Thursday, 24 November 2011

Pining for Pumpkin

I am here to unmask the unsavory American ex-pat practice of pumpkin hoarding.  Why pumpkins as opposed to, say, Talking Elmo, or the next generation Nintendo Wii, you ask?  As a girl who used to live in Morton, Illinois, Pumpkin Capital of the World, I too used to be baffled as to why anyone would stockpile it.  Here's the local lowdown on the lowly squash.

First of all, it's common knowledge that British people don't know what the heck to do with pumpkin.  It's starting to weasel its way into British cuisine among other commonly roasted winter vegetables like butternut squash and sweet potatoes, but the mere thought of putting pumpkin in anything resembling a dessert makes them want to pull their knitted tea cozies over their heads.  It's yet another American import best left to go the way of Pepsi Clear and New Kids on the Block.  Granted, I did lay my hands on a small pumpkin meant only for decor purposes.

It's simply not enough, I say.  I need hardcore canned pumpkin.  I don't want to spend my weekend splitting, scooping and roasting a paltry, petite pumpkin for the whopping cup of pulp I'd get after four hours.  Yes, I am just that lazy.  Things got tricky when I found out too late that the UK grocery store Waitrose carries canned pumpkin as a novelty item.  I arrived much too late.  Word had long gotten out on the ex-pat email chain about the latest canned pumpkin sighting, and my fellow pumpkin pie eaters had stripped the joint bare.  There wasn't a gourd within a twenty-mile radius.  The empty shell of my spiced pumpkin daydreams had been smashed by loud, ice-seeking hoodlums.  No pie, cake, bars, or even pumpkin chili like I used to dish out at the Morton Pumpkin Festival.  I despaired in aisle five.

At home, I get no sympathy.  Pumpkin pie is repulsive to the British.  When I would get my hands on a piece in the U.S., I could use it like Deepwoods Off on poor Chumley.  An American friend was bold enough to make a pie with the canned gold for her English relatives, but it was clear none of them enjoyed her handiwork.  When she gave a blanket dispensation for not finishing their respective slices, half a dozen forks chinked on dessert plates with puffs of relief.  Tea was served to aid in recovery.

Think of those in pumpkin poverty this holiday and raise a piece for me.  Don't forget the Cool-Whip.

7 comments:

ChaChaneen said...

Oh girlfriend, you were robbed! Such a bummer your friend's didn't enjoy it but next time she'll know to share it with YOU! I'm having a slice for breakfast... I'll dedicate it to you. Hugs!

Smith said...

Toffee pudding is great and hmmmm

Jane Lincoln said...

Awww. mouthwatering D:

Denise SEVIER-FRIES said...

I am not American, but we Canucks love our pumpkin pie a LOT and I feel for you, sista. I adore England, but honestly, can they REALLY have a say in what is, or is not, good cuisine? I think not. My adice: find a pumpkin pimp in the US that will supply you by post...

Denise SEVIER-FRIES said...

I am not American, but I do know that we Canucks LOVE our pumpkin pie a LOT. If I were you, I would find a pumpkin pimp back home to send you a steady supply via post. Great story! :)

Denise SEVIER-FRIES said...

Sorry...might have posted twice. Couldn't see if the first went through! Cheers!

Georgeann Orton said...

2015 well the rumor was out that the crop was not good this year and to grab your pulp quickly but supply at Walmsrt seems fine. /g