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Take your pick of pumpkins

Take your pick of pumpkins

Summer is winding down, and before you know it, everything will magically turn into pumpkins. At least it seems that way, doesn’t it?

You’ll see that our new fall and holiday décor has debuted on our website. And just for reference, National Pumpkin Spice Day is October 1, National Pumpkin Day is October 26, and National Pumpkin Pie Day is December 25, which, oddly, falls after the holiday that pumpkin pie is most closely associated with—Thanksgiving. To help you get a jump on all this, we present a palooza of pumpkin trivia, decorating tips, plus a recipe. Now, let’s give them pumpkin to talk about.

Pumpkin trivia

Pumpkins are a member of the gourd family, which includes cucumbers, honeydew melons, cantaloupe, and zucchini. They’re native to Central America and Mexico and have been grown in North America for 5,000 years. Native Americans used a system of growing pumpkins with maize and beans called the “Three Sisters” method.

Today, the pumpkin is associated with the month of October and Halloween. That’s probably because it was around Halloween that the Irish and Scottish immigrants to the United States began carving pumpkins and referring to them as “Jack-O-Lanterns.”

A few more points about pumpkins:

  • The heaviest pumpkin ever recorded was in October 2016, in Belgium, and it weighed in at more than a ton—a whopping 2,624 pounds.
  • The largest pumpkin pie ever made was 20 feet in diameter and weighed 3,699 pounds. It was made in 2010 at the New Bremen Pumpkinfest in New Bremen, Ohio.
  • Pumpkins are low in calories, fat, and sodium and high in fiber. They are 90 percent water and contain vitamin A and potassium.
  • Most pumpkins are grown for processing, not ornamental sales.

 

Pumpkin decor

It’s no wonder that pumpkins are so perfect for autumn decor. Even in their simplest and most natural state, their bright orange color adds charm to any indoor or outdoor setting. We’ve put our spin on pumpkins, of course, and our gorgeous gourds are unlike any others, sporting unique patterns and a variety of embellishments. And best of all, they last from Indian Summer through Thanksgiving and beyond. We like a variety of sizes stacked up on tabletops, buffets, and entry tables. If your entry is protected, you can add them to your porch, too.

This year, you’ll find our perennially popular black and white pumpkins that feature checks, stripes, and harlequin diamonds. We’ve also added Verdigris and Spice Pumpkins with a touch of copper, surrounded with everlasting fall greenery, as well as Flower Market Pumpkins, decorated with our Flower Market enamelware patterns. Two more new additions are the ceramic Pumpkin Tureens, which would be perfect for serving an autumn batch of pumpkin soup or the dressing on Thanksgiving.

And that brings us to our final point: a recipe for Pumpkin Soup. This is a quick and easy recipe, which uses canned pumpkin, eliminating the timely tasks of cleaning and roasting a pumpkin. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Soup

2 tbsp. butter

1 large yellow onion, sliced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. cinnamon

½ tsp. nutmeg

½ tsp. ground ginger

2 15-oz. cans pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)

2 cups chicken stock (you can use vegetable broth if you want to make this vegetarian-style)

2 cups water

½ cup heavy cream

 

  1. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Add the sliced onions to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until caramelized, about 15 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger to the onions and stir constantly for one minute.
  4. Add ¼ cup of the chicken stock and use a wooden spoon to scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
  5. Add the remaining stock, water, and pumpkin puree and stir to combine.
  6. Turn heat to low and simmer the soup for 20 minutes.
  7. Turn the stove off and use a handheld immersion blender to puree the soup. Alternately, use a regular blender and puree the soup in two to three batches.
  8. Stir the heavy cream into the soup and serve immediately.

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