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Pumpkin Everything

Candied Pumpkin

By LEFPublished 8 months ago Updated 8 months ago 4 min read
2

Pumpkin Everything

There aren’t many foods I don’t like, even as a kid I was a good eater but I hated pumpkin pie. It was by far the worst thing I'd ever tasted, luckily for me we only ever had to look at it on Thanksgiving Day. Every year my grandma would buy one apple pie just for me, while everyone else dug into the dozen pumpkin pies topped with whip cream, I sat there as an odd duck with her apple pie. On Thanksgiving when I was about 9 years old, I still remember my grandma’s face as we walked into her house, “I’m so sorry I forgot your apple pie,” I’m quite sure my little heart broke right there. My grandma insisted I should try the pumpkin pie again as I might like it now. I didn’t…I took one bite and it was the worst thing I’d ever eaten.

In contrast if you knew me today, I’m a pumpkin everything person. I swear by end of July I’m counting down the days until pumpkin season. I want pumpkin coffee, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin waffles pumpkin soup and well like I said pumpkin EVERYTHING! This year my daughter said I went too far as she was washing her hands with pumpkin spice hand soap. I laughed as I told her I had almost gotten the pumpkin spice deodorant but thought that might be going a little overboard.

Where did my life change so drastically, well that’s a funny story. When I met my husband, this was before pumpkin season was a thing, we had such vast difference in life experiences I grew up in a small city up north and he had lived everywhere. We both were living in the dorms with nothing more than a small mini fridge as our kitchens. His parents lived close by and he would often drive home to visit, always bringing me back some of his mother’s amazing cooking. Then one day he walked in with a bowl of pumpkin for me to try. I was looking at him, probably with disgust in my eyes but my meager life experience had only known pumpkin in two ways: jack-o-lanterns and yucky pumpkin pie. I looked him straight in his eyes with the most serious face “You can eat pumpkin?” My future husband just stared for a minute before laughing, “what do you think pumpkin pie is made out of?” To be honest I had never thought about it, my family had always just bought them at the grocery store already made. I guess I assumed it was just pumpkin flavoring, something they invented to feel like Thanksgiving dessert.

Every year since I was a baby, my parents bought pumpkins for us to carve, we would put a face into this giant pumpkin, then we’d go outside and fill some old clothes with leaves, afterwards we plopped that pumpkin as a head right on top. That scarecrow lived on our front porch every winter until the snow melted. I've never seen anyone eat the actual pumpkin, I truly believed they were just decorative gourds.

Well, here stands my dream guy in front of me with this bowl of chopped cooked pumpkin. He didn’t know it yet but he was about to change my life. I refused to try it, insisting I hated pumpkin… he’s way smarter than me though, “if you didn’t know you could eat it how do you know you don’t like it?” That was easy I hate pumpkin pie, therefore I must hate pumpkin…simple. He insisted it was one of his favorites and I should just try it. I resisted but in the end I couldn’t resist his charm, I took one bite expecting to instantly regret my choice however to my surprise it was delicious. I ate the whole bowl, begging him to go get more from his mother.

Now every year when the pumpkins start filling the bin at the grocery store, I grab a few to make my families favorite candied pumpkin. As I chop the pumpkins, I love to reminisce with my kids about how this dessert came about and they laugh their little heads off about me not knowing you could eat pumpkin.

Candied Pumpkin Recipe

1 - whole pumpkin - cleaned, seeds removed and chopped into cubes. I like to peel my pumpkin but I’ve had it both ways.

2 cup - Brown sugar

½ cup - cane sugar

1 tbsp - cinnamon

In a heavy bottom pot, place the pumpkin in about 1 inch of water, then add all ingredients and cook on low for 2-4hrs. Check often to ensure there is still liquid at the bottom while cooking or it will burn.

For a quicker method, place all ingredients in a pot cover the pumpkin with water and cook on medium heat letting it boil for 15-20 minutes.

I prefer the slow cook method it taste much sweeter.

Serve with milk or cream. I use almond milk and it tastes just as great.

Options:

You can use any pumpkin; I prefer to use the pumpkin pie pumpkins because I can find organic ones easier.

Add-ins: you can add cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, or anise to give added flavor.

Sugar options: it tastes best with brown sugar or piloncillo (Mexican brown sugar) however you can use any sweetener of your choice.

I have also served with plain Greek yogurt, drizzled with honey.

Positive Affirmations:

May this dish bring you the courage to step outside your comfort zone and embrace different experiences. Don’t be afraid to try new things, it might open a whole new world for you.

cuisine
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About the Creator

LEF

endless stories swirl in my head fueled by coffee!

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