Pumpkin Pie For Supper

Do you call the evening meal “supper?” Or “dinner?” When I was growing up, we sort of mixed up all the names for mid-day and evening meals because my parents traveled a lot. At least, that is my theory. In the south, if I understand correctly, the mid-day meal is “dinner,” and the evening meal is “supper.” Both of my parents hailed from the south, but they moved to the Midwest, where the noon meal is “lunch,” a term which my family used. We called the evening meal either “supper” or “dinner,” which caused me confusion when we visited our southern relatives!

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In our home, the evening meal included meat, and we ate every kind I knew of – pork, beef, fish, poultry, organ meats, and every kind of arrangement thereof. This meal also included a vegetable or two, which may be fresh, frozen, or canned. In the 1970s, it did not seem to matter much. Then there was bread. My mother was an expert bread maker. She made yeast breads and rolls, and quick breads like biscuits, cornbread, and banana bread better than anyone. She also made pie very well, but that was dessert.

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We Americans tend to be rather fixed in our concepts of what foods may constitute which meals. “Breakfast for dinner” means having waffles or scrambled eggs at the evening meal, which actually is a departure from what most Americans eat for breakfast: cereal. Many foods which are considered central to restaurant breakfast fare are loaded with sugar, such as cinnamon rolls, pancakes with syrup, or muffins. Yet, most people would never think of having sugary foods as a main dish at the evening meal. How strange, then, that I, who never condone lots of sugar consumption, should feature pie as a main dish at our evening meal, supper.

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Pumpkin pie is a perfectly viable option for a sustaining supper in autumn, in my opinion, as long as it is made well. I grew some nice pumpkins in my garden this year. A couple of days ago, I cooked one in the oven. This is my preferred way to fix most winter squash, because it is so easy. Simply wash the pumpkin and place it on a baking sheet in a 350 degree oven until it is soft enough to easily cut. In this case, the pumpkin was large enough that I cut it in half and scooped the seeds out, cooking only half at a time by placing it cut-side down.

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The pie I made was gluten-free, low in sugar, and easy to make because I simply whizzed all the ingredients for the filling around in the food processor. I served some small turkey burgers along with the pie, but I do not feel the least bit odd about including the pie alongside the burgers because pumpkin is super nutritious! The pumpkin alone is loaded with antioxidants such as beta carotene, which neutralizes free radical damage and contributes to eye health, especially low-light vision. It also contains vitamin C, fiber, and guess what? A cup of cooked pumpkin contains more potassium than the better-known banana.

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I had some left over pie filling that would not fit into the crust, so I saved it in the fridge and made breakfast with it the next morning. I placed it into the skillet with some left over quinoa and a little melted butter. I sprinkled in pecans and cooked the whole mess of it, so that the egg in the pie filling would cook. Then, I placed it into a bowl and topped it with my famous cranberry orange ferment. Delicious! I will be posting recipes soon. Until then, when it comes to pumpkin, feel free to enjoy it any time of day according to your own inspiration.

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