“Have you heard about the great pumpkin shortage?” asked my friend Grammy. I think I snorted. I thought she was kidding.
No. No, she was not kidding. Today I found this on AOL News where you can read the whole story by clicking on the blue type.
Pumpkin Shortage Means No Pie for Thanksgiving
Posted Nov 18th 2009 2:30PM by Susan Wagner
Planning on serving pumpkin pie next week for Thanksgiving? You might want to find a back up — maybe pecan pie, or some spicy gingerbread. What’s wrong with pumpkin pie? Nothing — except that there aren’t any pumpkins available this year.
Rainy conditions in the midwest this fall have washed out the pumpkin crop, leaving retailers at a loss for canned pie filling. This week, the LA Times reported that Nestlé, which controls 85% of the pumpkin crop for canning, was all out of pumpkins. The company issued a surprise apology, saying that the rain had destroyed the remains of an already-small crop. Nestlé plans to stop shipping canned pumpkin after Thanksgiving, and the company says that once this season’s supply is gone, there won’t be any more pumpkins available for canning until August 2010.
Don’t lose hope!
For one thing, here in Qatar, there doesn’t appear to be any shortage of pumpkin – or, well, squash. It tastes like pumpkin, but looks more like old fashioned pumpkins, not like the generic vanilla USA sugar pumpkin.
My beautiful French friend’s nose got that pinched French look when she heard about pumpkin pies made with canned pumpkin.
“Why would you do that?” she asked in genuine bewilderment. “All you have to do is to cook the pumpkin pieces until they are soft, then use them as you would canned pumpkin, except that it’s fresh, and has no added chemicals.”
HER pumpkin pie was out of this world, made with fresh pumpkins and her special spice mix:
2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tablespoon ground ginger ( or1 tablespoon of grated fresh ginger)
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon mace (or ground nutmeg)
1 pinch anis seeds ground
1 cup dark brown sugar
Ground all the pieces together than add the sugar, keep it in a closed lid jar.
Her filling : 2 pounds fresh pumpkin flesh, steamed, mashed and cooled down, 1 cup of packed brown sugar, 3 eggs, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, half a cup of the spice mix.
Her pie was amazing. I would bake at 350F/180C for about an hour; it makes a big pie.