Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Guest Post...The Great Canned Pumpkin Shortage...Worth The Whisk's Patti Londre to the Rescue!

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I have been hearing about a shortage of Libby's canned pumpkin puree, the one we use for our most cherished dishes at this time of the year.  Mon Dieu, what is the world coming to!

The shortage this year is a result of less-than-ideal weather conditions around Morton, Illinois where a high percentage of the canning pumpkins sold nationwide are grown.  One of Illinois newspapers The State Journal-Register, surveyed local grocery managers and was told most stores have canned pumpkin in stock now, but there is uncertainty about whether supplies will last.

Illinois is the nation’s No. 1 pumpkin-producing state. Of the state’s 13,679 acres of pumpkins, 9,749 of those acres are harvested for processing. Most of the processing is done at Libby’s in Morton and Seneca Foods in Princeville

If you cook with canned pumpkin as most of us will be doing this month and next, particularly for Thanksgiving,  you might want to buy it now (Plan A) or you might want to take a look at my friend Patti Londre's excellent food blog, Worth the Whisk for a quick and easy recipe on how to make it from scratch (Plan B).  As far as I am concerned, I plan to keep Plan B close at hand for an emergency.   There is no Thanksgiving worth attending that does not have at least one variation of pumpkin pie, my favorite and my ultimate reason for cooking the whole meal!

Canned Pumpkin Shortage? Simple Steps to Make Fresh Pumpkin Puree by Patti Londre of Worth The Whisk

Hello from Los Angeles! If you’ve just heard about the national shortage of Libby’s canned pumpkin, you aren’t alone. About a month ago, I noticed my local store had no small cans of pumpkin. A week later, still none. Then my husband showed me a newspaper article about a real shortage. Another week later, a friend circulated an email about it but by then, I had three “sugar pumpkins” to make my own supply.

Ya gotta luv the internet. My pumpkins came with a website. Which is how I discovered I’ve been making pumpkin puree the hard way all these years. Here is the easy way, below. My three punkins made 9 cups of puree.

What to make with it? Try this Light Pumpkin Custard for starters.

1. Rinse off the pumpkins, plop them on a baking sheet, roast at 350 degrees F. for 90 minutes or until tender.

2. Let cool for a while.

3. Slice in half, scoop out seeds and pulp (seed making post upcoming).

4. Peel off the rind. It’s like working with a large, super ripe avocado, so using my fingers helped not lose chunks of rind in the mash.

5. Put the meat onto a cookie sheet and mash with potato masher.

6. Scoop into freezer bags in one-cup portions.* Store up to six months in the freezer.

For additional photos on these preparation steps, CLICK HERE.

Lindaraxa's Note  Before I pack it away, I put the puree in a colander to drain the excess water.  Just set it over a pot and let it sit there for a couple of hours.  I also proceed to make the pie filling and freeze.  This is what they do at the pumpkin farm!

1 comment:

  1. Well..... we used to give our Westie Libby's canned pumpkin with every meal! Yes, it is fiber, pure and simple and she needed it for her pancreatitis!! Needless to say, it took her about 2 seconds to finish off each meal! Another reason for the shortage?


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