Memories for Miriam, Alice, Theo, Delia, Tessa
and anyone else who would like to be here
Two farmers market pumpkins are in the picture. The dark orange one is for eating. The hard, orange pumpkin flesh inside the skin will be sweet and good when I cook it. I will also toast the pumpkin seeds. The white pumpkin is for decoration. It would be ok to eat it, but maybe it wouldn't be as sweet as the orange one.
American Indians had pumpkins long ago before the rest of us came across the ocean to America. They cut pumpkins in long strips and dried them to save food for winter. In summer and fall they cooked pumpkins over their open fires.
Now most Americans use pumpkin only for jack-o-lanterns at Halloween and for pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving dinner. Sometimes people use a pumpkin as a container for soup or other food. For Thanksgiving last year, we had a pumpkin baked with savory bread-and-cheese pudding inside, as well as the other Thanksgiving foods like turkey and vegetables.
Lots of people from far away countries like pumpkin too. In Africa and in the Caribbean islands people make pumpkin soup or stew with lots of spice. I have eaten pumpkin soup in England, Australia, and other places too. In Italy good cooks make pumpkin-filled ravioli or sweet pumpkin tortes with lots of different ingredients. In France we once tried beef stew with pumpkin in it. Our friend Marianna makes a Hungarian pumpkin dish with strips of sweetened pumpkin.
Do you like pumpkin? Or do you just like jack-o-lanterns?