Monday, October 22, 2012

Pumpkin Please!

Last year, much to my surprise, there was not a single can of pumpkin in any store anywhere to make my favorite pumpkin soup.  Thinking perhaps they were just out after Christmas, I asked the store manager to order some.  He looked surprised and said, "I am sorry, but haven't you heard about the canned pumpkin shortages?"

How had I not heard about this crisis?  Well, we don't watch television in our house except for things like the Olympics, and national presidential campaign debates (and I don't mind sharing how disappointed I was in the first one of those!)  Also my closest friends will not be surprised that it took me four years of shortages to run out of canned pumpkin in my pantry...since I am frequently accused of being closely related to squirrels!

Late this summer, I was delighted to be on hand when Trader Jo's was stocking their shelves with...canned pumpkin.  Grabbing two cases, I made it the check out stand without being stopped by other customers.  PhewNot even glancing up, much less accusing me of hoarding, the checker rang me up.  My cases of pumpkin are safely stored, and a culinary crisis has been avoided for at least another two years.

I am feeling a little adventurous (now that I have secured an adequate stock) and may branch out from my three favorite pumpkin recipes:

1. plain old pie from the recipe on the back of a Libbey's can...not pralined, not cream cheesed, definitely not moussed! With some very good homemade whipped cream.

2. Pumpkin soup with cream cheese, exotically spiced and served with roasted pumpkin seeds.

3.  Pumpkin Streusel Muffins

So, if you have a favorite pumpkin recipe, please share it!  If I get three or more recipes, I will publish yours and share mine as well.
Part of a miniature Honeduke's Sweet Shop I am creating.   The two little ones with stems in the foreground are the one I made.  The ones in the tin tub are from a package of Halloween potpourri that I picked up at Hobby Lobby.  The darling little shopping bag is from a package of Jolene's Stickers which I purchased at Michael's Crafts Store.  The skeleton is one of several on a garland I purchased several years ago for Harry Potter Camp, and are still available at the Dollar Store.  The cat and the copper pot holding suckers were part of a gift from my daughter Brittany's partner, Colin.  They belonged to Colin's grandmother, Cleo.

And just for fun, I made a couple of Sculpey pumpkins for the house elves at Hogwarts to use for pumpkins pasties.  However the pumpkin shortage has affected the magical world of Harry Potter too.  Honeydukes borrowed them for their Halloween display since the transfiguration spells did not seem to work on any of their zucchinis (of which they had an endless supply.) Over at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the early attack of squash bugs was effectively thwarted by Professor Sprout when the captured Cornish pixies were released into the gardens.  It appears that not even squash bugs like Cornish pixies!  Behind the skeleton, you can see the tiny little ice mice which are sitting on a tub of candy corn.  Lots and lots of cutting necessary to make those...
Here is a close up of the Ice Mice and candy corn in a tub.
Sculpey Ice Mice and candy corn.  The little tea cart was made from a miniature washstand to which I added wheels and painted pink and green.  It is only temporarily being used as part of the seasonal Halloween display in I propped the orange shopping bag in front of it to partially hide the pink.  I made a screen with foam core and the spider web wallpaper made with scrap book paper to separate this vignette from the rest of the shop which is pink and green. (Photo styling in miniature!)

 Please come by again if you want to see the rest of Honeydukes.  It is almost completed.

1 comment:

  1. I think you should try making your recipes from fresh pumpkin and compare the difference in taste. After-all your hyper conscious new mommy health zealot of daughter has to point out that all canned food has BPA in the lining of the cans. We are trying to rid ourselves of canned food whenever possible.


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