‘Tis the Season! The harvest season, that is. It’s the season of the pumpkin … pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns here and there, everywhere you look. Following an abundant harvest, pumpkin pies find their final demise, gracing the tables of most of America. I, on the other hand, prefer to follow the beat of a different drummer. Let the masses have their pumpkin pie. I choose to celebrate MY favorite pumpkin dessert, Pumpkin Cheesecake Day, on October 21st.
Pumpkins belonged to America before most of our ancestors did. Native Americans grew pumpkins hundreds of years before Europeans arrived on our Eastern shores. They grew them in mounds, among their other crops. They used pumpkin chunks in stew and fed pumpkin pieces to their horses. Even the seeds were toasted or ground into meal for gruel or bread.
The colonists in theNew World quickly jumped on the pumpkin band wagon. Pumpkins were sliced and roasted, baked whole (after removing the seeds), boiled and made into dough for pancakes. The colonists also preserved pumpkins by drying them. They were sliced and placed on racks in the sun or hung from the rafters until they were dry.
Besides tasting good, pumpkins provide many nutrients essential for a healthy diet. They are rich in phosphorous, calcium, iron and vitamins A and C. One report states that pumpkin seed tea is good for the bladder and for killing tapeworms. Now, I like my pumpkin seeds, but I prefer them toasted and salted. I think I’ll pass on the tea.
Pumpkin Lovers Cookbook, by Golden West Publishers, has over 175 recipes for cookies, cakes, pies, muffins, breads, soups and other delectable dishes. Here is a recipe from Pumpkin Lovers Cookbook for Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars. Perfect for celebrating Pumpkin Cheesecake Day!
Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
1 (16 oz. pkg) pound cake mix
2 TB margarine or butter, melted
4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (16 oz) can pumpkin (2 cups)
½ tsp salt
1 cup chopped nuts
Preheat oven to 350°.
In large mixer bowl on low speed, combine cake mix, 1 egg, margarine and 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice until crumbly. Press into bottom of 15 x 10 inch jelly roll pan; set aside.
In large mixer bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk, then remaining 2 eggs, pumpkin, remaining 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice and salt; mix well. Pour over curst, sprinkle nuts on top.
Bake 30 or 35 minutes or until set. Cool. Cut into bars.
Thanks to Louise at www.monthsofediblecelebrations.blogspot.com for encouraging posts with recipes to celebrate foods this month. Go check out her blog and you’ll discover a world filled with food celebrations, cookbooks and recipes!
Celebrate life … Celebrate Pumpkin Cheesecake Day!