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Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: Everything is Coming Up Pumpkin

By Sherrie Norris

Not only are the local produce stands proclaiming that we are in the throes of pumpkin season, but everywhere we look, everything is coming up pumpkins. The pumpkin craze is almost overboard, but for those of us who love the smell and taste of the seasonal treat, we should enjoy it while we can.

I’ve never noticed too many pumpkin patches locally, but am delighted to see a large field growing in abundance near my home this year.

While there is nutritional value to be considered, pumpkins are used in many fall-related recipes and especially for decoration this time every year. There is much history and folklore associated with the pumpkin, but we can Google all that. Let’s get on with the recipes!


Pumpkin Soup

2 lbs. fresh pumpkin, peeled, cut into chunks, seeds removed

3 cups milk or half-and-half, scalded

1 Tbs. butter

2 tsp. maple syrup

1 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. nutmeg

Steam the fresh pumpkin until tender; mash or puree. Stir into the hot milk and add remaining ingredients. Heat through and serve immediately. Serves 6.


Pumpkin Squares


1½ cups quick cooking oats

1¼ cups flour

¾ cup light brown sugar, firmly packed

½ cup chopped pecans or walnuts

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. baking soda

¾ cup butter, room temperature



2 (16 ounce can) cups pumpkin puree

2/3 cup milk

1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed

1 egg

1 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice


Combine crust ingredients; beat until mixture is crumbly. Reserve about 1½ cups of the crumb mixture; press remaining mixture into a lightly buttered 9×13-inch baking pan.

Bake at 375° for 10 minutes.

In the meantime, beat filling ingredients until well blended and smooth. Spread filling over the crust; sprinkle with remaining crumb mixture. Return to oven and bake 25 minutes longer. Cool and cut into bars.


Pumpkin Crumb Cake

1 box yellow cake mix

½ cup melted butter or margarine

1 egg



1 (29 oz.) can pumpkin

2 eggs

2/3 cup evaporated milk

½ cup brown sugar

2 tsp. cinnamon



1 cup reserved cake mix

½ cup sugar

¼ cup margarine or butter

1 tsp. cinnamon

Measure 1 cup of cake mix; set aside for topping. Combine the remaining cake mix, melted margarine and egg. Press mixture into greased 9 x 13 inch cake pan (press hard). Combine the filling ingredients and pour over cake mixture in pan. Combine ingredients for topping. Sprinkle over filling. Bake 45-50 minutes at 350 degrees. Serve with Cool Whip.