Yes, indeed. Happy National Pumpkin Month. I love pumpkin. I have since I was a child. My mother knew that no matter what other kinds of pie she had, I had to have a pumpkin pie. For many years, that was the only kind of pie I would eat. I’m not sure why. It wasn’t because of whipped cream. Well, not technically; it was Cool Whip in our house. But, I even loved pumpkin pie without the topping.
To be perfectly honest, it wasn’t the entire pie that I longed for. I wasn’t a big crust eater. In fact, I ate the pie “innards” and left the crust. Of course, there was never any lack of volunteers to eat the crust. I just knew it wasn’t going to be me. Even today, I make the pumpkin pie filling as though I am going to make a pie, but then I pour it into a dish and bake the innards.
I loved making jack-o-lanterns, too. I’m not much of an artist, and the face-carving knife always felt unwieldy in my hands. But, when it came to scooping the insides from the pumpkin, there was no one better than I. Oh, and I didn’t need a spoon or ladle; I preferred to use my hands to clean out what I affectionately call the pumpkin “goo.” For some reason, and I do admit this is rather strange, I loved the feel of the seeds and the stringy pumpkin components, as they oozed between my fingers. I don’t carve jack-o-lanterns anymore, and I seldom use fresh pumpkin in baking or cooking. Oh how I miss the pumpkin goo.
Most people seem to think of pumpkin only at Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Though I roast turkey throughout the year, for some reason, I don’t often think of making a pumpkin “pie,” custard, or cookies. Lately, when I seem to use pumpkin, it’s because one of the cats has an intestinal issue. But, when I heard there was going to be a shortage of pumpkins this year–including canned pumpkin–I went into pumpkin baking mode. I stocked up on canned pumpkin at the grocery store, and I baked pumpkin bread.
It is very good, if I do say so myself. You can find the recipe under Pages in the sidebar on the right. I tend to like my pumpkin bread spicy. If that’s not your preference, feel free to adjust the spice level to your tastebuds. Some people like cream cheese, ice cream, or whipped topping on their pumpkin bread. Me? I like mine plain–with a big glass of milk–or maybe with a thin schmear of butter (homemade is best, of course).
The next time a pumpkin craving hits, try pumpkin bread. It makes a wonderful breakfast, dessert, or snack.
(Oh, and National Pumpkin Pie Day is December 25. Thanksgiving would have made more sense to me but then that moves every year.)
© Copyright 2009 Ida Walker, All rights Reserved. Written For: The Enabling Cook