Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Pumpkin pie is made from the pulp of the Field Pumpkin, which is a member of the Gourd Family.  In addition to pie pumpkins, this particular species, (Cucurbitaceae), of the gourd family includes such squashes as crookneck, straightneck, zucchini, acorn and marrow. The species name comes from the Greek word pepon, meaning, “sun ripened”.

The pumpkin is from tropical America.  It arrived in, what came to be, the southern states of the United States long before the Vikings visit.  Several indigenous native tribes, including the Yuma Tribe, the Catawbas and the Menominees cultivated the plant for medicine as well as food. The Yuma Tribe made an emulsion from a mixture of pumpkin and watermelon seeds for healing wounds.  The Catawbas ate the fresh or dried seeds as a kidney medicine, and the Menominees drank a mixture of water and powdered squash and pumpkin seeds to ease the passage of urine.

Later on settlers began grinding the stems of pumpkin to make a tea thought to treat “female ills”.  The ripe seeds were made into an edible preparation to dispel worms.  Today’s home remedies no longer suggest the use of ground pumpkin stems for “female ills”, however, modern folk healers advocate the use of pumpkin seeds for ridding the body of intestinal worms.  It is also noted that modern healers believe pumpkin seed oil is helpful for healing burns and as a dressing for wounds.

The Field Pumpkin grows on an annual vine with tendrils and a creeping stem that can reach up to 30 feet in length.  The vine has large, rough, dull-green leaves, ½ to 1 foot wide, with a triangular shape and three to five lobes.  The bright yellow, funnel-shaped flowers bloom in June through August, are followed by the familiar orange fruit, which is furrowed when mature in late summer or early autumn and contain numerous flat white seeds.  Recipes follow...


LIBBY’S 100% Pure Pumpkin makes the best Pumpkin Pie.  It comes in 15 oz. cans and has this recipe on every can.

LIBBY'S® Famous Pumpkin Pie

MIX sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk.

POUR into pie shell.

BAKE in preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Top with whipped cream before serving.


Shebolith Says…
The next recipe was collected from BETTER HOMES AND GARDENS in the 1970’s; it is still a great recipe after all these years…

·        ½ cup packed brown sugar
·        ½ cup water
·        2 tablespoons butter or margarine
·        1 tablespoon cornstarch
·        1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
·        ¼ teaspoon salt
·        4 cups sliced, peeled cooking apples
·        1 tablespoon lemon juice
·        1 slightly beaten egg
·        1 cup canned pumpkin
·        ½ cup granulated sugar
·        ½ teaspoon ground ginger
·        ¼ teaspoon salt
·        1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
·        1 51/3-ounce can (2/3 cup) evaporated milk
·        Unsweetened whipped cream
·        1 9-inch (4-cup volume) deep dish pie shell


Bake the pie shell for 5 minutes in a 450 oven.  Cool

For filling, in medium saucepan combine brown sugar, water, butter or margarine, cornstarch, cinnamon, and ¼-teaspoon salt.  Cook and stir over medium heat for 5 to 6 minutes or until apples are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat; stir in lemon juice.  Spread the hot apple mixture evenly in the bottom of the partially baked pastry shell.

In mixing bowl combine egg, pumpkin, granulated sugar, ginger, the remaining ¼-teaspoon salt, and cloves; mix well.  Stir in evaporated milk.  Carefully pour pumpkin mixture over apples.  To prevent over browning, cover edge of pie with foil.  Bake in 375 oven for 20 minutes.  Remove foil; bake for 20 to 25 minutes more or until knife inserted off-center comes out clean.  Cool pie thoroughly on rack.  Serve with whipped cream.  Cover; chill to store.

Happy Autumn Days to All - Enjoy the Harvest!

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