I made pumpkin soup. From a real pumpkin. Because pumpkins do not actually grow in cans.
The idea was not mine. I grew up in the 70s/80s — the era of the microwave meal. My mother was not a good cook, nor did she want to be. Neither was her mother, to be honest. Cheese came in Velveeta boxes, rice in a box from Uncle Ben and pumpkins from a can.
However, my son was born in the Pacific Northwest, a hot bed of local cuisine. Hanging out at all those farmers markets and u-pick places has given me a son who believes strawberries are best picked right from the plant, even if they only are ripe in our area for two weeks in June. I’m half proud and half annoyed, mostly since I like strawberries in April too.
I gave in and bought two pumpkins — not jack o’ lanterns, but actual “pie pumpkins.” I tried getting away with buying just one, but two children resulted in two pumpkins to avoid a fight. I read the directions on the sticker, brought out the carving knives and got to work. The kids “helped.” Then I baked them into pumpkin mush and turned them into two pumpkin pies and a huge pot of soup. It turns out that a little bit of a real pumpkin goes a long way.
I’m disproportionately proud of myself for this feat. Please feel free to clap. I am.