By Margaret Chatfield
Pumpkins are such a funny looking squash. They almost seem comical. There are so many different colors showing up for us to choose. Orange, of course, and I have seen gray, white, green, and red. This enchanted vegetable is loaded with potassium and vitamin A and C. Pumpkins contain 90 percent water. They are the oldest domesticated plant, documented as far back at 7,500 B.C. The word “pumpkin” originated from the word “pepon” which is Greek for “large melon.”
Top pumpkin producing states include Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania, California, and, of course, Ohio.
Interestingly, in the colonial times, pumpkins were used as an ingredient for pie crust, not the filling.
Traditionally, we all think of carving the pumpkin this time of year. When you have young children and want to involve them in the process, this can be tricky. Thankfully there are so many other ways to decorate a pumpkin. You can leave the carving utensils in the drawer!
Try these fun and easy ways for your child to decorate pumpkins without carving.
Have your children glue all different colors and sizes of pompoms on the pumpkin for a colorful textural display.
Cut cheese cloth in strips and have them wrap the pumpkin like a mummy and glue on some googly eyes.
Glue a variety of wide and narrow decorative ribbons around the pumpkin for a colorful affect. Neon tape can be fun too.
Splatter paint on the pumpkin like a Jackson Pollock painting.
Set out some finger paint and let the budding artists create their own masterpiece.
Collect different sizes of foam letters and have your child glue letters all over the pumpkin. Perhaps they can even spell the word “boo!”
Purchase several packages of plastic spiders. These can be glued all over the pumpkin for a real creepy looking pumpkin.
The library has some of my favorite pumpkin books. Try “Too Many Pumpkins” by Linda White, “From Seed to Pumpkin” by Wendy Pfeffer, “Apples and Pumpkins” by Anne Rockwell, and “Duck and Goose Find a Pumpkin” by Tad Hills.
When I was reading “Pumpkin Soup” by Helen Cooper, I discovered a great recipe for pumpkin soup at the end of the story and I just had to try it. It was delicious. Here is the recipe right from the book!
2 medium onions, about 1 cup
2 tablespoons butter
2 cans chicken broth
2 ½ cups water
2 pounds pumpkin, peeled, cubed cut into cubes, about 5 cups
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 cup milk
Saute onions with butter until golden, add chicken broth, water, pumpkin cubes, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, simmer 20 minutes or until pumpkin is soft.
Remove from heat, puree mixture in food processor, and adjust seasoning. Return to saucepan, add milk and bring to boil. Enjoy.
The Middlefield Library, 16167 East High Street (44062) is open Monday – Friday 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Call 440- 632-1961.