NEW! Discontinued Trailer at Meadowbrooke Gourds

This past Saturday during our May Faire we opened our brand new trailer of discontinued products!

It is open during our normal Retail Store business hours which are Tuesday-Saturday from 10-4.

Visit our brand new trailer to choose from a selection of discontinued Meadowbrooke Gourds!

Decorate Your Holiday Wreath With Gourds

One way to add an interesting touch to your holiday decor is to use gourds as part of  your wreaths.

Our small Angel gourd, Emily, is pictured above attached to the wreath on our Retail Store door. Give the wreath some interest with pinecones and other ornaments.

Any of these gourd ornaments pictured above would make a lovely addition to your wreath!

Picture these little guys on a rustic, snowflake wreath like pictured below.

image courtesy ochristmastress.com

Or get really creative and craft a wreath in the actual shape of a snowflake:

image by Little Things Brings Smiles (click for original post)

The gourd snowman ornament would look adorable in the center of this unique, rustic display!
Click here for the tutorial on how to craft this snowflake wreath. The instructions are for a much smaller decoration, but you can always make it larger to fit any door or space.

One-Of-A-Kind Gourds at Our Winter Silent Auction

THANK YOU to everyone that participated in our online Silent Auction as well as the live Silent Auction at our Retail Store this past weekend.

Here are just a few of the unique, one-of-a-kind gourds that were sold:

Large tree gourd

 

Snowman with Stars

Caroler

Gourd Nativity Scene

4-tier snowman

Santa Silhouette

Winter Scene

Blue Lit Flower

A Big Thank You

We would like to send a big THANK YOU to everyone that participated in our first Online Silent Auction. It was a huge success with over 200 bids coming in. We are able to donate $640.00 to Project S.H.A.R.E as a result of this auction. Thank you again!

We joined other Carlisle Area businesses as part of the Claus Cause! This year's charity was Project S.H.A.R.E. We are so thrilled we were able to play a part in this great initiative to support a worthy cause.

A Gourdgeous Christmas Tree

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, which means Christmas decorating season will be in full swing in just a few days!

Add gourds to your Christmas tree this year for a beautiful display. Here are just a few of the ornaments we offer…

Brambles Boy Ornament

Brambles is also our November product of the month! He is 2 inches in diameter. Buy him here!

These ornaments are hand-painted by Jessie Geesey. There are five different ornaments to choose from.

Jessie's Penguin Ornament

The penguin ornament is 4 inches tall. Click here to purchase.

Jessie's Tall Santa Ornament

The tall Santa is approximately 6.5 inches tall. Click here to purchase.

Black Friday is the perfect time to get your gourd ornaments and other Christmas gourds! Here are the details of our Black Friday sales. Also, on Saturday, November 26th, children ages 5-12 will have the opportunity to paint a gourd ornament for only $5. We will provide the tissue paper and bag ready for gift giving. We hope to see you there!

 

Thanksgiving Centerpieces

November 1st means it’s time to start planning your Thanksgiving dinner and family get togethers. Let Meadowbrooke Gourds take care of beautifying your table with gourds!

Here are just a few of the options we love from our Gourdicopia Collection:

Create a grouping of petite and small splendors in a decorative bowl, container, or even another gourd as shown!

Group medium and large sized gourds on the table for a modern, simple display.

There are so many options with these small gourds and gourd bowls. Have fun designing your perfect Thanksgiving centerpiece! Click here to purchase.

October 7th – 9th Activities

Our friends at Plow and Hearth Harrisburg, PA will be holding their Grand Opening Celebration this Sunday, October 9th. We will be there for our Create your own Jack O’Lantern activity!

In addtion to this fun event, we will be at the National Apple Harvest Festival on Saturday and Sunday!

Also, don’t forget, Friday and Saturday is the second weekend of our Fall Open House! 

Activities include: Make your Own Scarecrow and Oops! Sale (Extended from Fall Open House 1) As well as,Create-your-own Jack o’ Lantern, and New this year! Scarecrow head and Green Witch. We put our very best craftsmen in a giant gourd called the “Jack Shaq”. After drawing your design on the gourd, feed it to the Jack Shaq and out will come your one-of-a-kind artistically cut gourd. All ages and levels of artistic skill are encouraged to try this! You will find you have more talent than you ever thought.
(Workshop opens at Noon on Friday. Last seating will be one hour prior to closing.)

Upcoming Fall Events in Pennsylvania

Meadowbrooke Gourds goes on the road during the year to various shows, festivals and expos! Fall is an especially busy time with fun things to do throughout Pennsylvania virtually every weekend! Mark your calendars for the following fall events. Be sure to stop by the Meadowbrooke display and say hi when you’re there! We look forward to meeting you.

Meadowbrooke Gourds at National Apple Harvest Festival

September 10th East Berlin Colonial Days

September 17th Scarecrow Festival at the Broken Spoke Shop in Somerset, PA (Create your own Jack O’Lantern)

September 17th Sacred Heart Wine Festival in Hanover, PA

September 24th Moravian Book Store Bethlehem, PA (Create Your Own Jack O’Lantern)

September 25th The Yellow Barn Center Valley, PA (Create Your Own Jack O’Lantern)

October 1st Waterloo Gardens Exton, PA  (Create Your Own Jack O’Lantern)

October 1st and 2nd National Apple Harvest Festival Arendtsville, PA

October 8th and 9th National Apple Harvest Festival Arendtsville PA

October 9th  Plow and Hearth Grand Opening in Harrisburg, PA (Create Your Own Jack O’Lantern)

Create your own Jack will be available at a number of these events!

More about each of these fun events coming soon!

Homemade Caramels for Your Pumpkin Gourd Candy Dish

Our pumpkin candy dishes are a great conversation piece for guests. Fill them up this fall with your own homemade caramels! Your guests will be so delighted.

Gourd "pumpkin" candy dishes at Meadowbrooke Gourds

Here is a recipe from about.com for caramels that are soft, chewy and melt-in-your-mouth good!

Watch a helpful video about how to make these caramels!

To make these caramels, you will need:
2 cups of heavy cream
1/2 cup condensed milk
2 cups light corn syrup
1/2 cup water
2 cups granulated sugar
1 stick (or 4 oz) of softened butter, cut into pieces

Heat the Cream
Place a small saucepan over a burner set to very low heat, and add the heavy cream and the condensed milk. Basically you just want the cream to get warm so it doesn’t cause the hot caramel to seize when you combine them later, so don’t get it hot enough to boil.

Combine Caramel Ingredients
In a large saucepan combine the water, corn syrup and granulated sugar over medium-high heat. Stir the candy until the sugar dissolves, then insert a candy thermometer and reduce the heat to medium. Take a wet pastry brush and wash down the sides of the pan to prevent sugar crystals from forming and making the candy grainy.

Allow the mixture to come to a boil and cook until the thermometer reads 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Add the softened butter chunks and the warm milk-cream mixture. You will notice that the temperature will go down substantially, about 30 degrees.

Continue to cook the caramel and stir frequently so that the bottom does not scorch. Cook it until the thermometer reads 244 degrees, and the caramel is a beautiful dark golden brown.

Set the Caramel
Once at 244, remove the caramel from the heat and immediately pour it into a 9×9-inch pan lined with foil and sprayed with cooking spray. Allow the candy to set completely.

Cut the Caramel Into Pieces
When the caramel is set and ready to cut, lift the caramel from the pan and place it upside down on a cutting board. Peel the foil layer from the bottom of the caramel. Spray a large knife with nonstick cooking spray, and cut the caramels into small 1-inch bars. If the knife gets sticky, wipe it off and oil it again as often as necessary.

Wrap the Caramels
As you can see, these caramels are wonderfully soft and chewy. Because of their soft texture, they’ll gradually spread and lose their shape if you don’t wrap them after they’re cut.

I like to use squares of waxed paper to wrap my caramels, and the easiest way is just to twist the ends, like a Tootsie Roll. You could also use cling wrap, or dip them in chocolate instead.

These caramels have an amazing, melt-in-your-mouth texture and a lovely creamy, buttery flavor, and they keep for several weeks at room temperature, so you can enjoy them over and over again.

Read more: http://candy.about.com/od/caramelrecipes/r/soft_caramels.htm

“Out of Our Gourds for Gourds”

While poking around Twitter, we came across a blogger named, Nancy who runs the blog “Tales from the Mom-Side.” She wrote a great post today called, “Out of Our Gourds for Gourds” detailing her first encounter with dried gourds and crafting! She sure did her research about this fruit and art form and we wanted to share a portion with you on our blog. It is full of awesome information that some gourd enthusiasts may not even know!

From “Tales from the Mom-Side” Blog: Well, I got a little curious, because it seemed odd to me that a plant would be developed solely for decorative purposes, and Mom couldn’t think of any food purposes behind the gourd, so I did what any reasonable 21st century individual would do – I googled “gourd.”  I found out several interesting things about them.

First, they are related to cucumbers and melons.  I wouldn’t have guessed either relationship, although had I seen the scientific name for the gourd family first, Cucurbitaceae, I might have been able to guess at the cucumber relationship.

Second, they were brought to the United States around 10,000 years ago with the peoples who crossed over the land bridge which then existed on the Bering Straits.  Genetic tests have shown that the American bottle gourd is most closely related to the Asian bottle gourd.  The Asian bottle gourd is descended from the African bottle gourd.

Third, and I find this most interesting, the gourd was the first domesticated plant in the Americas.  It was not grown as a food crop, but as a container.  The gourd itself is the fruit of the plant; its shell is strong and buoyant, and has been used for thousands of years as containers, for musical instruments, and fishing floats.  FN.

Raw, cleaned gourds for crafting available online here.

Read Nancy’s full blog post here and perhaps even get some gourd crafting inspiration of your own.

We hope you have an fun time crafting your gourds!!!