Thanksgiving, Pumpkin Pie and Chickens…..

The Pumpkin Pie from a Live Pumpkin

Yesterday’s mix of butchering a pumpkin left o’vr from Halloween, ONE glass of eggnog (well spiked) and chickens  actually turned out a good pumpkin pie.

I am posting a recipe, probably too late for most cooks I know, but I learned something along the way.  One, that Libby’s canned pumpkin ISN’T pumpkin at all…it’s  butternut squash.  Who knew?

But I had this lovely shaped pumpkin before me and a sharp knife.  I cut it in half, lengthwise, and scooped out the seeds and the strings into a wooden bread trough because my son left the compost bucket in the compose pile.  In carrying the seeds across the kitchen, I dropped the whole mess on the freshly washed floor, so decided in my eggnog-fogged state to call in a few chickens to hoover it up.

You don’t call a few chickens in: most of the  flock crammed through the screen door, raced through the mud room and into the kitchen.  8 of 13 hens made it through the door before I slammed it, and did a good job of hoovering up the seeds and pulp, but left their own offering on my floor.

The problem was getting them out again because chickens are curious girls, and  and human food must have smelled good to them because ‘laying pellets’ with a side of whatever is in the compost bucket that day…well, this was more interesting.    Problem is that some of them wandered into the dining room looking for the silver, and I had a royal time shooing them out.

Finally, I could get back to my pumpkin and make it into something that would serve as a pie.  You cut it up into large chunks, put it into a steamer and steam the life out of it.  Cool. I did overnight, and separating the pulp from the skin was easy.

Usually a ‘sweet pumpkin’ is used for a pie…about 6 inches worth of pumpkin.  It makes for a ‘sweeter’ pie, but I also read you can use any pumpkin,  except for  those huge 1200 lb. monsters grown for the express purpose of seeing who can grow the largest pumpkin that year.  There is a festival in upper New York state that does so every year.  I always wondered what you do with the 1000 lb. pumpkins that lose.

But my Halloween pumpkin gave me enough pulp for two good sized pies.  Recipe below.

Take the pulp and mash or blender it well….I just mashed it up because it was very soft.  Drain it in a colander for a while because there is a lot of water in fresh pumpkin.

2 teaspoons of cinammon

grating of nutmeg

1 teaspoon of salt

1 cup of brown sugar

4 eggs

1 can of evaporated milk

2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice mix of ginger/cloves, cinammon, etc.  I didn’t have but I did have “5 spice mix” which probably had the same thing from Whole Foods.  The print was too small for me to read what was in it, but it looked like it would do.

2 tablespoons of flour

more spice to taste.

Pour into unbaked pie crust.

Bake at 400 degrees (fast oven) for 20 minutes and then reduce to 350 for an hour or when a butter knife inserted comes out clean.

Cool.  I decorated mine before baking with fresh cranberries because it looked pretty.

We already tasted a sliver each tonight, and I thought it could use a bit more sugar, but others thought it fine.

A Southern touch to pumpkin pie is to whip your cream for the topping with a dash of sherry.  Makes a wonderful difference.

Lady Nyo…and Happy Thanksgiving, with Pumpkin Pie or not.

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4 Responses to “Thanksgiving, Pumpkin Pie and Chickens…..”

  1. Berowne Says:

    Let me see if I have this right:
    1. Drink eggnog.
    2. Cut pumpkin open.
    3. Drop pumpkin on floor.
    4. Call in chickens to deal with mess.
    5. Fetch crazed Rottweiler to shoo out chickens (optional).
    6. Follow chickens into dining room.
    7. Purge house of all other species.
    8. Clean kitchen and dining room floor of seeds, poop, and feathers.
    9. Drink more eggnog and start over.

    Too complicated for me, I think I will follow the lead of the First Family and pardon the pumpkin. Or was that a turkey? Whatever. (Actually we made pecan pie last night, from pre-shelled pecans.)

    Now have some more eggnog and enjoy the feast! (Remember to keep the outside door shut.)


  2. ladynyo Says:

    You got it!

    And yes, we will. The feast is almost cooked….just waiting patiently for that thermometer
    in the bird to pop up.

    Sherry has replaced the eggnog and you enjoy your feast also!

    Count your blessings!

    And, both pumpkin and turkey should be pardoned….


  3. Malcolm Says:

    Loved the use of the chickens as kitchen cleaners! Some people have a dog well trained to hoover up anything spilled. Chickens dis a job, but, alas, are not house trained and also ‘did a job’.


  4. ladynyo Says:

    Yep….we have 5 dogs but they would turn up their big noses at pumpkin seeds and pulp.


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