Monday, October 26, 2009

A Hodgepodge of Metamorphic Pumpkin Days

What kind of month would October be if it didn't set aside a day for Pumpkins? But Wait!!! There seems to be quite a mish mash of Pumpkin Days and not all of them are in October. Take Pumpkin Pie Day, for instance. There are those who claim National Pumpkin Pie Day is October 12th and then there are those who believe National Pumpkin Pie Day to be December 25th. Beats the heck out of me. I celebrated National Pumpkin Pie Day one November with a Pumpkin Pie recipe poem. What do I know? I need to bring this to rest.
Here is what I learned about Pumpkin Days in the October online issue of Restaurants & Institutions.

...26th day in October is National Pumpkin Day—not to be confused with National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day (October 21) or National Pumpkin Pie Day (December 25.) October 26 also is National Pretzel Day...

Pumpkinification or what ever happened to Cinderella's Coach?

Bibbly Bobbly You've been Pumpkinified!!!
People who are about to excuse themselves from a late night occasionally allude to the story of Cinderella by speaking of having to leave before they turn into a pumpkin. In the fairy tale, it is, of course, Cinderella's coach, not herself, which turns (back) into a pumpkin on the last stroke of midnight (or thereabout).

The Greek-derived term apocolocyntosis may here be pronounced either as a-po-CO-lo-sin-TOH-sis or a-po-CO-lo-kin-TOH-sis. (No two classicists seem to agree on the best pronunciation, with stress patterns and vowel/consonant qualities varying widely as different weight is accorded to authenticity, feasibility and euphony.) Literally meaning "transformation into a pumpkin or gourd", it is often translated as "pumpkinification". It was a title given to a Menippean satire written in Latin by (or at least attributed to) Seneca the Younger, tutor to the Emperor Nero. This work parodies the deification or apotheosis of the late Emperor Claudius, depicted as a "pumpkin-head" in life who perfects his "pumpkinification" in death, in so much as he is refused entry to Olympus and exposed by Jupiter and the other gods for what he is. Some scholars reject the literal interpretation of apocolocyntosis as "pumpkinification", preferring a more allusively-derived "metamorphosis of a pumpkin[-head]". For what it's worth, my own translation for the term qua title of the work would be The Ascension of the Living Gourd. Chris Young

It's kind of sad that the word Pumpkinification has been exiled into the tablets of Roman history. It's a fun word don't you think? I wonder how Mother Goose and Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater pumpkinified such a jumble. Perhaps, they baked Pumpkin Pie or Pumpkin Cannoli!!!

The Origin of Pumpkin Pie

Silly as it may seem, here's a bit of pumpkinifiably. Why the editors of The Boston Cooking School Magazine... chose to include this little diddy in the January 1905 issue is a bit mystifying but hey, who am I to argue, I'm a "changed" woman:)

The Origin of Pumpkin Pie
Once upon a time, a long while ago, there lived a wise old man who was always trying to see what he could discover.
Having made several perpetual motion machines and one or two airships, he was walking through the fields to avoid his creditors when he came upon a pumpkin.
"This," he said to himself, bending down and feeling of the yellow orb, "is a vegetable growth; but I firmly believe that it acquires its hue from small particles of gold which it extracts from the earth."
So he took the pumpkin on his shoulder, and took it home, telling all anxious inquirers that he was going to discover how to extract the gold from it.
At home, in spite of all his wife said, he cut the pumpkin up and put it in a pot and boiled it, only he argued that he was melting it.
when at last it was a pulpy mass, he poured it out of the pot and right on top of a pan of dough that his wife had rolled out for the purpose of making dried apple pie.
Now you know the kind of a wife he had, do you not? A woman who will feed her husband on dried apple pie deserves to be married to two or three inventors, doesn't she?
And so he put the pumpkin and the dough into the oven asserting that he would harden it with the heat and produce a solid sheet of gold, and be so rich that he could run for office on a reform ticket.
But, bless you! when the pumpkin and the dough came out of the oven, it was not a solid sheet of gold at all, but a rich, golden, tantalizing section of goodness.
And the poor inventor was hungry so he bit into it.
a Few moments later several of his creditors broke into the house; and came upon him, crying: "Look here! Where is all that gold you were going to get for us?"
And he never even looked up at them, but kept right on eating saying: "Who cares for gold? (Bite, bite O-o-o-oh!) Who cares for gold? Men, I have discovered pumpkin pie!
And the creditors sat down also and ate; and they too, were happy ever after.
So now, when you eat pumpkin pie, you should be glad that the poor inventor did not succeed in making gold of the pumpkin. For, if he had, the pumpkin might never have gone further than to fill your teeth.

Pumpkins & Apples Oh MY!

Pumpkinified Apple Recipes
Pumpkin & Apple Crumble
leftover pumpkin puree can be frozen and later used in stews, soups or as a quick side dish with butter
Pumpkin Apple Spice Muffins
fresh pumpkin has more moisture than canned pumpkin; adjust accordingly
Pumpkin Stuffed Roasted Apples
serve seasonal dips, sauces & spreads in miniature pumpkins for a decorative look
Pumpkin Apple Pancakes
2 cups of pumpkin puree equals 1lb or 16 oz. canned pumpkin.
Apple Butter Pumpkin Pie
A munchkin is a variety of pumpkin.
Pumpkin Apple Pie
Pumpkin flowers are edible
Pumpkin, Apple, & Cranberry Wontons
hallowed out pumpkin makes a festive soup tureen
Pumpkin Apple Cheesecake
Yes, Virginia there really is a World Championship Punkin Chuckin' competition in November

I know I was just trying to keep the patch nice and tidy with pumpkin recipes married in apple goodness but, I just couldn't resist Reeni's recipe for Pumpkin Mousse Streusel Pie, although, I must admit, it was quite difficult to resist many, many heavenly pumpkin recipes out there in internet Halloween land. So, "self" I said, "now may be a good time to share that Jack-O'-Lantern Cheese Ball recipe since it too is apple-ified." So here you go, from the Frightfully Fun Halloween Recipes book published in the year 2000." I found this recipe in the chapter labeled, Bewitching Bites (fun book if you can find it:)

Jack-O'-Lantern Cheese Ball
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup solid pack pumpkin
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. [freshly] ground nutmeg
1 pretzel rod, broken in half
Dark rye bread, red pepper and black olive slices
Assorted crackers

Using pumpkins as lanterns at Halloween is based on an ancient Celtic custom brought to America by Irish immigrants. All Hallows Eve on October 31st marked the end of the old Celtic calendar year. On that night hollowed-out turnips, beets and rutabagas with a candle inside were placed on windowsills and porches to welcome home spirits of deceased ancestors and ward off evil spirits and a restless soul called “Stingy Jack.”
Upcoming Food Days
27-Pizza Party Announcement
27-National Potato Day
27-American Beer Day
28-St. Jude's Day
1. Pumpkinification of Claudius
2. Rhymes & Recipe Page
3. Cooking with edible flowers
4. Pumpkin Pie Poem & Dinner in a Pumpkin


  1. Hi Louise, I just dropped by to say what a great blog you have. I found the title to be intriguing and once I entered the site I was hooked. Your posts make excellent reading.
    We have featured 'Months of Edible Celebrations' as our Blog of the Week and here is the link

    You also have a really nice assortment of recipes.
    All the best

  2. I made a pumpkin pie very recently. I love pumpkin pie; it's the only kind I'd ever had before I got married and started running my own kitchen. And, believe it or not, I still have never had a slice of apple pie.

  3. I really need a pumpkin pie right now.

  4. Never much cared for pumpkin, but love it know! Its raining pumkin.

  5. Words and sayings and origination of things are my thing. I love words. Pumkinification is my new favorite one. I love the story!! I don't like pumpkin pie though. My dad forced me to eat some when I was a kid and it didn't stay down. I've never eaten any since then. It sure does smell good. Maybe I should try some this year.

  6. Yum, I love that Jack'O'Lantern cheese ball!

  7. Hi Louise
    Pumpkin anything is a fave around here.. fudge, pies,breads, cookies..even tried some pumpkin cannoli's a few weeks ago. I'm just loving your Jack cheeseball!

  8. Hi Wanda, Thank you so much for visiting and featuring my blog as your Blog of the Week. I am quite honored to be included in such an array of interesting blogs. Drop by when ever you like, the door is always opened.

    WHAT!!! No apple pie, Marjie!!! Tsk, tsk, you had better remedy that ASAP!!! Have the kids bake you up one after they harvest those apples:)

    Then you should have one duckie:)

    I bet if you baked up a pumpkin pie with that touch of "Courtney," goodness, you would change your mind glamah:)

    Hi Julia, When I discovered the word Pumpkinification, I just knew I had to run with it!!! Do give Pumpkin Pie another try, you may be surprised by and bye.

    Isn't he just too cute, Natashya, easy too!!!

    I remember those pumkin cannoli of yours. I'm making them for Thanksgiving!!! I'm going to add the link to this post and SHARE!!!


Through this wide opened gate,
none came too early,
none returned too late.

Thanks for dropping in...Louise