|It's not just for Halloween....|
Pumpkin was one of those foods. In my mind, pumpkins were meant for carving, not eating. Slices of creamy Pumpkin Pie were left untouched and untasted, and it wasn't until I reached my 30's that I discovered what I was missing. Today, I can't get enough pumpkin, and it's not just for fall anymore.
During this fall holiday season I stock up on the canned version, and we pull out cans year round for pumpkin treats. When my kids were little, pumpkin was a staple in pancakes and muffins, adding a nice dose of Vitamin A as well as fiber while keeping calories low.
We've had Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls for July birthdays, Pumpkin Chocolate Cake for August Jazz in the Park, and a lovely Pumpkin Gorgonzola Pasta for the first day of Spring. That being said, I do enjoy the plethora of pumpkin recipes and lore that come with this fall holiday season, and I found myself captured recently by a story from friend of a friend a few weeks ago.
As Leslie told me about Vi, her face lit up with the glow of happy memories. She reminisced about the days when she was a little girl, and also about a Pumpkin Pie that only Vi could make taste so good. Vi promised the "secret recipe", and you'll have to read the story to be in on the secret...
THURSDAYS WITH VIOLA!
by Leslie L.
Yes Viola, or Vi as we called her, would come each Thursday to help my mom around the house with ironing and light cleaning. As soon as Vi arrived all five of the Laurer kids would sit at the kitchen table and wait for the weekly ritual of Vi making peanut butter toast for breakfast. It wasn’t the toast we anticipated but rather watching our dad frantically search in every cupboard looking for his jar of peanut butter. Little did he know that Viola had hidden it in the oven on purpose. I don’t know to this day if dad was on to her or just played through the scenario for the delight of his kids.
Viola was married to Ernie, who was a cobbler. And that is what he called himself, a cobbler. Vi and Ernie lived in a little, lavender house in the center of Baltimore City. Lavendar was my favorite color and I remember thinking that I had never seen such a pretty house in my life.
Viola was a wonderful cook. After school we would come home knowing that Viola had made a special pie. With the remains from the pie crust she would bake triangles smeared with butter and cinnamon. It was a little bit of heaven to pop them into our mouths! She made an amazing beef stew too, but her specialty was Viola’s Pumpkin Pie. We used to say, “Vi … how come your pie tastes so good?” She would just smile and say, “One day when the angels come to take me away, I will leave you my secret recipe.”
Viola and Ernie eventually sold that darling, little lavender house which was now ensconced by skyscrapers for a great sum of money. They contributed to their church, got on a bus and toured the United States for the remainder of their lives.
When Viola passed away she was true to her word… and left her most precious Pumpkin Pie recipe to my sisters. We hope you enjoy it as much as we have over the past 49 years!
The recipe comes from the pumpkin pie filling can. One large can makes 2 pies.
Viola’s secret ingredient? One cup of Kentucky Bourbon and ½ teaspoon of maple syrup!
Remember liquor evaporates a little while cooking so we always add a little more...
As I don't see pumpkin season really coming to an end, I thought we'd bring you some of our favorites from this year as well as years past... Don't forget to stock up on a few extra cans of pumpkin so you can enjoy the heart healthy ingredient year round with us!
Jeanette's Healthy Living
Lemons and Anchovies