The Great Pumpkin Shortage

October 8, 2010

Wipe your brow! We have just survived the pumpkin shortage of 2009-2010 (I encourage you to leave comments on how you braved this last year without pumpkin spice cake. Ms. Eggsandsoup and I will also host a post-pumpkin shortage recovery group next Monday evening). Okay, so honestly, I didn’t know about this crisis until Saturday, and apparently it’s already over. I am still a little baffled–just as I, you probably didn’t scream in terror at the thought of not being able to find pumpkin at your local grocer. But we can all rest easy knowing the nearly year-long pumpkin shortage is over.

Now I need to rant: I get that we like pumpkin.  It’s colorful, it’s tasty, it’s healthy, and it’s necessary for many holiday traditions. Maybe I’m missing something, but even if your grocery store was out of canned pumpkin, what happened to cooking real pumpkin? I have been to two different farmer’s markets in the last week, and I assure you, there are plenty of pumpkins (and would guess that small, local farmers were probably annoyed at this pumpkin shortage frenzy, because they were thinking “we have tons of freakin’ pumpkins!”). Real pumpkin tastes better than canned pumpkin.  And with real pumpkin you don’t have to worry about BPA (yes, most cans are lined with BPA, and you know if the FDA is expressing some concern about BPA, then it’s definitely something we should avoid).

Cooking real pumpkins is super easy. It takes a little more time, but while it bakes, head outside and enjoy the fall weather (it won’t be long before you’ll have to wrap up in layers each time you venture out). Here’s how to do it: slice the pumpkin in half, scrape out the seeds and stringy stuff, lay the halves face down in a baking dish, and bake at 350 for 90 minutes. The lovely smell of fall will fill your house, you’ll have zero waste (since you’re composting that pumpkin skin and toasting the seeds for a snack), and you’ll know from where your pumpkin comes and which small farmer you’re supporting.  And did I mention it tastes better?

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