Pumpkin is one of those vegetables (yes, it is a vegetable) that either has people liking it, or despising it.
I like pumpkin, and hubbard, and acorn, and turban, and butternut, and just about every other kind of squash (yes, it is in the squash family). So, if I use the term “pumpkin” to describe you or someone else, it’s meant to be an endearing term as in, “she’s so sweet, she’s a little pumpkin.”
If you like to paint, or color, or sew, or do anything that involves the use of color, I would think you would be in love with pumpkin, the color. It certainly does liven up the countryside about this time of year, and it livens up a picture too.
When decorating with pumpkins outside, please do not bleach them. Instead, wash them with a vinegar and water solution. This makes them safe for animals to eat. When you’re done with the fall decorations, smash them and feed them to the chickens, sheep, goats, horses, or leave them for the deer. The seeds are a natural dewormer.
Nowadays, the usual way to find pumpkin for cooking is canned. It’s nice and neat and prettily labeled on the grocery store shelf. I know we’ve all gotten so used to this perfect pumpkin, nicely mashed, sometimes salted, and colored, that we tend to think that’s the only way to go. But, you can use a pressure cooker to can it yourself or you can freeze the pulp. No matter what you use, try out these recipes for the taste and color of fall.
Makes 3 dozen
Great for the kids to take to all those Halloween parties.
- 1/3 cup butter
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 large whole eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 cup prepared or canned pumpkin
- 2-1/4 cups flour
- 4 tsps. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 cups raisins, optional
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts, optional
Preheat oven to 325 F. Cream together butter and brown sugar. Beat in the eggs, vanilla and pumpkin and mix until creamy. Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Stir in by hand until smooth, then add raisins and nuts if desired. Drop by tablespoons unto a greased cookie sheet and bake 12 to 15 minutes or until the bottom is lightly browned and cookie is dry. Frost, once cooled, if desired.
Serves 16 to 24
Quite the switch from pumpkin pie! Don’t do the low fat thing with this recipe; use the regular cream cheese and whipping cream. You really do need a spring form pan for this, a nine-inch round pan with a removable bottom; the sides spring out when the clamp is released.
- 1-1/2 cups ground sugar cookies (like Nilla wafers) or graham crackers
- 1/2 cup butter
Crush or grind up the sugar cookies until fine. Melt the butter and combine with the cookie crumbs. Mix this together and press into a nine-inch spring form pan, bringing it up the edges of the pan a little.
- 24 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 5 large whole eggs
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup flour
- 16 ounces (2 cups) prepared or canned pumpkin
- 1/2 cup whipping cream
- 2 tsps. vanilla
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp, nutmeg
Using a mixer, beat the softened cream cheese, eggs and sugar until fluffy. Sprinkle in the flour and combine. Add the remaining ingredients and beat until smooth. Pour the cream cheese mixture over the crust into the pan.
Bake in a preheated 350 F oven for 15 minutes. Lower the temperature to 250 degrees and bake for 1 hour more or until the center of the cake looks dry. Test as you would for custard; if a knife comes out clean when inserted in the middle it is done. Remove from oven and immediately run a knife around the inside edge of the pan to prevent cracking. Return the cake to the oven, which is now off and let it sit for another hour.
Remove from oven, let cool, then refrigerate, uncovered. Once it is cut, you will want to cover it. For a pretty presentation at a holiday dinner, decorate with shaved almonds, fresh whole cranberries, and whip cream.