Friday, October 28, 2011

More Pieces of Pumpkin.

I have learned much from your comments and emails, my American friends, about the Halloween pumpkin thing. I did not realise the extent to which carving-pumpkins differed from eating-pumpkins. Here in Oz we are clearly nowhere near as advanced in this seasonal art as to grow a special variety of pumpkin better fitted to the sculptural process. Or maybe we don’t like to waste all that growing time on something well short of deliciously edible. The Jack-o-Lanterns I have seen in this country are made from varieties that produce a pumpkin feast as a side-line, although admittedly they are more difficult to carve.

In spite of my new insights, I want continue with the pumpkin theme again today, because a few of you may still have an ongoing problem with the pumpkin innards from your lantern-carving efforts. In any case,the pumpkin is such an amazingly versatile vegetable (even if it is botanically a fruit),  that a few more ideas will surely not go to waste.

I realise that most of you are not likely to actually dry your own pumpkin, or make your own pumpkin yeast (although I hope you found the ideas interesting.) Today I want to concentrate on the more do-able recipes for the modern world.

If making yeast-risen bread, as suggested yesterday, is not your thing, perhaps this variation on sweet cornmeal ‘bread’ will be acceptable:

Nice Brown Bread.
Two and one half quarts of Indian meal, three pints of wheat flour, one quart of stewed pumpkin, one teaspoonful of ginger, and one and one-halfcups of molasses, and two teaspoonfuls of soda. Mix with sweet milk or water, and bake over night in a brick oven.
Jackson Sentinel, 22 May 1873.

Or for the pickle-lovers amongst you:

Pumpkin Pickle.
This pickle is ready to eat 24 hours after it is made. Peel and seed about 5 lb pumpkin. Cut the pulp in pieces about 3 in. long and 1 in. wide. Steam till tender. In the meantime, put one quart vinegar into a saucepan with one pint water, 2 lb. sugar, one tablespoonful salt, and four sticks cinnamon, broken in small pieces. Bring to the boil. Drain the pumpkin, put into small jars and fill up with boiling vinegar.
Canberra Times, 12 February 1931  

Or how about one or both of the following ideas?

Pumpkin Fritters.
Take four cups boiled drained pumpkin, three eggs, one teaspoonful of baking powder, four tablespoonsful flour, three tablespoonsful sugar, season with a little nutmeg. Beat all up well together, fry in a little fat (in a pan, of course) in size of small cakes. When, brown on both sides, put in a large flat dish, and sprinkle over with a mixture of granulated sugar and cinnamon.
Examiner (Launceston, Tasmania) 30 April 1927

Pumpkin Patties.
Put 1 lb. of cooked and sifted pumpkin into a bowl, add half a cupful of golden syrup, half teaspoonful salt, 2 tablespoonful of bread or cake crumbs, ½ teaspoonful melted butter, and 1 teaspoonful orange extract or orange juice. Line some patty pans with short pastry, fill in with the pumpkin, mixture and bake in a hot oven for 20 to 25 minutes. The patties may be decorated with a little whipped and sweetened cream.
The West Australian (Perth, WA) 23 March 1928

Quotation for the Day.

I don't know that there are real ghosts and goblins, but there are always more trick-or-treaters than neighborhood kids.
Robert Brault


Piet said...

The patties sound delicious. Do you know whether it's possible to substitute honey for golden syrup? I've never seen golden syrup in our stores. I'm thinking about the texture of the patties when baked.

The Old Foodie said...

I think honey would work well -the flavor would be superb with pumpkin. The other thing that is usually recommended is corn syrup - but I dont have much experience with thatas a aubstitute.

PBReber said...

I've made Pumpkin Pickles from 18th, 19th cen recipes... folks prefer with more sugar - pickles can get very sour. Lots of 'pie' pumpkins - Long neck or Sugar pumpkins work well. I'm trying an Amish variety this weekend. Pictures of cutting chips from the first two varieties in 2 past postings are here:
or and click pumpkin on side