54 Comments

  1. There’s a wide variety of pumpkins in stores now, other than the classic smooth orange ones.
    I would presume that current “home” magazines might play up the newer varieties as the hot thing to have. Interestingly there’s a variety covered in warts…those are genetically bred that way.

  2. Just get a whole bunch of pumpkins. At least one of them is bound to be good enough, and it takes a lot less time than searching the store (or wherever) for the perfect one that someone else will buy just before you decide on it anyway.

  3. If you look for exactly one pumpkin, you’re looking to match a specific image of the Platonic ideal of a decorative pumpkin. If you throw a whole bunch of different gourds with different aesthetics up, you’re undermining the very concept of a singular ideal of “decorative pumpkin-ness”, and therefore you’re removing most of the pressure.

    If you’ve got one pumpkin, then you’re judging it on size, roundness, symmetry, orange-ness, curve of the stem, and all the other factors which drive our ideas of what a perfect pumpkin for a Jack-o-Lantern looks like. If you’ve got a pile of ’em, of different styles, shapes, colors, and concepts, you have saved yourself from that psychological burden.

    I don’t know. It makes sense to me.

  4. When I was a little kid my mom bought something I had never seen before and have never seen since. It was some kind of squash, but it was pure white and shaped like a giant poisonous mushroom. I was absolutely sure that eating it would kill me. Just looking at it scared me.

  5. Hmmm. If it had a distinct cap and stem, then possibly a turban squash. Those aren’t usually white but I think they do come in that color.

  6. Turban squash. I learn the best stuff here.

    I think the variety of pumpkins is to put all over your front porch/stoop/yard. Decorative, you know.

  7. I went the ‘decorative’ pumpkin route years ago – glass, fabric, glittered, sequined, lighted from inside, a variety of colors . . . anything but real ones.

  8. For most of my kid’s childhood, she was in charge of selecting the pumpkin, from a vast array at the pumpkin farm. I’ve no idea what thought, if any, went into the selection. Now that she’s grown, I don’t bother with any pumpkin-murder. When the pumpkin-gods return from the sky, I’ll be in the clear, I think, depending on what the statute of limitations is.

  9. James Pollock, It’s not pumpkin murder, it’s pumpkin murder and consumption. Cut into chunks, steam, add butter and salt and YUK!

    And if you have more than you can eat, share it with the squirrels. Or your cat. Both love pumpkin.

  10. So… just how much a “thing” *is* squirrels eating pumpkins.?

    It’s not Alien to me (pun unintended) but it’s not really on my radar either.

  11. “And if you have more than you can eat, share it with the squirrels. Or your cat. Both love pumpkin.”

    Any pumpkin is more than I can eat, barring famine. But my cat shares my disinclination to consume a pumpkin.

  12. If you leave your pumpkin outside, the kids in the neighborhood will probably smash it in the street before the squirrels can get to it. Squirrels will CHEW on anything; whether they’ll actually EAT what they chew is another matter. We had a plastic bag with river rocks in the backyard . . . went to move it to finally use them, and found that squirrels had chewed up the bag. Luckily for us, they hadn’t eaten any of the rocks.

    I have shock traps set out for rats and have caught several squirrels because they are, after all, just rats with bushy tails and will eat anything I put in the traps for the rats. Omnivorous, the little [enter expletive of your choice here].

  13. All my dogs get a tablespoon of puréed pumpkin every morning. Digestive reasons and it works well AND they love it. I tasted it once – yuck.

  14. One last comment on pumpkin [pie] spice, assuming the season is now over with . . . I was listening this morning to Garrison Keillor’s ‘And Now It’s Christmas’ [yes, I listen to Holiday music all year ’round, altho not exclusively but integrated into my SONOs sound system, for a very good reason, but I digress]. Anyway, he was talking about the various pies being made for the Lake Wobegon Lutheran Church dinner, or some such, and the ladies do NOT make pumpkin pie ’cause it’s pretty boring. His last comment is, ‘Pumpkin pie is just an excuse to eat nutmeg.”

    For me, it’s an excuse to eat cinnamon, brown sugar, and pecans. Nutmeg in itself is not that great a taste, but I thought it funny anyway.

  15. I forgot to add this, which was the raison d’etre for the above comments . . .

    (And if you’ve already saved this for next year, CIDUBill, at least you have 11 months to take it out of the queue. And to accept my apology for stepping on your . . . queue.)

  16. Pumpkin pie is just an excuse to eat nutmeg.

    I have it in my thrice-weekly oatmeal. I like it. Freshly-grated, of course.

  17. Brian in StL:

    1) how does one grate pumpkin pie?

    2) IF the only pumpkin pie you’ve had is the ‘traditional’ kind, which is crust, filling and nothing much else, I agree with your dislike. Howsomever . . . IF you were to have MY French crust pumpkin pie, you’d have a crust of either shortbread or Nilla wafers (NO graham crust allowed in this house, for ANY pie), subtly flavored with cinnamon and nutmeg, filled with [real] pumpkin not-so-subtly spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and a bit of allspice, and topped with a crumbled mixture of UNsalted butter, flour, brown sugar, pecans and more of the above-mentioned spices. It would be served warm, topped with whipped cream. (Hubby’s mantra is, ‘I’d like some pie with my whipped cream, please.’)

    Once you’ve tried that, you’ll never go back (to plain pumpkin pie).

    Now I’m hungry for pie. An apple pie sounds good, too. In WI, Autumn would be the time for making pies and giving them to friends – Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie is another fave – but the weather here in FL just isn’t conducive to ‘autumn pie baking’, altho a Key Lime pie sounds good right about now.

    All this talk of pie puts me in mind of ‘Twin Peaks’ and Special Agent Dale Cooper’s fetish for pies; don’t I wish I could find a place ‘where pies come to die’.

  18. 2) IF the only pumpkin pie you’ve had is the ‘traditional’ kind

    Ah the old, “You just haven’t had it made the right way!” Nope. Why would I eat that when I could have some nice pecan, key lime, chocolate, or cherry pie? There’s only so much pie you’ll have in your life.

  19. Yeah, makes sense. Which is why I’d never eat cherry pie, no matter how it’s made. Unless the cherries are left out, of course . . .

  20. Brian is right, from my perspective. If God wanted me to eat pumpkins, he’d have made them taste good.

  21. Wow. I realize tastes vary, but I literally don’t think I’ve ever heard of anyone who didn’t like, or at least sort-of like (when in the form of a pie) pumpkin.

    (Of course, I’m also still in shock years later after I found out some people don’t like coconut. But I stayed married to her anyway.)

    Yet why do I have to hunt down grocery aisles to find a mouthwash or a toothpaste that doesn’t taste of (yecch) “mint”? (For toothpaste, the answer is Close-Up.) Truly, the world is mad.

    (Just ate a pumpkin-spice-flavored donut hole, and now I’ve made myself hungry for another one.)

  22. “Yet why do I have to hunt down grocery aisles to find a mouthwash or a toothpaste that doesn’t taste of (yecch) “mint”?”

    I briefly thought as this sentence began that you were looking for pumpkin [spice]-flavored toothpaste.

    Cinnamon is another popular toothpaste & mouthwash flavor.

  23. Oh goody . . . we can now go into an entire riff on sweet potato pie [which I really like, but have never made] . . . or not. Just reiterate all of the above posts about pumpkin pie, substituting sweet potato pie.

    I really wish we had a café here that specialized in pies. The café in WI where we used to eat [almost] ev’ry day had homemade pie and we’d have some for breakfast (after real food, like breakfast tacos and skillet, etc.) . . . unfortunately, we were the ONLY ones eating the pie, as the café closed at 1 p.m. and not many people like to eat pie that early in the day. So that only lasted a few months.

    I offered to make pies for them to sell, as I love to bake but shouldn’t be eating everything I bake, but I’d have to either have the Health Department inspect my kitchen, OR make ’em in their kitchen. Neither option was appealing to me.

  24. Chocolate shoo fly pie – shoo fly pie (Amish type of pie made with molasses and brown sugar – hence the need to shoo the flies) with chocolate added and a bit of chocolate frosting on top.

    Funny cake – a cake in a pie shell. It is unique to a different Pennsylvania German area (not traditional Amish but general German Protestant area) than Lancaster. We first heard of it – and ate it – at the Goshenhoppen Festival that we go to in August. If one wants one – one should buy it and walk it back to the car – if one waits for later when one will be leaving – it will be out. It is a pie shell, layer of liquid chocolate, and a vanilla cake on top of the chocolate in the pie shell. The festival was the only place we had seen it until we went to Hennings supermarket in the broad general area where they also have it – and they are open all year as opposed to the 2 day Fair.

    I find the former – heaven; Robert likes both equally.

  25. @ Andréa – “…go into an entire riff on sweet potato pie…
    My grandmother (bless her soul) would always make multiple pies for Thanksgiving, including both pumpkin and sweet potato. Optically they were virtually identical, so I always asked to make sure I was getting pumpkin. There must have been someone in the family who really preferred sweet potato (otherwise she wouldn’t have gone to the trouble), but I don’t know who it was. However, now that I live in a place where it is impossible to get pie (of any sort) unless I make it myself, I once did try a mixture of pumpkin and sweet potato, and it wasn’t that bad at all. Perhaps my grandmother did know what she was doing after all.

  26. Until a few years ago, Sweet Potato Pie was, far as I could tell, ‘soul food’; in fact, I only tasted it when one of our security aide brought some to work and again when I joined a friend and her in-laws for a Thanksgiving dinner. [Let’s just say that my friend and I were the lightest people in the room ‘-)]

    Starting a year or two ago, Patti LaBelle, who I guess is a ‘famous’ person, began marketing Sweet Potato Pies through Walmart; now they are ubiquitous during the season.

  27. Patti LaBelle, who I guess is a ‘famous’ person

    Yes, a popular singer in the 70s and 80s.

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