This time of year everyone is going out to their favorite pumpkin patch to gather up pumpkins, cornstalks, gourds, mums and other items to take home and decorate for fall and the Halloween season.

Afterward you can invite friends over and enjoy some pumpkin treats and hot chili.

Chili

1 1/2 pounds ground beef

2 celery ribs, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

1 can (46 ounces) tomato juice

1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained

1 can (16 ounces) kidney beans, drained

1 can (10 ounces) condensed tomato soup, undiluted

1/2 cup water

2 tablespoons chili powder

Salt and pepper to taste

In a large stock pot, cook the beef, celery and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add the tomato juice, tomatoes, beans, soup, water, chili powder, and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

Pumpkin Patch Bars

1/2 cup shortening

1 cup packed brown sugar

2 eggs

cup fresh or canned pumpkin (I use fresh)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Orange Frosting

3 tablespoons shortening

2 cups confectioner's sugar

3 tablespoons orange juice

Candy pumpkins

In a large mixing bowl, cream shortening and brown sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in pumpkin and vanilla. Combine the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda; add to creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in the nuts. Spread into a greased 13x9 inch baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. In a mixing bowl, beat the shortening, confectioner's sugar and orange juice until blended. Frost bars; cut into squares. Top with candy pumpkins.

Fairytale Pumpkin Cake

3 cups flour

2 cups sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 cups fresh or canned pumpkin (I use fresh)

1 cup vegetable oil

cups chopped nuts

Mix all dry ingredients together. Add oil and pumpkin. Mix well. Add the nuts. Pour into greased and floured 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pans or one large Bundt pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

With these recipes that use pumpkin, I cooked down what they call Fairytale pumpkin. It is a very deep orange in color and very easy to cook and strain for your favorite pumpkin recipes. It also makes delicious pumpkin pies.