Converted from paper version of the Broad Ripple Gazette (v16n21)
Right in my Own Backyard - Pumpkins, Pumpkin Pie Spice, Pumpkin Pies - by Brandt Carter
posted: Oct. 18, 2019
It's that time of year! Everything is pumpkin. Pumpkins are an amazing veggie that are not only yummy to eat but fun to watch grow. The leaves are huge, the stems wander the ground, the blossoms are showy, and then the pumpkin begins so small and just grows and grows. It begins as a small green, round button and ends up a gorgeous orange (or white). Picking a pumpkin from the field is as personal as choosing a Christmas tree. And, you do have to remember, the size you can carry often determines your choice.
Then the pumpkin moves through its life from plant to art object. Sculpting the perfect scary or funny face is a yearly tradition by every celebrant of the autumn season and Halloween holiday. Using an old knife and spoon or enlisting an electric saw, designs carved in pumpkins are limitless. . . simple or elaborate! Lighting the big orange sculpture can be using convention candle or newer battery lights that can provide colors and flashes.
I have yet another stage to the pumpkins that are displayed on the stoops of my house. After Halloween night, they are moved to my backyard and nestled into the gardens. Here I fill them with birdseed and provide the birds, chipmunks, and squirrels an autumn buffet. This can be quite interesting because the pumpkin slowly deteriorates and surprisingly next year, a seed will make it through the winter, and grow into the next season pumpkin.
This time of year is pumpkin spice everything. If you makes pumpkin soup, there is no pumpkin spice. But all baked goods rely on this recognizable combo of spices-cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, clove in the ground form. Here's a recipe to try: Mix together 3 TBS cinnamon, 2 tsp ginger, 2 tsp nutmeg, 1 tsp allspice, 1 tsp cloves. Store this in an airtight container. You're now ready to begin the celebration of the season by baking pumpkins pies, pumpkin bread, cake and pancakes, pumpkin-flavored coffees, and what ever your imagination can conjure. Enjoy this spicy, yummy season as you sit inside and watch you birds eat at your birdfeeders. The season moves quickly and Thanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner