Sweet Pumpkin for cooking - Help!

ladykitsuAugust 20, 2007

So...I got 2 types of the SMALL sweet cooking pumpkins going in the garden. One is the "Sweet Pam" that I got from johnny seeds. The other I can't remember the name right now, it was from burpee, ferry morse or some other big company that you see in the stores.

Anyway...my problem is that they arn't small pumpkins! Does this make a differance in the taste? The first pumpkin fell off the vine because it got so heavy. I have them on a trellis since they supposed to be *small*. That one was already jack-o-lantern size - bigger than a basketball! I've got one on the ground (it's a vining monster...sheesh) that looks like it's going to be just as big also. It's currently as big as my head.

Anyway, so is it OK that these arn't small pumpkins, even though they are supposed to be? Does anyone know if they will be less sweet because of the size?



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My guess is that they will be fine for making pies. I've honestly never found an orange Jack O Lantern style pumpkin which actually was sweet (before sweetening during cooking).

I've never heard of a variety called "Sweet Pam." But Baby Pam is supposed to be a small pie pumpkin with a good sturdy stem. I've seen them grown for roadside stands.

If you want SWEET try growing a butternut squash or Tahitian Melon Squash. Though, the Tahitian Melon Squash requires a long season and has RAMPANT vines. I grow Warsaw Buff Pie Pumpkin, which is really more of a variable butternut. It's an heirloom from Indiana, which I picked up in 1983. When at its prime, we cook and eat it like winter squash and it requires no sweetening, not even to my taste, which tends to like things sweeter than most.

But go ahead and use your pumpkins. They should do well for pie. I'd split them in half and bake them, cut side down on a cookie tray. Then scoop out the flesh and measure it into two cup portions, which is what most recipes call for. If the flesh is at all stringy run it through a blender before using it. You'll get good pies.

I know that it's possible to trellis pumpkins. But honestly, unless you have a lot of time and little space, I'd just let them go on the ground. It's all to easy, when you're putting the seed in the ground, to forget how heavy those pumpkins are and how rampant the vines will be!

Tahlequah, OK

    Bookmark   August 20, 2007 at 11:19AM
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I just noticed you live in CO. That means, if I'm correct, that you don't have to battle with squash vine borers. If so, then that opens up a whole new world of possibilities: the c. maxima family of squash. These include things like banana squash, Hubbards and Hokaido. When a person can grow these they are often the most preferred, even for pumpkin pie. They tend to have WONDERFUL texture and sweet flavor. I, unfortunately, can hardly get a harvest from one of these, here where I live, due to borers.

Just another idea for the future!


    Bookmark   August 20, 2007 at 5:08PM
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