Oct 1, 2008

Pumpkin Usage

by Natalie Mitts and Ellen Wilson

Since it's fall once again, pumpkins are dotting the streets and shops around town. Here are some fresh ideas on what you can do with a pumpkin.

Ways to use a pumpkin:

Cooking: Although you can make your own pumpkin puree at home, most people prefer the store-bought pumpkin that comes in a can. Common ways to use pumpkin in cooking include: pumpkin pie, cake, bread, rolls, cookies, seeds, soup and ravioli.

Serving: Use a pumpkin as a serving dish after hollowing out the insides. Use the lids to keep food warm while waiting. This would work well with vegetables or stuffing.

Floral design: Hollow out a pumpkin and use it as a vase for a bouquet. Make sure you use autumn colors with your flowers and accessories to match.

Carving or painting: Make your jack-o-lantern unique by carving or painting faces of famous people, animals or your roommate. Use several pumpkins to make a larger design, like a caterpillar.

Candle holder: After hollowing out the pumpkin, fill it with tall candles. Use a knife to make a decorative scalloped rim around the opening.

Dating: Write a message on a pumpkin and leave it for your prospective date to find.

Pumpkin facts:
  • The majority of the British population has never eaten pumpkin.
  • The world record pumpkin in 2008 was 1,878 pounds and 16 feet around.
  • Pumpkins are believed to have originated in the Americas.
  • Instead of using the pumpkin for a filling in pies, colonial bakers used it in the crust.
  • Almost all of the pumpkins in the United States are grown in Illinois, specifically near Peoria.
  • During October, 80 percent of the United States' pumpkin supply is available.
  • Pumpkins are rich in potassium, fiber and Vitamin C.

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