|Every year at this time I begin to
become visibly aware of our wasteful ways. After the holiday the
beautiful, healthful, plentiful pumpkins set and set and set until the
crumble into themselves.|
One year my little granddaughters
class made a field trip to the pumpkin patch which was a great excursion
for the children. They were each given a pumpkin. I took my cam corder
and recorded every step of the trip even to the part where we brought
the pumpkin home not for a jack-0-lantern but for pumpkin soup and
pumpkin seed tea. Here is the recipe and it is delicious.
Scrub outside of pumpkin well with
soap and water and rinse very well. This is in case there have been
With a very heavy knife on a heavy
surface cut the pumpkin into chunks two to three inch squares (this
after you have removed the seeds) Be careful, and this is a job for an
Place these chucks in a large pot of
water and cook until they can be tested with a fork as to being done.
Remove and allow the pumpkin to cool.
After it is cool slip the skin off.
Peel potatoes as for potato soup and
cook with a very large diced up onion. When potatoes and onion are
done, add pumpkin. Season with butter, and salt. Serve in a large soup
tureen, a special table cloth, large soup bowls, and a big deal as to,
"pumpkin soup," so the kids will remember.
And I still have the video of a very
small girl carrying a very big pumpkin from the field rich with
Oh yes the seeds:
Pumpkin seed tea
Boil the seeds. Allow them to cool. Place along with the liquid in
a blender. After you whirl them pour through a very fine sieve and maybe
even a cloth to strain.
Sweeten with honey and add some
spices, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice.
Serve the pumpkin seed tea with the
pumpkin soup. Good food, good lesson. Don't waste the farmers
labor, his wife's gathering the crop, and most of all the creator's gift
from what the Indian's call, the
earth, our mother.
The Indian people were very proud
about not begging. If you ever have an opportunity to see the
documentary about "The Trial of Standing Bear," watch the part
where Standing Bear comes up on a very small sod house belonging to a
Swedish farmer. They, of course, were afraid of the
Standing Bear held out his hand with
a couple dimes in it toward the farmer. "Please," he
said, "My people are starving. Can I buy some corn?"
The farmer turned and said to his
wife, "Anna, get some bread. These people are hungry."
Today, that beautiful statue of
Standing Bear stands here in Ponca City, Oklahoma as a reminder of the
great chief's hand extended toward the settlers. Not to beg, but to buy
what he needed.
The short story, "A Name for
Eldest Daughter," tells of the frugal ways of the
American Indian people.