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It’s Pumpkin Time!

Now that fall has arrived, pumpkins are everywhere. Porches are decorated with all sizes and not just traditional orange pumpkins. Shades of orange range from muted tangerine to vibrant red-orange. Green pumpkins are colored deep forest hues and soft mellow sea green. And some are creamy white and bright eye opening white.

I remember when I was a kid, Dad and I carried pale-colored pumpkins from the garden that were either carved into simple jack-o-lanterns or cooked for Thanksgiving pies. But what’s most surprising today is the many recipes for foods and beverages made from pumpkins. When Mom roasted the seeds, we thought we’d eaten all things pumpkin.

While turning the pages in a magazine that featured the savory side of pumpkins, it occurred to me that I could serve pumpkin for breakfast, lunch, and supper, and offer pumpkin snacks in between. Then searching online, I discovered enough recipes for pumpkin menus for a week, and never repeat, but that might be pumpkin overload.

A quote from Country Living magazine states, “The only thing better than fall mornings are fall mornings with pumpkins.” I’ll start the day with pumpkin spice flavored coffee and serve eggs baked in a mini pumpkin with bacon and roasted squash. I’ll bake maple pumpkin scones and offer pumpkin bread, to replace boring banana bread, for those who would turn up their noses at scones. And pumpkin butter will up the flavor when spread on scones and bread.

For a mid-morning energy boost, how about a pumpkin protein shake topped with spiced pumpkin whipped cream and cinnamon?

Soup, the savory side of pumpkin, for lunch. In less than fifteen minutes, I can make traditional pumpkin soup with chicken broth, onion, and garlic. Two other recipes are tempting: Pumpkin Chili and Coconut Curry Creamy Pumpkin Soup made with coconut milk.   What’s better than cornbread with soup? How about pumpkin cornbread?

Afternoon snacks have to be roasted pumpkin seeds. Just like Mom made with the pulp wiped off the seeds, but not washed. Seasoned with butter and kosher salt and roasted about 25 minutes. But I’m tempted to try Rosemary-Parmesan Pumpkin Seeds or Taco-Lime Pumpkin Seeds.

            Husband likes pasta so I’ve narrowed the dinner choices to ravioli or fettuccine or lasagna. Pumpkin Ravioli with Sage Brown Butter or Pumpkin Goat Cheese Fettuccine Alfredo or Cheesy Pumpkin Lasagna. All can be served with Roasted Pumpkin-and-Baby Kale Salad and Pumpkin Butter Brie Pull-Apart Bread.

The recipes for pumpkin desserts are limitless. Cakes, tortes, cookies, bars, rolls, cobbler, crème brulee, mousse. But I really like plain pumpkin pie, like Mom made using a recipe she tore from the wrapper of a can of evaporated milk sometime in the 1950s.

So many pumpkins. So many recipes. But I have an orange one and a couple of white ones on my porch, and I really won’t serve or eat pumpkin all day long. But I’ll venture beyond roasted seeds and pie. There are just so many choices.

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