Halloween Blog Posts

Fall Harvest Traditions: Jack-O’-Lantern and Sugar Pumpkins–Carve or Cook?

Did you know that most of the pumpkins we see these days are cultivated for carving and not for eating?

Connecticut Field Pumpkin

Connecticut Field Pumpkin image from website

Most of us are familiar with the large pumpkins primarily used for carving that are commonly found in the stores around this time of year.  These pumpkins are either Connecticut Field Pumpkins or Howdens and both weigh in between 10 and 20 pounds.  The Connecticut Field Pumpkin is actually an heirloom pumpkin of the Native American Indians and colonists and is the perfect image of a pumpkin as we know them.  Their taste is more plain and bland, not sweet, and their texture is stringy and somewhat watery for pie.  They have thin walls, a large seed pocket, and relatively small proportion of flesh compared to the size.

Howden Pumpkin

Howden Pumpkin image from website

Howdens were developed in the 1970s by of John Howden of Massachusetts for the primary purpose of carving.  They are actually very similar to the Connecticut Field pumpkin but have more uniform ridges, a thicker wall and sturdy stem.  These are the pumpkins primarily found at supermarkets and roadside farm stands.  They were developed primarily for look and suitability for carving.  Since the 1970s these are the pumpkins that we have come to more commonly know.  Oftentimes these pumpkins are cooked and the resulting dish is disappointing as these pumpkins were developed for looks and carving as opposed to taste.

Sugar Pumpkins are Smaller than Carving Pumpkins

Sugar Pumpkins are Smaller than Carving

One of the better pumpkins for cooking is the sugar pumpkin oftentimes referred to as the pie pumpkin.  This pumpkin is a cousin of the Connecticut Field pumpkin but smaller as can been seen in the picture above.  These pumpkins have a thicker wall and are sweeter and drier than the carving pumpkins and are less grainy.  One pumpkin will typically yield the amount of puree as a 15-16 oz. of canned puree.

Have you ever tried cooking a carving pumpkin and been disappointed?

 

 

 

 

Fall Harvest: So Pretty in Pink–The Pumpkin That Is!

Porcelain Doll

Porcelain Doll

Yes!  It really is a pink pumpkin.  Pink pumpkins were discovered by an Arizona farmer when a white Cinderella pumpkin and a red Cinderella pumpkin accidentally cross pollinated.  He worked on perfecting the pumpkin for 5 years and the result is the Porcelain Doll pumpkin for which seeds widely became available for the first time in 2012.  These pumpkins even launched a Pink Pumpkin Patch Foundation created in that same year to help raise money for breast cancer research.  This year they have launched a nationwide campaign called “Pink is In–Are You?” in which proceeds of the purchase of a pink pumpkin will be donated to the foundation for distribution.

Pink Pumpkins Large

Pink Pumpkins Large

Not only are these pumpkins pretty to look at–but they are also edible!  They have a deep orange flesh that is sweet and perfect for cooking.  You can use them in whatever you would regularly use pumpkin in–soups, pies, breads and gourmet culinary cooking.  The pumpkins are large (20-24 lbs) and therefore produce a good amount of puree.  They are ready for harvest in 110 days or when the stem has gotten corky for full pink effect.

Decorating in Pink

Decorating in Pink

 

Here’s a link to a blog that has a list of where these pumpkins will be available for purchase this year by store and state.  Pink is In–Are You?  Among some of the stores listed are:  Home Depot; Kroger; Meijer; Safeway; Whole Foods to name a few as well as many local pumpkin farms.

What do you think of a pink pumpkin?

images from:

www.eatlikenoone.com

www.huffingtonpost.com

www.penny-pennytreasures.blogspot.com