Pie Pumpkins aren’t always Orange

fullsizeoutput_7ad1This pretty white pumpkin isn’t orange at all, but will make at least 4 fine orange pumpkin pies! I never knew there were other colors of pumpkins until a few years ago. Pumpkins come in all shades of orange and tan, and even white, gray, blue, and purple. Yet most are orange meated.

The pumpkins we grew up seeing were round and bright primary orange. The rounded orange ones usually for sale around Halloween are thin-walled and easier to carve so they are just right for the season. The squatty tan pumpkins have thicker meat and are good for pie baking. I have tried all colors even the blues.

I like a pie made from the fresh pumpkin instead of the canned pumpkin. Why not try it?

Pumpkin Pie

Plan for two pies. Make two crusts and place those into pie plates and crimp the edges.

Crust recipe: 2 cups flour, 3/4 cup of lard, shortening or butter. 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cut the shortening or butter into the flour until crumbly. Add 7 tablespoons of ice water. Stir into a ball. Knead until mixed well then divide in two balls and roll out.

Cut up and clear the seeds and strings from inside your pumpkin and place it in a stock pot over boiling water to steam for about 30 minutes. Then cut out the soft pulp. You will need three cups for two pies.  Add the cooled pumpkin pulp to 2 cups of sugar and 4 egg yolks and 2 cups milk. Mix together. Add spices: 2 teaspoons of cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon cloves, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Beat the egg whites until fluffy and then fold them into the pumpkin mixture. Pour into the two pie crusts and place in preheated oven (350 degrees) for 40 minutes.

This makes a wonderful couple of from-scratch pumpkin pies with a nice custard and flavor. Freeze one for later. Serve with whipped cream.

 

Dear Summer

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Dear Summer,

I feel you coming softly and slowly to an end. With melons ripe in the garden and sunflowers rearing heavy heads are nodding off to sleep in the early afternoon heat. Their leaves like plates seem ready to catch seeds when they begin to drop from their centers.

After darkness begins to fall, I will come and water them so they will be with us still to greet autumn after the tomatoes are gone. After the musky smell of cantaloupe is washed away by evening rains. After the melons have been cut and chilled in the water tub of ice water. After we have feasted on all the sweet summer fruits and vegetables. After evenings on the back porch, after picnics by the lake, and after visits with grandparents and cousins, and when we begin to wish for school days.

After we have tired of the cicadas song, you will slip away without so much as a goodbye. We will ache for you for a time. Then a cool breezy sunny day will sweep in and we will wonder why we even liked you. We will be glad of your passing and happy for the season of apple picking and pumpkin pies and campfires.

We will relish the smell of burning leaves—your leaves shed like tears all day long after the first frost laden night—your leaves brown and brittle like love notes that fluttered from the trees. They will be raked up into huge heaps for children to leap and play in; and then burned of an morning while those children are off learning to read and write and spell words like September, autumn, harvest, chrysanthemum, and thanksgiving.

We will think back to you when we open jars of relish and tomatoes to make soups and when we make a berry cobbler or spread cherry jam on our toast. We will be glad of you and miss you a bit, but enjoy cozy evenings with family by the fireplace. We will miss you and by next spring late will be wishing you’d hurry back for us. We will be ready for your heat and for swimming and green grass and gardens.

So, Summer, I say my goodbyes now. So long and we will see you next year!

Love you,
Elece

Sunflowers bow their heads in the dark of summer nights, in the morning they lift them to the sky. As the day progresses, the sunflowers turn their faces toward the sun. We should also keep our chins up and our faces looking to the light of our Lord Jesus. Then we will find truth and be bold and strong as the sunflowers.