All About Pumpkins

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From assorted versions of pumpkin pies to martinis & face scrubs. I’ve been reading many interesting pumpkin recipes of late. It’s the season, no? I thought that it might be fun to dig up some information on the Great Pumpkin.

Charley Brown characters in the pumpin patch
It’s the Great Pumpkin Season!

What they are

A pile of pumpkins
Just like people, pumpkins come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Like their human counterparts, some make great pies and treats, and others – not so much.

Pumpkins are native to the Americas and are actually a type of squash that are considered to be a fruit by many sources, although this seems to be a debatable fact. They can weigh from less then a pound to over a ton. They come in colors from white, beige, green, yellow, red and any combination in between. Their shapes can be oval, round, crooked and stacked with wart like bumps and large humps.

The Pilgrims’ Pumpkin Pie

A pumpkin with it\'s top cut off
Pumpkin Without the Pie, as shown from Bustle.

The pie that that the Pilgrims prepared for Thanksgiving wasn’t made with the flaky pie pastry that we long for at our holiday meal. The pumpkin was the crust. Pumpkins were cut open from the top (as we do for jack o’ lanterns) then hollowed out.

A mixture of cream, eggs, honey or maple syrup and spices were then poured into the pumpkins cavity. The cover was placed back on the the top and the pumpkin was set in hot ashes to cook. When served, the Pilgrims and Native Americans had something that tasted very similar to the pumpkin pie which we enjoy today- consider it a deconstructed pumpkin pie.

If it Says Libby’s Libby’s Libby’s on the Label Label Label...

A slice of pumpkin pie
This classic recipe has been on LIBBY’S® Pumpkin labels since 1950

Libby’s has their own high bred pumpkin that they use. Aa a matter of fact, 80% of the production of pumpkins in the US comes from Illinois. Libby is responsible for nearly 90% of all canned pumpkin product in North America.

How to make homemade pumpkin filling

A bunch of pumpkins
Want to make a pumpkin pie from scratch, look for sugar pumpkins.

If you’d like to make your own pumpkin filling, choose a 3 to 10 pound pumpkin that has sweet, smooth flesh,and is generous in flavor. Sometimes labeled as Sugar Pumpkin or cooking pumpkins, there are many names to choose from. Most have a high yield for their size and lower moisture content and are stringless.

As a matter of fact, those large pumpkins, usually 10 to 25 pounds which are are used for Jack O’ Lanterns, although edible, are watery, bland and full of stringy guts. They are pretty much a waste of time and effort for cooking, except for the seeds.

More information

A bunch of pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds can be quite yummy and they are incredibly simple to prepare.

  • Just rinse, pat dry and spread on a buttered or oiled baking sheet with a light sprinkle of salt.
  • Bake at 300* for about 1/2 an hour.
  • Give them a stir, put back in the oven & give them another 20 minutes or so until golden and crispy.
Two young boys carving a pumpkin
What kid doesn’t love pumpkins?

You don’t have to stop there, though. You can sprinkle with

  • granulated garlic
  • curry, brown sugar
  • cinnamon or
  • anything you might have a hankering for.
  • Enjoy!
A plate of pumpkin seeds

The BEST Pumpkin Pie Filling

Finally, if you don’t feel like making your own filling for pumpkin pie, don’t fret. One of our best foodie friends and the lady behind Cooking on a Budget, just happens to have one of the most popular pumpkin pie recipes this side of Plymouth Rock. This is a pumpkin pie filling that you are sure to love!

a pumpkin pie
The BEST Pumpkin Pie filling from Cooking on a Budget.

Meet the Platter Talk Guys

Dan & Scott split their time between Wisconsin and Southwest Florida and are dads to six boys. Good food runs through their veins, and they love showing others how to cook easy recipes.

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  1. It’s useful as a cook to know all about pumpkins. Love the pumpkin pie recipe for sure

  2. One of the reasons why I love Autumn so much is the fact that it’s also the season of pumpkins. Tomorrow, my boyfriend and I will be carving pumpkins and I’m SO excited!

    1. It’s a great time of year to have fun, isn’t it? I always think of Halloween as gateway to the holiday season.

  3. Your posts are always so informative. Interesting about the Pilgrams pie. I need to try roasting pumpkin seeds.

    1. Yes I wish that I had some seeds to roast, imagining some garlic flavored in oven, right about now…

  4. Interesting read on Pumpkins! I didn’t know the pumpkin pie the pilgrims ate was cooked inside the pumpkin. This sounds like something I’d like to try.

    1. I just told someone the very same thing. I that that it would provide a most interesting and introspective view for Thanksgiving day.

  5. Such a lovely post.. Love the colors. So much information. So much fun. Love such post. Thanks for all the information

    1. Wild, isn’t it? And not such a bad ides, if your think about it! Thanks for the comment, David.

  6. It is Pumpkin Festival time here, and many churches and clubs have pumpkin patches. As always, your information is great. Love your recipes!

    1. Amanada, I thinks it’s Pumpkin Festival EVERYWHERE!!! Glad that you liked the post and hope you enjoy the recipes. Have fun.

    1. I’m with you on the seeds from the pumpkin! Browned in butter are my favorite. Thanks for reading my post.

  7. I love all of the pumpkin tips and the information you shared. I am always excited when pumpkins are ready for picking and the pumpkin season begins. I use pumpkin all year long, I just love it.

    1. I’m very happy that you liked the pumpkin post. What are some of the dishes that you make with your pumpkin? I don’t often hear of people eating them year round! Good for you.