31 October 2011


It's Halloween, my man is back from five months in California, and we got some really strange cross-bred pumpkins from our garden. All of which has nothing whatever to do with each other, but I just thought I'd mention it.

On the topic of pumpkins, I hear this cross-breeding is a really common thing with them. The ones we got must be a cross between ordinary orange pumpkins and Sweet Dumpling squashes. Sweet Dumplings are little guys, no more than 5” across (there's one in the front right in the picture); the perfect single-serving squash, if you like that sort of thing.

Unfortunately, in my family I’m the only one who’ll eat cooked squash. That, my friends, is called an acquired taste. I never tasted squash until I came to Canada, and for starters, detested all of it, even the one dish my family does like (a lot): pumpkin pie. (It always makes me think of The Fat Ladies, Clarissa Dickson Wright and Jennifer Patterson, in one of their cooking shows: “...this pumpkin pie the Americans are all so fond of - never let an American near a pumpkin; dreadful things they do to them!” Hah. They certainly weren’t mealymouthed, those two. Too sad Jennifer had to go and die and put an end to that show. But Clarissa is still going strong, and writing excellent books on food and country living and her own life. If you haven’t read or seen any of her stuff, do check it out, even if you are an American, or Canadian, or German, or Any-other-an, who likes to do dreadful things to pumpkins. Heck, I do!)

The first time I tried pumpkin pie I thought “Eew!” The second time, it was “Hmm, not too horrible, especially slathered with whipped cream.” The third time, “I could get to like this!” And now I grow pumpkins in the garden specifically to make pie out of.

Our Jack-o-Lanterns usually get cooked down into pie fodder after the event, which is probably sacriligeous, but I do it anyway. This year, our largest pumpkin came from a volunteer plant which turned out to be one of those white ones - I call them ghost pumpkins, but I think technically the variety is called something like "New Moon". The flesh on that thing is a good two inches thick (it was really hard carving!), and bright orange; if it tastes as good as it looks, it would be a sacrilege not to make it into pies. It’ll be interesting to see if the funny crossbreeds are any good for pie. If not, at least they’re decorative.

Life, the Universe, and Cross-bred Pumpkins. Try acquiring a new taste today!


  1. I'm with you. I love squash. I make squash soup, squash muffins, squash bread, ... cookies, and I even used it to thicken a beef stew a couple days ago. So glad my hubby likes it too. If you have too many, I'll buy some.

  2. Well your cross bred ones are very beautiful! I wonder what you would get if you saved seeds from them?
    We were just talking about pumpkin pies (and squash pies) at our potluck last night. Apparently Australians don't eat pumpkins either, a friend was saying when they were there she had to make "pumpkin" pie out of squash. Then it turned out that the "pumpkin" pie we were devouring (brought by another person) was actually squash pie. It was so good!

  3. Yes, squashes make excellent pie. My favourite for the purpose is hubbard squash; the flesh is very smooth and drier than pumpkin. I was actually hoping that volunteer plant was a hubbard (I tried growing some, but they didn't "take"), but it was a ghost pumpkin instead, which turned out to be the nicest one I got this year.
    I'm not sure what would come out of those crossbreds- could be scary... :)

  4. Hello, amo.

    The graceful sense wraps your artworks.
    It's excellent and lovely...

    The season of colored leaves, heartwarming atmosphere.

    The traditional celebration, kimono infants.

    The prayer for all peace.

    From Japan, ruma ❀

  5. So happy to hear your hubby is finally home! You can eat pie together!!

  6. Yes, we already did! The Ghost Pumpkin had really dry flesh, nice and solid; I cooked one of the cross-breds, too (I've decided to call them Sweet Pumplings), and it made an excellent pie as well.