Prepared or Pre-made Pumpkin and Potatoes = Slow Cooked or ?

The holidays are upon us and many people will be traveling to family and friends to enjoy the great get together.  This year I will be contributing a pumpkin pie. The organizer suggested I buy a tub of (pre-made) garlic mashed potatoes to bring and pumpkin pie.

My response, in my best non-plussed voice, “I would never buy a tub of garlic potatoes.”

“Well you have eaten them at my house,” came the reply, “and liked them.”

“Still I would never buy a tub of garlic mashed potatoes.” (I’m such a rebel.) Setting aside the dilemma of pre-fab food, I really want to make a pumpkin pie.  I even bought a nice small pumpkin for the purpose.  How about a ginger pumpkin graham cracker crust pie?  I ran into a recipe and it stuck in my head.  It beats the sugary sickening pre-made pies that make me wish for my childhood pie.  In New England, at Thanksgiving there was always mincemeat pie made by my Aunt Claire (very rich) and squash pie made by my Grandma. The cooking started very early in the morning because there would be a crowd coming to eat. My mother and grandmother would work together in silent knowing, their every move like a duet. (Small children only peeked at what was going on in the kitchen.) One humongous turkey dressed, mashed potatoes, dressing, pearled onions (my mother’s specialty) carrots, squash, giblet gravy, some celery sticks and cut carrots to snack on, and pies prepared then add people and laughter.  Table set with good china and an Irish linen tablecloth for the big people, while the kids’ table stood off a ways, where we would eye and squabble over a turkey leg, that none of us could finish. (The year I triumphed and received the leg, I knew what it meant to have eyes bigger than your stomach.)

Well here’s to the pumpkin pie of my youth!  How to prepare pumpkin is easy.  You can buy canned if you like, but I usually do this preparation for squash dishes. It’s the same method.  Here are two that are easy. The second one is the more familiar to me, but I don’t have a food processor. Pumpkin mashes pretty easily. This is gratefully taken from tips.

Technique: Pumpkin Puree Retrieved November 20, 2010.

First, split the pumpkin in half and scrape out seeds and strings with a spoon. Reserve the seeds for toasting!

Method 1: Spray the two halves with baking spray oil, then put them upside down in a baking dish. Bake at 350F for about an hour, depending on the size of your pumpkin, until the flesh inside is very soft. This can take up to 90 minutes. Scrape the flesh out of the halves and run through a food processor until smooth.

Method 2: Cut the cleaned pumpkin into quarters and place them pumpkin side up, rind down, in a baking dish. Bake at 350F for 45-60 minutes. Scrape off the flesh and whiz through a food processor until smooth.

The first method gives a slightly softer texture, while the second gives a darker, more roasted flavor to the pumpkin.

After the pumpkin has been pureed, it will stay good in the fridge for up to three days. It can also be frozen for several months.” Faith Durand October 18, 2006 10:50AM


If I receive permission to make the Ginger Pumpkin Pie, that will be my next installment.

Recipe: Retrieved November 20, 2010.

Warm ovens make warm hearts.

About kunstkitchen

Visual artist and writer hunting words, languages, visions, and insight in my kitchen - connecting Art (Kunst) and culture and slow food cooking. Credits: Do not own a microwave oven and never have. Do not own a food processor. Chopped veggies in a Zen monastery for a weekend. (Seriously) Classically trained artist. Paint and draw with traditional materials. Live in the Northland where it's six months of winter. Appreciate the little things in life. Sharing food and art experiences and the lessons that my talented and generous friends have given me.
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