creating tiny paper quilts makes me happy! 🙂 I’m glad you liked your card, Judy! Enjoy the Fall colors this weekend! ♡

  5. What a very easy recipe except for finding the right pumpkin. It’s definitely a different look outside here after having frost. And by the way your studio looks very charming with the flowers hanging from the ceiling.

    • Sabine’s Pumpkin Soup is so easy and really delicious, Marcia! If you spot a Red Kuri or Hokkaido pumpkin, I just know you would have fun making this soup! I’m so thankful that Sabine taught me how to make it. Such amazing memories in this soup, too!

      My studio space makes me so happy! It’s not fancy at all. I didn’t buy any special furniture, but rather ‘shopped’ throughout our house for meaningful pieces of furniture that would work downstairs in my studio space. So, it’s very nice to be surrounded by things that are part of my history… and lots of flowers, too! It’s still a new studio, almost one year old now. I am enjoying it immensely! I think of you making cards upstairs in your craft loft, while I am downstairs making cards in my basement studio (where it can be very chilly in the winter!)! Hot tea chases away the chill on the coldest winter days in the ‘Paper Garden.’ We are both so fortunate to have a dedicated space for our creative passions, Marcia! Have a happy, crafty weekend! ♡

  6. Dawn,
    Your final bouquet for the season is beautiful and seems to say autumn to me. How fun to have a place to dry herbs and hydrangea. The pumpkin soup looks delicious. I’m ready for a big pot of soup and a loaf of crusty bread.
    This season makes my heart sing. Thank you for adding a layer of joy for me to enjoy.

    • Hi, Karen! I just had to pick a final bouquet, Karen! The sun was going down, but I wanted one of each bloom to enjoy a bit longer inside. The neighbors smile when they see me covering the mums on frosty nights, and uncovering them in the morning. I always try to stretch the garden for another week or so each Autumn! You are so blessed to have flowers all year long in California. How is your garden surviving in the drought conditions this Autumn? What flowers are blooming now? Enjoy a wonderful Autumn weekend, Karen! Your sweet words warm the cockles of my heart!

  7. Guten tag, meine Dawn! Speaking of Susan’s recipes, I made the Wild Mushroom Ragout and it was scrumptious! The very next day, I made the Indiana Ham and Sweet Potato Soup from the Autumn book and it was just as delicious. How lucky we are to have Ms. Branch in our lives! I hope you’re having a blessed autumn and that life is good in your corner of the ‘burbs.
    Your friend,

    • Guten tag, liebe Jo! Doesn’t it seem like just yesterday that Susan was signing our books? Fingers crossed that she will stop again in our area in the Spring to sign The Fairy Tale Girl and Martha’s Vineyard ~ Isle of Dreams! We would be so lucky!! (If you are reading this, Susan, we really hope you will come see us again!) 🙂

      Mmmmmm! I haven’t tried those recipes yet, Jo! They sound wonderful. So many recipes from the Autumn book have become part of our family traditions over the years. Now when my brothers come to visit, they ask, “Is this a Susan Branch recipe?” Very often, it is! Iowa Cornbread and Cranberry Apple Crisp are two of our go-to recipes when the weather turns cool. I love to bake Susan’s Ginger Crisps in the shape Autumn leaves, Lionel trains, and Ford Mustangs to bring to my dad when we visit my parents in Arizona. (They mail perfectly, too, between our visits!) We are oh-so lucky to have Susan Branch in our lives! Wishing you healthy, happy Autumn days, dear Jo! We really must meet halfway for tea! ♡

    • Heartfelt thanks, Jodi! We are both sentimental girls…with warm hearts. Visiting your blog always feels like sharing a cup of tea with a friend! Isn’t it fun to share our passions in blogland? So glad that we connected this way, Jodi! Wishing you a wonderful Autumn weekend in Pennsylvania! Big hugs! ♡

    • So glad that you will miss the big storm. If only your protective bubble had a zipper… Then you could let in just enough rain to keep your garden happy! 🙂 Happy Friday, Chris! ♡

  8. Hi my friend,
    I´m really happy to find my recipe here 🙂 For me and Hannah it´s always a nice memory when me make the pumpkin soup together and we always speak about our time in my kitchen together.
    Guten Appetit to all

    • Hi, Sabine! 🙂 Surprise!! Now the whole world will know about your delicious Pumpkin Soup! Yesterday I was just looking at all of the photos from our wonderful visit three years ago! So many special memories… shared with dear friends! 🙂 We treasure them dearly! Our whole family looks forward to your soup every October. It was so hard to find the right pumpkins this year! I was thrilled to finally find them!! Soon it will be time to bake your mom’s Linzertorte for the holidays! (We might need another kitchen phone call on that day!) 🙂 Special hugs for Hannah! Have a wonderful weekend, my friend! ♡

    • Heartfelt hugs, dear Anne! I thought of you as I was writing. It was in ‘our’ German city that Sabine taught me how to make her wonderful Pumpkin Soup! So happy to bring you the small pleasures of Autumn in the Midwest! Hope you will enjoy some cooler days, gentle showers, and Autumn walks along your favorite beach in California, Anne! Thanks for coming to visit today, my friend! You always make my heart smile! ♡

  9. You paint such a wonderful story from the beginning. So autumn, right down to that gorgeous recipe and the vision of warm, pumpkin soup. Delightful, Dawn.

    What a great idea to dry all your hydrangeas. I’ve dried a few in the past, but we had such a hot, dry summer with limited drought watering that I didn’t get much in the way of blooms.

    Will you dry your herbs as well or do you try freezing them?

    I love your stunning vase, too.The white anemones are the last thing to bloom in my garden, and they’ve largely faded as well. Good for you for pulling all those blooms together.

    • Oh, thank you, Alys! The small delights of Autumn are always so heartwarming! I dry some herbs and will freeze some as well. It will be fun to add them to soups all winter long! Your white anemones sound gorgeous! I only have tiny, white Spring-blooming anemones. I really want to plant Fall-blooming Japanese Wind Anemones next year. I swoon over them each time I see them growing in someone’s garden! In fact, the very first place they caught my attention was near the little cafe, in the Black Forest, where we tasted Pumpkin Soup for the very first time. (Thank you for the lovely memory!) 🙂 The pitcher of the last garden flowers still looks fresh after a whole week. So grateful for small blessings! Have a nice weekend, Alys! Will you be going to any more Halloween parties in your enchanting costume? Thanks for visiting today! ♡

  10. Your garden flowers look beautiful, Dawn, and your pumpkin soup sounds amazing! I can’t believe you’ve already gotten snow! It was 76 degrees here yesterday, though it’s forecasted to get cooler next week and the trees have already started changing color. Hope you have a wonderful and cozy weekend ❤

    • Oh, thank you, Chris! We haven’t had snow yet, but two nights of frost and freeze warnings last weekend. So, it was definitely time to harvest herbs and Hydrangeas to dry! This week we have had some nice, mild days. So, I’ve been busy with gardenkeeping. Our trees are beautiful right now! I think we will be raking leaves by next weekend. I’m glad that you are enjoying nice, warm days in NYC. We heard that upstate New York and upper Michigan have already had several inches of snow. It won’t be long now… Each lovely Autumn day is a gift to cherish! Are you going to any costume parties for Halloween? Hope you have a fun weekend, Chris! So happy you stopped by today! ♡

      • Yes, we are already raking some leaves here! I love summer, but nothing beats autumn colors. I don’t think I’m doing anything for Halloween this year beyond giving out candy to trick-or-treaters—but that’s always fun too! I love getting to see all the creative costumes.

      • It’s so nice that we are all different ‘seasons,’ Chris! I love the Autumn colors, cozy sweaters, and pumpkins. But truly, I will always be a Springtime girl. I’m all about new beginnings! Even though I love Summertime days in the garden, Springtime is my very favorite season! I know you are a Summertime girl, taking long runs and exploring throughout the city! There is something to love in each season. We are so lucky to live in places with four distinct seasons! Wishing you happy Autumn days, Chris! ♡

  11. Dawn, I love this post – and can’t wait to try this pumpkin soup recipe. I hope to come back later to write more, just a wee bit tired right now to do so – so, hang tight and I will say more later, but, thank you right now for this lovely post.

    • So happy that you popped in to say “Hello” tonight, Penny! I think you will really enjoy Sabine’s Pumpkin Soup! Our pumpkin search this year was a lengthy one. So, try Whole Foods first. Hope you will find organic Red Kuri pumpkins waiting for you there! Have a great weekend! Sweet dreams, dear Penny! ♡

    • Thank you, Claire! The Red Kuri pumpkin has been easy to find the past few years. This year, it was more of a challenge… but well worth the search! I’m so glad that you stopped to visit today. Enjoy the rest of the weekend! ♡

    • It makes such a yummy soup, Linda! It’s perfect soup weather, isn’t it? Snowflakes already in Minnesota!! We have strong winds and rain here. Our trees are still quite full of leaves and really colorful. Hoping for nice weather for all the little trick-or-treaters! ♡

  12. I’m just catching up with my reading on this day off from work, and I want to tell you how much I enjoyed this post. I love when dear memories are attached to nourishing recipes. One of my “one day” projects is to go through my thousands of recipes, weed through them, add comments to the keepers, and organize them into more beautiful binders. In the meantime, I look forward to making your pumpkin soup – thanks for sharing!!

    • Oh, Ericka! Heartfelt thanks for your kind words. So very true!! When the kitchen is the heart of a family’s home, the stories and memories become the most important ingredients in treasured recipes! I can tell that you are already making those special memories with your children. You have just inspired me to do something special with some of our family recipes! I don’t have enough to fill a scrapbook, but I think I should put one of my grandmother’s vintage cookie cutters, one of her recipes, and some old photos together into a shadow box frame for our kitchen! That would be so heartwarming in our little kitchen. 🙂

      I’m so happy that you will try Sabine’s Pumpkin Soup recipe, Ericka! You have shared so many of your wonderful recipes with us over the past year! Warm hugs! ♡

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