friday feast: punkin’ pumpkins (say that fast three times)

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Lucy holding Bossy’s Feltworks apples and pumpkins (photo by Mandy Troxel)

Pumpkins, pumpkins, pumpkins. Everywhere pumpkins! Hooray!

Okay Okay. I KNOW I’ve been a tad indecisive lately, asking you to call me Melon Head, then Apple Dumpling, and last week, Apple Pudding.

And not for a second would I presume to be as adorable as little bossy lady Lucy up there who without a doubt personifies the term of endearment, “Pumpkin,” like no one else.

But.

I am now a Pumpkin Girl, having braved the chilly winds and hoodie-cladded throngs of wriggly, hyper-adenoidal munchkins with their parental units who led the charge at Cox Pumpkin Farm this past weekend.

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Oh, so brave! Are you impressed by the sacrifice? All just for you, natch.

Today we celebrate the joy that is pumpkinness with an iconic poem and some pumpkin pie. Are you wearing your orange bib? I notice you have on your Halloween mask again. That’s good too.

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Often shared at Thanksgiving, this is an interesting poem because of Whittier’s reference to pumpkin carving in his boyhood, which suggests the practice predated widespread Irish immigration to the U.S. in the 1840’s (hat tip to American Scrapbook for that tidbit).

As you probably know, the Irish had the most influence on the celebration of Halloween (they used to carve out turnips to light the way on their midnight Autumn ramblings). In America they simply substituted pumpkins since they were so plentiful.

Whittier’s tribute to the pumpkin first appeared in the Boston Chronotype in 1846, and I must say I do like his mention of pumpkin pie!

Dig in:

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“The Pumpkin Effigy” (The Ladies Floral Cabinet, 1875)

THE PUMPKIN
by John Greenleaf Whittier

Oh, greenly and fair in the lands of the sun,
The vines of the gourd and the rich melon run,
And the rock and the tree and the cottage enfold,
With broad leaves all greenness and blossoms all gold,
Like that which o’er Nineveh’s prophet once grew,
While he waited for the storm-cloud, and listened in vain
For the rush of the whirlwind and the red fire-rain.

On the banks of the Xenil the dark Spanish maiden
Comes up with the fruit of the tangled vine laden;
And the Creole of Cuba laughs out to behold
Through orange-leaves shining the broad spheres of gold;
Yet with dearer delight from his home in the North,
On the fields of his harvest the Yankee looks forth,
Where crook-necks are coiling and yellow fruit shines,
And the sun of September melts down on his vines.

Ah! on Thanksgiving day, when from East and from West,
From North and from South come the pilgrim and guest,
When the gray-haired New Englander sees round his board
The old broken links of affection restored,
When the care-wearied man seeks his mother once more,
And the worn matron smiles where the girl smiled before,
What moistens the lip and what brightens the eye?
What calls back the past, like the rich Pumpkin pie?

Oh, fruit loved of boyhood! the old days recalling,
When wood-grapes were purpling and brown nuts were falling!
When wild, ugly faces we carved in its skin,
Glaring out through the dark with a candle within!
When we laughed round the corn-heap, with hearts all in tune,
Our chair a broad pumpkin, — our lantern the moon,
Telling tales of the fairy who travelled like steam,
In a pumpkin-shell coach, with two rats for her team!

Then thanks for thy present! none sweeter or better
E’er smoked from an oven or circle a platter!
Fairer hands never wrought at a pastry more fine,
Brighter eyes never watched o’er its baking, than thine!
And the prayer, which my mouth is too full to express,
Swells my heart that thy shadow may never be less,
That the days of thy lot may be lengthened below,
And the fame of thy worth like a pumpkin-vine grow,
And thy life be as sweet, and its last sunset sky
Golden-tinted and fair as thy own Pumpkin pie!

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gobble gobble

* * *

Let’s moisten the lip and brighten the eye, shall we?

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About two weeks ago, author/illustrator Kristi Valiant baked her mom’s pumpkin pie and apparently had a sliver of it every time she walked by the kitchen. Needless to say, she was walking by the kitchen a lot that day. Do you remember when she visited Alphabet Soup last year to talk about The Goodbye Cancer Garden? She shared the recipe for that very same pie then.

I’d been thinking of Kristi’s mom’s pie ever since, and finally, finally baked it right after visiting the pumpkin farm.

Not passing up any opportunity to play with my pastry leaf cutters, I doubled her crust recipe so I could toss on some flaky leaves after the filling had set with 20 minutes left to bake. If I make this pie again for Thanksgiving, I’ll be more diligent about covering my crust rim with foil to prevent it from browning so quickly. Still mighty yummy, though, and pumpkin is so good for you with its Vitamin A and potassium. Did you know it’s supposed to cure freckles :)?

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Kristi’s Pumpkin Pie recipe can be found here.

Happy Halloweenie,

Pumpkin Girl
xxoxoxo

P.S. You can take your mask off now.

What???! You’re not wearing a mask?!!!

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

(Why do you keep doing that?)

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* * *

poetryfriday180The beautiful and talented Irene Latham is hosting the Roundup this week at Live Your Poem. Once you’ve removed your mask (please do) and wiped the pumpkin smudges from your face, zip on over to check out the full menu of poetic goodness being served up in the blogosphere. You can take my carriage if you like (doesn’t turn back into a pumpkin for another couple of hours) . . .

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Three paws up for Kristi’s mom’s pie!

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wkendcookingiconThis post is also being linked to Beth Fish Read’s Weekend Cooking, where all are invited to share their food-related posts. Come join the fun and discover a new recipe to try this weekend!

 

 

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Copyright ยฉ 2013 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

72 thoughts on “friday feast: punkin’ pumpkins (say that fast three times)

  1. A Whittier poem I’ve missed! Thanks for sharing . . . I’m a big fan of Whittier but don’t know this one. I love the next-to-the-last stanza–would make a wonderful Halloween card.

    Your pie looks scrumptious!!! Don’t cover the crust with foil. Some people (like me) like a really browned crust because it’s crunchy. Those pastry leaves are dedicated touch, but I’m with you: any excuse to use cute cookie cutters.

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    1. I don’t like my crusts *that* crunchy, I’m afraid. Having to cook the pie long enough so the leaves brown up means the crust gets even browner.

      I love my piecrust cutters. They’re spring loaded and pick up the leaves right off your surface.

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  2. Dear Pumpkin Girl, you always ALWAYS always make me smile! I love the pic of little bear pushing the pumpkin… and the shark-toothed pumpkin is something the neighborhood boys would LOVE. Thank you for this brilliant blast of orange this morning. xo

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    1. Oh, she called me Pumpkin Girl! Thank you, Irene. Glad this post made you smile today. Cornelius selected a big pumpkin for the doorstep and refuses to let us carve it.

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  3. Thanks for the mention, Jama! I’ll need to make pumpkin pie again soon too. It just doesn’t last more than a day here since I walk near the kit hen so often. Mmmmm… The pastry leaves are adorable! I need to find me some of those!

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    1. LOL! Lucy is Mandy Troxel’s daughter. Mandy belongs to a collective of very creative felters from Orcas Island called Bossy’s Feltworks, named after a sheep called Bossy.

      You can see more of their wooly pieces at their Etsy Shop by clicking on the photo.๐Ÿ™‚.

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  4. Some days it’s just great to go back and read some of those old poems. This is wonderful, Jama. I love his wishes at the end, and “our lantern the moon”. He makes the ‘good old days’ sound like fun! I just bought a pie pumpkin, so guess it’s time to try that recipe! Love it!

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    1. It’s nice to connect with the past via a classic poem, and to know that they were just as excited about carving pumpkins and eating pumpkin pie as we are. Have fun making your pie!

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  5. we’re finally experiencing some true fall weather here, so it was time to fire up the oven and make pumpkin bread. after seeing this pie, though. i may just have to try it. it’s not too early in the morning for pie is it?

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    1. Valerie, it’s NEVER too early in the morning for pie!!๐Ÿ˜€
      Sounds like you should make both pumpkin pie and pumpkin bread. Good for you, you know.

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      1. as long as there’s no danger that I’ll OD on vitamin A, i’m on board – don’t want to risk the oompa loompa skin coloring side effect. actually, that might help redesign my halloween costume plans…

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  6. Pumpkins, pumpkins, pumpkins… bring it on! I am so totally suckered in by everything pumpkin at this time of year– from breads to donuts to lattes to pies. Some of it better than others, but at least I know I can trust you (and Cornelius) to always give me what I like! Happy Halloween, Pumpkin Queen!

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  7. Ah, Jama, “Fairer hands never wrought at a pastry more fine,
    Brighter eyes never watched oโ€™er its baking, than thine!”

    One of those jack o’lanterns is actually scary. What do you suppose they made those teeth out of?

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    1. I didn’t look closely at that one to see about the teeth. Judging by their white perfection, I would say that Jack o’lantern has a good dentist.๐Ÿ˜€

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  8. Oh, my word – the poem was a feast, and then I came to the pie – and on a day in which I had forgotten to bring my lunch AND my wallet. Sigh.

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  9. Pumpkin girl, you are too funny. And your pie, oh my goodness- a thing of beauty! I always cut pastry leaves by hand but they don’t look nearly as nice. I will have to look for those spring-loaded pastry cutters! Great pumpkin shots and the one of Lucy is just priceless!

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    1. I saw the pic of Lucy on the Bossy’s FB Page, and Mandy graciously granted permission for me to share it here. It makes me so happy every time I look at it.๐Ÿ™‚

      I do recommend those piecrust pastry cutters. I got mine as a gift, but I think WIlliams-Sonoma comes out with a new set each year. I noticed Paula Deen also has similar cutters but don’t know if they work as well.

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  10. Pumpkin Girl strikes again! What a beautiful post. Every year I wish we had these pumpkin wonderlands (or apple picking) for the kids, but alas, it is not to be. Would love to try that pie, but I think I’d be hard-pressed to find “pie pumpkins.” Nonetheless, you’ve inspired me to put it on my “to be investigated” list. Thank you, Pumpkin Girl! Or should that be Pumpkin Princess, since this is a royally delicious post?

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    1. Apple cutters for apple pies, autumn leaves for pumpkin pies, so much fun. I’m one of those people who sometimes likes the crust more than the filling, so I’m all for adding more.

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  11. Your blog posts are like a cozy quilt, a sweet treat and something warm to drink. They are so warm and inviting, upbeat, informative and delicious. Thank you for this pumpkin goodness today.

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    1. What a nice comment. Thanks so much Margie. The best part of any post are the generous readers who visit. Another piece of pie for you๐Ÿ™‚.

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  12. If pumpkin pie is a cure for freckles, I have a lifetime of eating ahead of me — HURRAY! I liked the parts of the poem that hint at the healing power of food, the care-wearied man seeking his mother (and her pie)… Beautiful fluting on your crust, too — I stink at that part.

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  13. Once again, a visually stunning, stomach growl inducing post! And oh, the poetry! “Fairer hands never wrought at a pastry more fine” indeed! The pie you baked looks fabulous. I MUST try this recipe. Perhaps for a Thanksgiving treat.
    But first, I’m going to make a mustachioed pumpkin as soon as I return home.
    Thanks, Jama, for making me smile. I’ll forgive you the tummy growl this time.

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  14. Another sumptuous post! I think your pie could win a beauty contest. Must find a set of pastry leaf cutters. Love your little “Where’s Waldo?” bears. But it’s a wonder they’re not gaining weight.

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    1. Thanks, Violet, glad you enjoyed the post. I actually envy Cornelius, who can eat all the desserts he pleases without gaining weight. Get some pastry cutters soon — perfect for your holiday baking (I’ve seen some on Amazon).

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  15. Hey, Punkin’! (as my mom would say) I made that apple pudding recipe last weekend, so maybe I’ll go 2-for-2 and make pumpkin pie THIS weekend! (Mr./Ms. Pillsbury will be making my crust, however…maybe I’m lazy, maybe I’m practical, or maybe I simply haven’t had time to perfect a homemade crust. A goal for the future. There’s someone who lives in this same house who will not be sad when I decide that it’s time for that project!!)

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    1. Yay, pumpkin pie this weekend for you! Mr/Mrs. Pillsbury are certainly welcome here anytime too; Poppin’ Fresh lives here in fact.๐Ÿ™‚

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  16. Love Whittier for seasonal poetry that hits the spot!

    That pumpkin with the blue sticker eyes and mustache is so fun! It reminds me of a jack-o-lantern that my mother made for us when we were small. Cutting it seemed too messy for her, so she drew a face on with magic marker. Of course, the advantage of not cutting it is that the pumpkin stays fresh. It was still in good shape at Christmas, so she glued on a cotton ball beard and gave it a Santa hat!

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  17. Loved this!! I loved that poem, which I haven’t read in years. So perfect for the season. I make a totally different kind of pumpkin pie (recipe from my grandmother), but I think I *need* to find a leaf cutter and do that decorating trick. They look so festive!

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    1. Well, we had no problem eating the pie and all those flaky leaves๐Ÿ™‚. The Little Pumpkin in this post belongs to Mandy Troxel of Bossy’s Feltworks. It was nice to have her cheer up the blog this week๐Ÿ™‚.

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  18. That’s the best looking pumpkin pie I’ve ever seen! I bet it’s the yummiest tasting too!

    Great poem, don’t think I’ve ever read it before.

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  19. Cox Farm is both wonderful and terrifying. You are brave indeed. Go back after Halloween for the pumpkin smashing event. For me, pumpkin pudding is all I need–the middle without the crust. Same for Whittier’s poem–do you think he’d mind if I made some strategic edits and whittled it down to the custardy, spicy filling?

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    1. LOL. It’s all about the anticipation. By the time we get to the last few stanzas, we’re more than ready for the pie. As much as I love puddings, I can’t resist pie crust.

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  20. That that that – there I said “that” three times fast!๐Ÿ˜‰
    I knew that about the turnip thing but I didn’t know it was the Irish. I LOVE pumpkin pie! I am glad it is the pumpkin time of year!
    Hey what is Cornelius doing with that pumpkin? ๐Ÿ™‚

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  21. Aha! I am a freckle-faced girl, I didn’t realize it would only take luscious pumpkin pies to make me all flawless and all that jazz! This is an ultra-orangey post, I lovelovelove it. And that beautiful girl with her sly smile and gorgeous dimple, priceless!

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    1. Of course pumpkin pie is delicious for its own sake, but who can resist the cosmetic benefits? I have freckles too and I daresay they are disappearing๐Ÿ˜€ . . .

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  22. Your pie looks delicious! I have a cool pie ring from Pampered Chef that I use to cover the crust up for the last half of baking. I don’t like my crust crunchy either. All the pumpkin photos are so festive. Thank you for sharing them all, including that rosy cheeked Lucy!

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