It’s the Great Pumpkin, Kenny Frease

Fall has fallen in Deutschland, people, and the Frease’s are Herbst-ing it up. The fact is, as much as it pains me to be a part of the stereotype, I truly treasure this season. In fact, if you take Christmas out of the equation, ’tis my favorite time of year. Do I get points if I say I hate Pumpkin Spice Lattes?

**side note: Herbst = Autumn auf Deutsch **

No matter, I shan’t be ashamed. I only just heard summer’s swan song last week during one of Ted’s morning potty walks. It has been one of those rare times in Europe when the sun shines without a cloud in the sky. I was soaking in this wondrous anomaly when I noticed the leaves were beginning to turn… Also Ted was chomping on them. After forcing his tiny jaws apart and freeing the fallen leaf, I skipped back to Kenny and informed him we would be taking a nature walk after his practice. It was then that we concocted the plan: The Pumpkin Plan.

After all, what is more fall inspired than a pumpkin? The plan was simple. We would cook an elaborate meal using pumpkin with each dish. After much deliberation, we agreed on the menu: pumpkin soup, pumpkin sage gnocchi, pumpkin-turkey meatballs, and (obviously) pumpkin pie. We were pretty excited. Some more than others…

“My wife made me dress like a pumpkin”

“MUAH HAHA” – me

Kenny is well acquainted with both my enthusiasm and my eccentricities, and he’s always a good sport, poor guy:)

There were many pumpkins to choose from, including this little guy…

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Just adorable

Anyway, it might’ve been the “Baby Bear” reference, but I felt a bit like Goldilocks…

This pumpkin is too biiiiiiig…

“It’s perfect”

This pumpkin is juuuust right.

“I disagree”

The amount of time that we spent in the store was pretty ridiculous. Ken’s “are-we-seriously-still-here” face made an appearance more than once.

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The classic “we-best-be-at-checkout-in-five” face

Thus, I quickly decided I’d better buy a few packages of frozen pumpkin pieces in case our plan goes awry. Eventually, we made it home with our loot.

Look how lovely!


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At this point in our cooking adventures (misadventures?) it can probably go without saying, but… it was a good thing we bought the frozen pumpkin.

Though, as always, not for lack of trying!

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“This is fool proof and I am a master chef”

Kenny scooped the seeds out (for future snacking purposes) and cut the pieces down to size in order to prepare them for baking (cut the pieces – bake the pieces – puree the pieces.)

Unfortunately, it all went to hell on step 2…

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“So… there is a chance they are all burnt”

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“…a pretty good chance”

We were unfazed. As I was already thawing the pre-cooked pumpkin pieces (just in case) they were ready for the chopping block.

Business as usual

Good news though… Burnt pumpkin pieces are delicious.

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The remainder of the night’s cooking went relatively well. Ted disagrees.

“Pay attention to me”

“Thaaat’s better”

I had never made gnocchi from scratch before. Mainly because I was under the impression it is quite difficult. I was not wrong. Our little pump-tato nuggets were a touch doughy. Grandma Porter, we needed you! :))

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“Close, but no cigar”

Everything was quite tasty, and it looked lovely.

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Guess whose plate doesn’t have salad.

Due to time constraints and just not feeling like it, we decided to make the pumpkin pie the following night. The “don’t judge a book by it’s cover” mantra came to mind with this one…

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“This is definitely not the right consistency”

“Oh well”

It was anything but solid but it was seriously delicious. Thus, faux pas aside, we declared The Pumpkin Plan a success.

Now, the day after our fabulous meal Kenny had a rest day, so we went for the leisurely nature walk I was promised. It was gorgeous outside. The perfect fall day. Naturally, I took a few (…dozen) photos.

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IMG_2702IMG_2703gSwans and ducks were paddling peacefully around the lake. Teddy appreciated neither the ducks nor their quacking.

“This appears to be an attack formation… we should leave”

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“Are they gone?”

Kenny and I have driven by this little lake a few times, and I have been meaning to walk Teddy here since I first saw it. The lake is called Kreuzteich and is only about 5 minutes from our apartment. Braunschweig has so many parks that need exploring.

The Tedster and I are definitely up to the challenge:)

IMG_2718bIt was at this time Kenny got bored of our nature walk and needed something to do. Thus, as you can see, I relinquished my camera. Photography à la Kenny is always one of two things: either really great, or really strange.

For example: every time I turned around he was taking a picture of a tree trunk. Not exactly its most aesthetically pleasing feature. Eventually though, it made sense…

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They were all spray painted with the letter “K.” Evidently they knew Ken was coming. I also found pictures of some completely unremarkable leaves, a few photos taken (from the perspective of a squirrel) directly up a tree, and of course a few zoomed in on my backside. Last but not least, this duck was deemed worthy of a zoom shot…

“HEY EMILY, CHECK OUT THIS WEIRD DUCK”

Fortunately he redeemed himself with this nice photo of Ted and I:)

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“Is that weird duck gone?” – Ted

Ken and I headed home feeling blessed and thankful. Nature has a way of doing that to a person.

Before I sign off (and since it has been so long since my last post) I have a few pictures of Kenny and I in Hannover. Last weekend Kenny had an off day and we decided to get out of Braunschweig and go check out a new city. Hannover is only 30 minutes away from us. Which was perfect because we were planning on a late start. Understandably, Kenny wanted to actually rest on his rest day:) After a long lie in we were off!

Hannover is beautiful and I cannot wait to go back and explore it. We walked around a bit and had dinner before heading to the Oktoberfest. It was not a Friday or a Saturday so it was very tame. As per usual, we spent way too much money on carnival games and way too many calories on dark chocolate covered strawberry kabobs! We had a blast and, after an embarrassing amount of euros, Kenny won me a Kevin. Truth be told, Kenny and I just wanted an excuse to wear our lederhosen and dirndl again! :))

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Kevin the Minion and a photobombin’ son of a gun.

Though, I am afraid the life of Kevin will be a short one.

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“This is mine, yes?”

Phew! I think I covered it all. Thanks for reading my ramblings, guys. If we do anything interesting or I compile enough random events I am sure I will be writing again in no time. I hope you guys are having your own autumn adventures:)

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Cheers!

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