I want to know - are you a "buy the inexpensive pumpkin at the supermarket" kind of person or are you the kind of person who travels further to a proper pumpkin patch to purchase an identical pumpkin for twice the cost?
If I'm being honest - I do both. I usually pick up a couple of supermarket pumpkins to put on display on my front porch but we also like to take a family trip to the pumpkin farm to pick out pumpkins to carve for Halloween. I know they're more expensive at the pumpkin patch but it's all about the experience. Am I right? The question is, "Is it worth it?" This year I took the kids to pick out pumpkins from the bin at Trader Joes. Not quite the experience of wandering through the pumpkin patch but easy on the budget.
I would never even consider passing up 2 or 3 grocery stores and drive to a further store to purchase identical groceries at a higher cost. That would be ridiculous. But for some reason, it seems perfectly normal to do just that in search of the perfect pumpkin to carve into a Jack O'Lantern. I also don't ask my family to pose in front of the giant cardboard box full of pumpkins in front of the Kroger entrance but I do make them stand in the pumpkin patch holding their prized gourd every year.
It's come to my attention that grocery stores recently have caught onto the pumpkin photo trend because I see more and more fall "displays" that are certainly worthy of a great Fall photo. Maybe the days of driving to the pumpkin farm are over. Maybe next year, we'll all get dressed in our cutest Fall outfits and head to the Sprouts store to snap some super fun Fall photos in front of their awesome pumpkin display.
Either way, you can bet that there will be pumpkins on our front porch this month. It' just doesn't seem like it's really Fall without them. It also doesn't seem like Fall until I've made lots of hearty, warm soups and casseroles. This chicken cassoulet is definitely one of my favorites. If you've never tacked a cassoulet - here's your chance. This recipe has a lot of ingredients but it's easier than you think to put together and it's incredibly delicious.
1 pound dried Great Northern beans
3 bay leaves
3 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
12 ounces cooked Italian chicken sausage
2 cups chopped white onion
1 1/2 cups chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery
2 Tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
6 cloves garlic, minced
2/3 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken stock
14 ounce can diced tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper
2 ounces multigrain baguette, torn into pieces
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 Tablespoons parsley, chopped
Sprinkle breadcrumbs over cassoulet. Bake 15 minutes at 425.
What stores near you have the best Fall displays? Have you ever taken your kids to the grocery store just to get a picture of them in front of the pumpkins? Curious minds want to know.
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