I love fall. The first things I begin to think about are pumpkins, brilliant colored foliage, cool mornings, the first fire, sweaters and boots.
There is no in-between, you either like the flavor of pumpkin or you don’t. There are many ways to enjoy pumpkins in the form of drinks, cuisine and decoration. I like everything about pumpkins and decided to write about them.
When you initially think of pumpkins in the fall we may think about pumpkin lattes, pumpkin pie, or pumpkin doughnuts which are just some of the ways to enjoy them outside of the many uses for décor!
Pumpkins have been around for more than 5,000 years and the word pumpkin was debuted in the fairy tale “Cinderella.” The pumpkins known as rouge Vif d’Etampes are thought to be the inspiration for Cinderella.
The carriage for Cinderella may have been used because of the resiliency of a pumpkin. They are a fruit that can grow in sparse soil and the vines engage by sharing nutrients along a connected vine that reaches into the soil to replenish itself. For this reason, pumpkins are a symbol of prosperity, abundance and growth. Maybe this is the reason that the perfect mode of transportation for Cinderella was a pumpkin.
Cinderella’s fairy godmother told her to go into the garden and pick out a fine pumpkin, so she went to the garden and picked the finest pumpkin she could find and could not imagine how a pumpkin would get her to the ball. Her fairy godmother hollowed out the pumpkin and touched it with her ring turning it into a beautiful coach.
Did you know that there are Cinderella pumpkins? They are medium to large averaging thirty to thirty-five pounds, round, and flattened blossom and stem end. They have thick skins and are a rich orange color.
When cooked they have a slightly sweet taste, creamy and moist. They were one of the most popular items in French markets and sold as an heirloom variety in the 1880s. They are a favorite with chefs for soups and pies. They are also used in many homes as décor.
Pumpkins have not always been jack-o’– lanterns. The original lanterns were made with turnips and potatoes by the Irish to ward off evil spirits. Irish immigrants brought the tradition to America but found that pumpkins were much easier to carve. They are grown on every continent except Antarctica and the U.S. produces more than 1. 5 billion pounds each year with 8% of the crop available in October. The largest pumpkin recorded weighed about 2,600 pounds and was grown in Germany. The largest pie baked weighed 3,699 pounds. A normal size pumpkin has about 500 seeds and the recommended planting time is between May and July with more than 45 different varieties.
Pumpkins are part of the fruit family; every part is edible and offers a wide range of health benefits. They are low in calories and are comprised of about 90% water. One of the health benefits is Beta Carotene, a powerful antioxidant that our bodies convert to Vitamin A. They are good for fiber, boost your immune system, and good for heart health and skin. Aside from the health benefits, pumpkins can make a great mask that exfoliates and soothes the skin. Make a pumpkin mask by combining ¼ cup pureed pumpkin, one egg, a tablespoon of honey, and a tablespoon of milk. Apply and rinse in 20 minutes with warm water.
Live, love life and pumpkins.