Pumpkin Recipes from the Past

autumn herstory historial meanings recipes Oct 15, 2018

It’s no surprise that as the season turns cooler, and Autumn is vividly upon us that the symbolism and craving of the pumpkin are exciting to us as a culture.  One of my areas of interest is traditions, and just how we get in the “habits” of eating a certain dish or celebrating something in a certain way. I’ve always been interested in wanting to understand the deeper meaning of some things, that I believe, for most, I guess don’t take a lot of thought into.

If I were to ask you if you’ve had something to eat or drink over the past four to six weeks with the flavor of pumpkin in it, what would you say?  I’d be surprised if at least 50% off you didn’t say yes, and it was one of the following; your coffee creamer, a cookie, a slice of pie, or a warm bread bowl of soup!  Pumpkin eating and pumpkin cravings around this time of year aren’t new, but perhaps the reasoning & meaning around why pumpkins are something to enjoy this season might be why.  Are you interested in knowing more of why that Pumpkin Latte has become a fan fav this time of year?

Pumpkins are symbols of prosperity.  The way they are grown and even how much they produce for a meal can tell you why this meaning has attached itself to a pumpkin.  If you’ve never cooked down a raw pumpkin you might not know this but the average neck pumpkin (they type of pumpkin you’d want to buy to make a pumpkin pie) can produce enough pumpkin “meat” to produce anywhere from 2 to 4 pies!  That is a lot of food! That’s prosperous! The pumpkin is also a symbol of financial well-being, hence the reasoning for decorating your table with small pumpkins & placing them around your house. In the past, this tradition wasn’t seen as only a decor enhancement but as a vision for a prosperous next season of life for one's family.  The best meaning I feel of course is that of eating pumpkin, and why I wanted to write this post sharing pumpkin recipes from my past, ones passed down by my grandmothers on both sides of my family. I’d love to hear from you in the comments or through social media some of your favorite family pumpkin recipes too!

Eating pumpkin is believed to bring you unexpected gifts.  It’s believed that consuming pumpkin each year gives way to the energy of the harvest, and since pumpkins grow abundantly it’s believed that when we use pumpkin in our meals this time of year we grow abundantly in our rootedness of the opportunities we will be stepping into for the new year ahead.  Of course, with most pumpkin recipes also being that of desserts this time of year, growing abundantly in other ways is possible….but who’s counting calories, I’d rather count on the prosperity!

Below are a few of my favorite pumpkin recipes.  One each from my grandmothers and then one from my mother-in-law.  As I began my journey into discovering my purpose, a big part of it has been these women I’ve been given in my life who have passed down their skills, their talents, and yes their stories.  I hope as you enjoy these recipes or those of your past made with pumpkin this season, you take a moment to stop and think about the meaning behind why during this time of year it is what was served to you.  What opportunities are in front of you, and where you abundantly grow to see them through to prosperity?

Grama Neyer’s Impossible Pumpkin Pie

¾ Cup Sugar

½ Cup Biscuit Mix

2 Tablespoons Margarine or Butter Softened

1 - 13 oz Can Evaporated Milk

2 Eggs

16 oz of Pumpkin

2 ½ teaspoons Pumpkin Spice

1 Teaspoon Vanilla

Heat oven to 350ºF. Grease 9-inch pie plate.

Stir all ingredients except whipped topping until blended. Pour into pie plate.

Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 30 minutes. Refrigerate about 3 hours or until chilled. Serve with whipped topping. Store covered in the refrigerator.

Nanny Gus’ Pumpkin Cookies

1 ½ Cups Brown Sugar (packed)

½ Cup Shortening

2 Eggs

1 ¾ Cup Pumpkin

2 ¾ Cups Flour

1 Tablespoon Baking Powder

1 Teaspoon Cinnamon

½ Teaspoon Nutmeg

½ Teaspoon Salt

¼ Teaspoon Ginger

(Optional) Either 1 Cup Raisins or 1 Cup Chocolate Chips

Heat Oven to 400ºF.  Grease Baking Sheet.

Mix sugar, shortening, eggs, and pumpkin thoroughly.  Blend dry ingredients, then add to pumpkin mixture. When well-blended add in optional ingredients. Drop batter by teaspoonsful onto the baking sheet.  Bake 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned. Can be iced when cool. Makes about 6 doz.

Mother-in-Law Mouth-watering Pumpkin Soup

½ Cup finely chopped onion

2 Tablespoons Butter

1 Tablespoon Flour

2 Cans of Chicken Broth

16 oz of Fresh Pureed Pumpkin

1 Teaspoon Brown Sugar

¼ Teaspoon Salt

⅛ Teaspoon Pepper

⅛ Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg

1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream

In a large saucepan, saute onion in butter until tender. Remove from the heat; stir in flour until smooth. Gradually stir in the broth, pumpkin, brown sugar, salt, pepper, and nutmeg; bring to a boil. Run through a blender to puree completely.  Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add cream; cook for 2 minutes or until heated through.

I hope these pumpkin recipes of the past will encourage you to enjoy your pumpkin treats this fall with new meaning!  I’d love to hear about your Pumpkin Past Meanings in the comments.