Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Pumpkins & Autumn

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban devotes a lot of attention to the images of pumpkins. About a dozen huge pumpkins are growing in Hagrid's garden at the end of the school year at Hogwarts during what is supposed to be late spring in Scotland. Pumpkins are actually part of the autumn harvest in North America. It is one of the vegetables that the indigenous people on this continent introduced to the Euro-American settlers.

One of my favorite pies, and the only one that I am adept at making, contains canned pumpkin. The recipe that I follow calls for a package of gelatin, along with cinnamon and nutmeg and canned milk, and the addition of gelatin makes it possible for the pie to set up in the refrigerator. Some cooks prefer the addition of pumpkin spice, which combines those spices used in a pumpkin pie, but I find that the addition of the spices individually enhances the taste of cinnamon with each biteful. That first bite of a freshly made pumpkin pie needs to be savored to fully appreciate the different flavors; a pumpkin pie is best when the cinnamon flavor is readily apparent. A recipe for this no-bake pumpkin pie can be found at this link.

Beginning in late September, I begin to have cravings for pumpkin pie. My wife believes that this pie, because of the absence of additional sugars, apart from the sugar in the graham cracker crust and the sweetened condensed milk, qualifies as a vegetable. It even works as a breakfast food, I've discovered. I should probably experiment with the recipe to make it even healthier. It may be possible to eliminate the graham cracker crust, for example. Maybe there is an alternative to sweetened condensed milk, that is, one with less sugar.

The pictures appearing below come from Red Barn Farm, a local farm outside of Weston, Missouri.