Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Pumpkin Problem...Solved!

I  love Autumn!  I love the changing foliage and the cold, clear days!  It is also the time of year when I look forward to making and eating, warming stews, and thick hearty soups.  Recently I was browsing Pinterest for some autumnal recipe ideas...and I got so frustrated by the large amount of delicious looking goodies, all containing that elusive rogue...canned pumpkin!  Aaarrgghh!  I have NEVER even seen canned pumpkin for sale in either Ireland or England.

One time an American friend gave me a can of Libby's canned pumpkin, that she had brought from U.S.  We made (as per her recipe) the most delicious spiced pumpkin bread with it!  Yummy!  But once it was gone, that was that.  :(

But now my wonderful online pal Amazon, has gotten it in stock, and made it available for delivery to Ireland!  We now have 4 cans of Libbys 100% Pumpkin on its way (with free delivery too!)!!!!!!  So for the last few days I have pinned quite a lot of pumpkin recipes, and I cannot wait to get started.  Just to spur you all on too, make your mouth water, and/or put on several pounds in weight, because they are mostly all desserts! - I've linked to some scrumptious sounding pumpkin recipes below!

Canned Pumpkin Recipes

Happy Pumpkin Baking!


Nikki said...

I am so glad you are able to get Pumpkin now. :) This time of year is perfect for baking up all kinds of yummy treats. We made the Pumpkin Snickerdoodles last year and they were really good. Hoping my oven is working again soon as I miss baking, especially on these cooler days.

Anonymous said...

Just an FYI that some vegetables can stand in place of pumpkin very well - like carrots, for example!

Mashed sweet potato also can stand in when necessary.

Enjoying reading about your sweet family! :)
Diana (Arizona, USA)

Michele said...

Libby's canned pumpkin is not really pumpkin. It's squash. It's still good in recipes though.

sage said...

Have you given any thought to growing your own pie/sugar pumpkins? I believe Ireland has a growing situation similar to what we have here in Michigan.

The wonderful thing about growing them is the multiple benefits. Firstly, there is the pumpkin itself. But along with that come the nutrition powerhouse seeds, which can be roasted in a slow oven with salt, or other seasoning. Delicious!. And - if you grow an heirloom variety- some of the seeds can be saved for planting next spring. A two dollar packet of heirloom pumpkin seeds can provide perpetual, and extremely nutritious eating!

I store my pumpkins in my unheated attic, which can get quite cold, but not freezing. It's nice and dry up there too.

When preparing pumpkin, I just poke holes in the shell with a sharp knife, and place as many pumpkins as I can fit into my large counter-top roaster. (it functions somewhere between a crock pot and a regular oven)They can also be cooked in a conventional oven, as well as a regular crock pot.

After cooking, cut open pumpkins, scoop out the flesh and puree in food processor or food mill. At this point, you can either freeze it - or use it. (Some like to cut the pumpkin and remove seeds and stringy fibers before cooking, but that is a tough job. Much easier to cut after cooking.)

If you ever have the home grown kind - you will never go back!

Happy baking, Sarah!


Sarah said...

Nikki ~ We got notification two days ago that our canned pumpkin wil be here on Monday. So glad that you enjoyed making and eating the pumpkin snickerdoodles...Amy is planning on making some for church next week! :)

Diana ~ Thank you for sharing the link. I LOVE sweet potato also, perhaps I'll give that a try too! Thank you for commenting!

Michele ~ Oh well I guess it will be good all the same! :)

Sage ~ Yes, we do grow some of our own pumpkins, though we've never grown "sugar pumpkins". Last year we stored our pumpkins in the attic of our garage (cold and dry) and yet after just a couple of months they began to develop rot patches??

Elizabeth said...

I got excited about pumpkin and was going to leave a recipe as a comment, but it got terribly long. So I emailed you instead! Look for it! :D

Kerri said...

That's so interesting that Ireland doesn't have canned pumpkin! It makes me curious about some of the other things that we take for granted that other countries don't consider a staple. I'm guessing pumpkin pie isn't something the Irish eat? Can me and my family come live with you? ;o)

sage said...

Sarah - the rot could be caused by a couple of problems. The pumpkins need to be picked BEFORE hard frost, and the vines MUST be dry. If there are any nicks or dents on the shell - it is no good. Soil bacteria will have already made an inroad. After picking, wash pumpkins in warm soapy water with 10% bleach. ( I use my dog's bathtub.) I know that sounds like a lot, but it is absolutely necessary. My kids always enjoyed giving the pumpkins a "bath."

After thorough washing and drying, they need to "cure" outside in a sheltered, warm area. Ideally around 80 degrees for 10 days.

Then they can go into storage. If the attic you were storing them in went below freezing - that could also cause rot. 40 degrees is ideal. They will keep for months like that. But if it goes colder, the flesh inside will form ice crystals, (because pumpkins have a lot of water in their flesh). Then with freezing and thawing - decay is inevitable.

I know it sounds like a lot of work - but it's routine for me. Just like canning. One nice sugar pumpkin will give me 2-3 pies, depending on size. I usually harvest around 30 pie pumpkins. And I've been reseeding for so many years now - it is free. And of course - not just pie! Yummy! Not to mention all the natural vitamin A.


Sarah said...

Thank you Sage! We did "cure" them outside first...but I never would have thought to bathe them with a bleachy solution, before doing that.

They did keep well in our outside garage attic for a few months before beginning to rot. It does get very cold out there, but I'm not sure if it went below zero of not.

Anyhow...thank you for all of your advice! My husband and I will be buying organic heirloom seeds this year...perhaps we'll get some sugar pumpkin seeds too!