I managed to wrangle a few pumpkins out of my raised beds this year…but just barely. Pumpkin, melons, cucumbers and squash are susceptible to a fungus called powdery mildew, which if gone unchecked, will literally choke the life out of your plants. Powdery mildew was the absolute bane of my gardening existence. But like I said, I got about three pumpkins for all the vines that covered the patio.
And tomorrow, the day before Halloween, my prized pumpkin is set to be carved. So I’ll be taking the seeds and some of the “meat” to preserve for Thanksgiving (gluten free) pies. Me and The Hubster joke that pumpkin pie is the white man’s sweet potato pie.
This is clearly a culinary culture clash, because Mike had never had sweet potato pie before we met. My mother is coming for the feast this year, and as a good Southern woman, she’ll be expecting her sweet potato pie–free of gluten or not!
So I’ll be cooking both. And it will be easy because both pumpkin and sweet potato pies require virtually the same ingredients to make them yummy: cinnamon, vanilla extract, salt, sugar (but I’ll be using maple syrup and stevia), a pinch of nutmeg and ginger, eggs, cream.
Cinnamon is the cornerstone spice for both pies, and I’m excited to be using a very special kind of cinnamon, grown and processed in Vietnam and sold by World Vision to support the people of that community. The organization was kind enough to send me a sample of the cinnamon encased in a gorgeous carved container so I could tell you all about it. It’s easily the best and highest quality cinnamon I’ve ever tasted. I’ve been using it in my zucchini bread and it’s heavenly.
This is probably the best cinnamon you can buy, and much higher quality than in the grocery store. It’s $85. I know. It’s expensive. But that money goes to the people who helped to create it, and you can claim a portion of that expense as a tax write off.
So which camp are you in–pumpkin or sweet potato?