Old Pioneer verse: "Instead of pottage and puddings and custards and pies, our pumpkins and parsnips are common supplies. We have pumpkin at morning and pumpkin at noon. If it was not for pumpkin we should be undoon."
In short, pioneers ate a lot of pumpkins. And we think we have a lot of pumpkin stuff come fall! We don't hold a candle to the days of old when the early pioneer pie was the shell of a pumpkin the pioneers then put nuts, raisins, apples, and other fruits they could find into. This pumpkin creation was usually the grand centerpiece of the dinner table. It was years before the pumpkin pie we know today was produced.
Before the all familiar pumpkin pie, pioneers would slice their pumpkins and then hang them to dry amidst the rafters. They could then use them later to make into puddings, soups, stews, cookies, muffins, bread, and sauces. They even fried the pumpkin flowers and also drank pumpkin tea. Pumpkins grew large quickly and kept for decent periods of time. Longer if sliced and hung up as mentioned. Pumpkins could get a pioneer family through winter if need be and did on occasion.
The pioneers also roasted pumpkin seeds and munched on them. Some thought they were an aphrodisiac. Well, they are good for you, but I wouldn't take things that far.
So as pumpkin season begins to unfold, think of all those lovely pumpkin products being peddled, and be glad you don't have to have pumpkin slices hanging from your rafters in order to make it through the winter!
Until next time!