Patricia Nell Warren

Time to Occupy Pumpkins

Filed By Patricia Nell Warren | October 26, 2011 1:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: Halloween pumpkin, human rights abuses, pies, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, pumpkins

pumpkins.jpgEvery year, I always shudder at the colossal waste of a valuable national food resource, as thousands of tons of pumpkins get thrown in the garbage after the 31st. Only in America, where so many of us believe that it's okay to waste our blessings, would such a thing happen. While growing numbers of homeless and unemployed Americans go hungry every day, the rest of us throw away enough pumpkins to feed those hungry people for a month.

So... when you're done with your Halloween jack-o-lantern, make a pie! Fresh pumpkin pie is outrageously easy to make with a blender. And once you taste it, you'll never go back to those awful supermarket pies made with canned pumpkin.

Trust me. Try my foolproof recipe, that I published at Bilerico a couple of years ago, as part of my Victory Garden series.

If you don't like pie, there's other ways to eat pumpkin. It's a giant squash, for heaven's sake. So you can give it your fave squash treatment. It's a tasty side for any kind of meat. Throw a few hunks of it into a stew along with the carrots and celery. Bake hunks of it like potatoes or acorn squash. Or steam it and mash it. Or puree it for cream of pumpkin soup.

On the breakfast or tea-time front, there's pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins, even pumpkin butter.

With our flair for creativity, we can invent new ways of eating it. Pumpkin quiche? Pumpkin taffy? Pumpkin stuffing for Thanksgiving turkey? Cocktails that float a bit of pumpkin instead of an olive? Why not?

Indeed -- if Teh Gay can rescue entire neighborhoods, and lead the march for human rights, we can rescue the pumpkin from national oblivion. We can even make it a culinary symbol for reviving respect for whole groups of people and their culture and their rights, including our own. There should be a flag with a pumpkin on it.

I dream of a Halloween where all the pumpkins end up in people's stomachs, nourishing people's hearts and spirits, instead of rotting in the nearest landfill.

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I agree, Patricia! ... Perfectly good pumpkins should be enjoyed, and should never go to waste! ...

Kiss those pumpkins!

Om Kalthoum | October 26, 2011 6:56 PM

Hell, I didn't even realize pumpkins were food until I became an adult.