When the Colonists first came to North America, they discovered the Native Americans growing and using pumpkins. The pumpkin was wholeheartedly embraced and later became a Thanksgiving tradition.
The pumpkin is a member of the gourd family, which also includes watermelon and squash. It has an orange flesh, with a mild and sweet flavor. Fresh pumpkins are available in the fall and winter. Choose pumpkins that are free from blemishes and heavy for their size.
Some Other Pumpkin Tidbits:
- Last years world record for pumpkin weight was 1,262 pounds!
- Pumpkins are rich in Vitamin A and potassium. They are also high in fiber.
- Pumpkins were once recommended as a cure for freckles and as a remedy for snakebites.
Some pumpkin carving tips:
- Use an ice-cream scoop to clean out your pumpkin.
- Coat the cut surfaces & inside of the pumpkin with petroleum jelly immediately after cutting. The petroleum jelly acts as a barrier to seal in moisture.
- If the pumpkin shrivels, it can usually be restored back to the original condition by soaking it in cold water overnight.
- Sprinkle pumpkin pie spice in the Jack O’ Lantern to give it a spicy, seasonal scent.