A Sentiment

God knew what He was doing when He sent a gentle breeze and brought a lovely butterfly to set my heart at ease. The happiness of your friendship and the gentleness of your words have touched my life in special ways and now I feel assured. Thank you for your loyalty and for reading everyday. I only hope you find things to make a happy day.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Plant of the Month....the Pumpkin

There's that Libby's can....fresh or canned?...that is the question. Either way...this is how it will look when finished....Ahhhh, I can smell it now.

I think that the plant of the month would have to be the pumpkin. Everywhere I go, I see pumpkins. The farmer's market, grocery store, in our yards, in the fields,on every porch, it seems. Orange ones white ones green ones...big ones down to the tiny Jack Be Nimbles.If you still have them in your garden...take them off the ground so the slugs won't get them. They will start rotting if left in a wet garden. I bought one from the grocery and noticed that I had bought a pie pumpkin. It was small and just the right size for sitting next to Goosey Lucy, on the front porch. I also bought a couple of cans of Libby's pumpkin. One year a friend and I made a fresh pumpkin pie. She was kind of a "from scratch kind of gal." She made her own hamburger buns for pete's sake. She was proud of the fact that on garbage collection day...there were no cans in bins in front of her house. She had a blackboard in her kitchen to write the menu of the day.The most organized woman I have ever known. Oh, dear back to pumpkins...Here is the recipe:

2 cups of pumpkin pulp purée from a pie pumpkin

1 1/2 cup heavy cream or 1 12 oz. can of evaporated milk
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs plus the yolk of a third egg
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamon
1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest
1 good crust

To make pumpkin purée from a pie pumpkin: start with a small-medium pie pumpkin, cut out the stem and scrape out the insides, discard. Steam in a saucepan with a couple inches of water at the bottom, until soft. Scoop out the pulp from the skin. Or you can bake whole or halved in a 350°F oven until fork tender. Optional - put pulp through a food mill to make extra smooth. We baked our pumpkins, because we didn't want it to be too watery.Didn't put it through a food mill...remember what I told you about her? Our pies were rustic natural pies...like the pioneer women would make. Pioneer women in jeans and sweatshirts, heating our tea in the microwave oven. :)

1 Preheat oven to 425°F.
2 Mix sugars, salt, and spices, and lemon zest in a large bowl. Beat the eggs and add to the bowl. Stir in the pumpkin purée. Stir in cream. Whisk all together until well incorporated.
3 Pour into pie shell and bake at 425°F for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes reduce the temperature to 350°F. Bake 40-50 minutes, or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.
4 Cool on a wire rack for 2 hours. (if you can wait)
Serve with whipped cream. Serves 8. Or maybe 4 if you haven't had a bite to eat all day and the pie is sitting there waiting to be sampled.

Now after telling you about this method...I could tell no difference in flavor between the pie made with Libby's (the one my Mom told me to use...the best ) or the fresh one. If you would like to be like the women in our past and make one from scratch...try it, it's a fun thing to do on a rainy day.
From scratch: Using basic ingredients.


Hocking Hills Gardener said...

Well now I am hungry.Yummy ;-)
Thanks for the identification of the green metallic bees Balisha. I would have never guessed they were a form of Sweat Bee.Diffidently not like the tiny black ones that get in the back of your knee just as you are squatting to get that weed, and then it gets you. ;-)
Have a great weekend.

azplantlady said...

Hello Balisha,

I am a big fan of Libby's canned pumpkin. I love making pumpkin bread with it every year. How come we only use pumpkin in our baking in the fall? I love it, but really cannot imagine baking using pumpkin in the spring....

Balisha said...

I only use it in the fall too.I wonder why? I love to make pumpkin bread. I just made a loaf for a Priest friend. He called it cake.

Judy said...

Hi Balisha, My whole family loves pumpkin pie. I always make the ones from the Libby's pumpkin pie filling can. A couple years ago my daughters wanted to make my pumpkin pies. I told them to get the recipe off the can and they could not believe that all these years I had not been making them from scratch. They never asked and I just never told them. Now, they make my pies all the time! I make pumpkin bread, too.

Barbee' said...

Loved this post, Balisha. It's a lovely time of year, isn't it, with all the golds and oranges around us. It somehow shouts "it's that pumpkin time of year".