Posts Tagged With: Pumpkin

359/365: National Pumpkin Pie Day

Merry Christmas, everybody!

December 25 is the most magical day of the year – even if you’re too old to believe in Santa Claus. And like every other day of the year, it’s got its own dedicated food holiday. Christmas Day is also National Pumpkin Pie Day!

Which makes sense. Pumpkin pie is a traditional autumn/early winter dessert most often served on Thanksgiving and Christmas. It consists of pumpkin custard baked in a pie shell and flavored with a variety of spices including cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger. Most people use canned pumpkin, since it’s easier to work with (and every bit as delicious). Pumpkins, which are native to North America, have been used as pie fillings for centuries; Hannah Woolley’s The Gentlewoman’s Companion, published in England in 1675, contains one of the earliest recipes. The dish didn’t really catch on in America until the early 19th century, when it began appearing as a dessert course following Thanksgiving dinner.

You’re probably busy unwrapping gifts or spending time with loved ones, so we won’t commandeer too much of your attention with a food-related blog post. We had frozen a couple slices of pumpkin pie from Thanksgiving, and defrosted them to enjoy on Christmas morning. They still tasted surprisingly good. We hope you have a wonderful holiday!

National Pumpkin Pie Day

Categories: Desserts | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

299/365: National Pumpkin Day*

Orange you glad there’s a holiday devoted to your favorite gourd? October 26 is National Pumpkin Day!

It’s also National Pretzel Day and National Mincemeat Pie Day. I’d have loved to grabbed a pretzel and called it good – it doesn’t get much easier than that, and we’re on the road in Denver this weekend – but we already celebrated pretzels back in April. Duplicate food holidays annoy me. And I’m not much of a mincemeat fan, so pumpkin it is! But we’re going to pass on the obvious, pumpkin pie, because there’s a special food holiday devoted to that particular dessert (December 25, of all days)! Fortunately, pumpkin-flavored anything is all the rage these days, so it wasn’t difficult to find a way to celebrate this holiday, even from the road.

Pumpkin is derived from the Greek word pepon and means “large melon.”  It is a type of winter squash native to North America, and traditionally refers to round, orange varieties of squash that are commonly carved into jack-o-lanterns for Halloween, and made into pies in the fall months, when they are ready for harvesting. They are one of the most popular crops in the U.S., with 1.5 billion pounds being produced annually; top growing states are Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and California. Most parts of the pumpkin are edible including the shell, seeds, flowers, and leaves. They were a Native American staple, and were cut into thin strips and roasted over a fire to serve as sustenance during the long, harsh winters. The flesh was roasted, baked, parched, boiled, and dried, and the seeds were used as a type of medicine. Even the hard shells did not go to waste; these were used as bowls and containers to store grains, beans, and seeds. Columbus brought pumpkin seeds back with him to Europe, but these were fed to pigs and were not seen as fit for human consumption.National Pumpkin Day

Ol’ Christopher was wrong. Pumpkins are delicious! We celebrated by grabbing a pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks this morning. This seasonal favorite is always highly anticipated when fall rolls around, and today’s tasted extra delicious!

Stay tuned for a special announcement regarding Eat My Words tomorrow.

Categories: Fruit | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

294/365: National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day*

Today’s food holiday would make even a Jack-o-lantern smile: October 21 is National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day!

It’s also International Day of the Nacho, but there’s a National Nacho Day coming up in a little over two weeks, so we’ll be honoring cheese-covered tortilla chips then. And some calendars list today as National Caramel Apple Day, but the majority say that one’s celebrated on Halloween, which seems pretty fitting to me. Today, it’s all about sinfully creamy and delicious pumpkin cheesecake.

Pumpkin cheesecake is a seasonal treat that takes the best of two desserts – pumpkin pie and cheesecake – and combines them into one heavenly treat. I’ve written about the history of cheesecake in previous posts, so follow the preceding link if you need to get caught up to speed. (The fact that stands out most to me: cheesecake was served to athletes during the first Olympics ceremony in ancient Greece. Interesting concept of “health food,” huh?). It’s unknown when the first pumpkin cheesecake was created, or who invented it, but I remember trying it for the first time about six years ago. Nowadays, it’s an autumn favorite at places like The Olive Garden.

Neither of us had ever made a cheesecake before, and neither of us wanted to make a whole cheesecake, you know? That’s a lot of high-calorie leftovers. Luckily, we were able to find individual slices at New Seasons Market. I have to give a shout-out to this local grocery chain that specializes in fresh, locally grown, organic, and specialty foods. They’ve been a lifesaver for a number of challenges (bagels and lox, cherry cheesecake, etc.) and often have hard-to-find food items we can’t get anywhere else. Once again, they came through for us! We shared a slice of pumpkin gingersnap cheesecake that was like the most decadent pumpkin pie ever…and then some!

National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day

Categories: Desserts | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

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