Pumpkins are the flavor and the scent of the season. From pumpkin spice latte to pumpkin spice-scented candles, the big orange (or sometimes white) member of the winter squash family dominates the marketplace for the next several weeks. There are pumpkin patches, pumpkin festivals, punkin' chunkin' contests, and contests to see who has grown the biggest pumpkin and for that contest, you may as well not enter unless you have a pumpkin that weighs at least 2,000 pounds.
Yes, some varieties of pumpkin really do get that big. There are also tiny ones, small enough to fit inside a Thanksgiving cornucopia, and just about every size in between. The ones used in pies and other baked goods are usually the small to medium varieties, which seem to be the most tasty. Then, there are the pumpkins that are used for perhaps their most famous purpose, Halloween jack-o'-lanterns.
Pumpkins, like other members of the squash family, are native to the Americas, but they are now grown right around the world for both human and animal consumption.
Not all humans appreciate the taste of pumpkin, of course, but squash of just about any variety is one of my favorite vegetables and I include pumpkin in that. I particularly like it in soup. And in pancakes.
Breakfast at Denny's on Monday morning has become a bit of a tradition for Hubby and me. Now, I concede that not every Denny's is necessarily a great place for breakfast, but ours happens to be and we look forward to those Monday mornings. I especially look forward to the Monday mornings in October and November because that is when they feature their pumpkin pancakes! They are tasty - well worth getting up early for.
Pumpkins in any form are an extremely nutritious food. They are good sources of protein, magnesium, copper, and zinc.
They are a warm weather crop that is relatively easy to grow. I grew some in my backyard several years ago, but they do take a bit of room, more than I've been willing to set aside for them in the years since.