We will be having dinner at the house on the bluff, with me and H. and two of his daughters and hopefully everyone’s husbands and significant others can make it. Not sure who else will be showing up, but S, H’s youngest daughter, is in charge of the main meal prep.
My mission is to make pie. I’m doing a couple of traditional pies–an apple and a pumpkin, and while the apple filling is already sitting in a canning jar on the pantry shelf, the pumpkin needs some preparation.
My mother always eschewed carving up an actual pumkin for her pies, and although I’m going by her recipe, I’m using some of my big Neck Pumpkin instead of the usual “one can One Pie Pumpkin” that she does. You can’t get One Pie Pumpkin around here anyway, last I checked–Libby’s is the usual brand name.
Not that it really matters what brand of canned pumpkin you use–most of them are just plain pumpkin anyhow, so using from-scratch squash or pumpkin is about getting the consistency right. It needs to be pretty thick in order that the pie will set in a custard-like consistency.
What’s in those cans of pumpkin isn’t really what you’d think of as a pumpkin–all my sources tell me they use Neck Pumpkin–an exaggeratedly elongated form of butternut squash. This one was pretty big–I’m having to cook it two different ways–half roasted and half boiled. I don’t have a big enough steamer basket to cook the large quantity of squash I had left over when the roasting pan was full. I’ll see which comes out of the cooking process in a better consistency for pie-making and freeze the rest for later use.
At least, since all my other winter squash went kaput this season, I know I can save the seeds from this fruit and they will likely come true. Squashes, melons, and cukes are indiscriminate cross-breeders, so you can’t save seed from them if they were flowering at the same time as any others of their kind and you didn’t cover and hand-pollinate them. Well, you can, but what you’ll get out of those seeds may be quite a bit different than you expected.
I let my spaghetti squash do the hoochie-coochie with acorns and teacup squashes one season, and the next year those seeds formed some strange yellow and green striped and splotched fruits. Luckily, they were all pretty tasty anyhow, and most still had the spaghetti-like flesh you’d expect.