Punkin! … er, Pumpkin #food

Before I forget: It’s the first of the month, so there’s a new Hot Flash on the Hot Flash page.

It’s pumpkin time in the USA–Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. It’s a tradition that makes sense, since pumpkin is harvested in the autumn here.

Educators —
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Pumpkin is a kind of squash, a New World food that originated in what is now Mexico and spread all over the world. The only continent that doesn’t grow a form of pumpkin is Antarctica, and I’ll bet they could grow them there, if they had enough room in the greenhouse for the vines.

The name evolved from the Greek word “pepon”, meaning large melon–and it does look like a melon. It morphed into the French “pompon”–and it does look a bit like those things cheerleaders hold in their hands and wave. The English changed that to “pumpion”, which is what Shakespeare called it in THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR (if you haven’t seen it, see it), and American colonists, who just had to be different, changed it to pumpkin.

Pumpkins are high in Vitamin A, potassium and fiber, and are good for you, unless you cook them properly.

This very cool recipe is adapted from THE ART OF AMERICAN INDIAN COOKING by Yeffe Kimball and Jean Anderson, in the chapter on The Woodsmen of the East. This is one of the ways the English settlers learned to cook “pompions”, although they baked them in hot ashes rather than in an oven:

Baked Pumpkin

  • 1 small pumpkin (a pie pumpkin)
  • 2 Tbs honey
  • 2 Tbs apple cider
  • 2 Tbs melted butter or margarine

Cut off top of pumpkin and scoop out strings and seeds. Mix remaining ingredients and pour into hollow pumpkin, brushing up onto sides. Put top back on. Put pumpkin on pie pan and bake at 350 F for 2 hours or so, basting with honey/cider mixture every 30 minutes. After 2 hours, poke flesh with fork to test tenderness. Continue cooking until done.

A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: Write something with pumpkins in.



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “Punkin! … er, Pumpkin #food

  1. Jane

    October 1, 2014 at 10:07am

    Great Halloween flash fiction!

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      October 1, 2014 at 5:59pm

      Thanks! I hate zombies, but I’m not above writing about them! lol

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  2. Pankaj Bhatt

    October 4, 2014 at 2:45am

    oh man i hate pumpkin whenever my mom make pumpkin in breakfast i skip my breakfast and as halloween is not celebrated in India so there is no reason for me to love pumpkin.

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      October 4, 2014 at 7:23am

      My mother doesn’t like pumpkin. How does your mother make it for breakfast? That sounds interesting! In my part of America, we only have it with sugar and spices in pie, but I know some people make a not-sweet soup out of it.

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply

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