Happy Halloween-month everyone! No I’m not one of those people who starts celebrating holidays in advance – but I thought it would be great to theme the rest of articles this month around the holiday so many other people love!
Just a house keeping note, you all may have noticed the site’s been very busy as of late. I’m most certainly going to try and maintain that but Inspyre and I will be having some life changes coming up, so we may not be as consistent.
As usual, if any one has any comments, questions or article ideas, please feel free to comment below or contact us directly!
Today, we’ll be talking about the history of PUMPKIN PIE (my favorite dessert). The first pumpkins were cultivated in 5500 BC in Central America, making it one of the original American vegetables. Due to it’s age, it was one of the first vegetables that explorers to the Americas took back to Europe . By the late 1500s, the English were calling them “pumpions” and the French, “pompon”, both references to it’s roundness. Though original visitors to the Americas during this time may have been familiar with the vegetable, it most certainly did not gain popularity until much later.
As many Americans and Canadians are taught at a young age, when the countries were originally settled back in the 1600s, the Pilgrims and Natives shared….varying relationships depending on the location – more often than not, incredibly violent. When the first winter came around, and many Pilgrims died or realized they were going to shortly thereafter without help, relations improved. Legend goes that the Natives brought pumpkins for the pilgrims as a sign of good faith and to provide them with the necessary nutrients . Pumpkins are not only native to the Americas, but the Natives were fond of boiling or roasting members of the squash family for sustenance.
Eventually, the discovery of the pumpkin made its way to France, where Francois Pierre la Varenne wrote a cookbook that has the first written recipe of pumpkin pie included . This cookbook’s English translation made it’s way back to the Americas and Britain where the recipe began to evolve. In the late 1600s, a variety of British cookbooks began showing up with a different variations of what they call “pumpion pie”, and finally in the 1700s, the first American cookbook by Amelia Simmons was published, whose Pumpkin pudding recipe largely resembles our recipe today.
Amelia Simmons recipes :
Pompkin Pudding No. 1. One quart stewed and strained, 3 pints cream, 9 beaten eggs, sugar, mace, nutmeg and ginger, laid into paste No. 7 or 3, and with a dough spur, cross and chequer it, and baked in dishes three quarters of an hour.
Pompkin Pudding No. 2. One quart of milk, 1 pint pompkin, 4 eggs, molasses, allspice and ginger in a crust, bake 1 hour.
If you’re looking for a more modern recipe, I HIGHLY recommend either a Costco Pumpkin Pie or this recipe from Food Network !
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold butter (1 stick), diced
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Flour for rolling the dough
One 15-ounce can unsweetened pure pumpkin puree (about 2 cups)
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/4 cups half-and-half
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- Make the dough by hand. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Using your fingers, work the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles yellow corn meal mixed with bean-sized bits of butter. (If the flour/butter mixture gets warm, refrigerate it for 10 minutes before proceeding.) Add the egg and stir the dough together with a fork or by hand in the bowl. If the dough is dry, sprinkle up to a tablespoon more of cold water over the mixture.
- Alternatively, make the dough in a food processor. With the machine fitted with the metal blade, pulse the flour, sugar, and salt until combined. Add the butter and pulse until it resembles yellow corn meal mixed with bean-sized bits of butter, about 10 times. Add the egg and pulse 1 to 2 times; don’t let the dough form into a ball in the machine. (If the dough is very dry add up to a tablespoon more of cold water.) Remove the bowl from the machine, remove the blade, and bring the dough together by hand.
- Form the dough into a disk, wrap with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 1 hour.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough with a rolling pin into a 12-inch circle about 1/8-inch thick. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie pan and trim the edges, leaving about an extra inch hanging over the edge. Tuck the overhanging dough underneath itself to form a thick edge that is even with the rim. Flute the edge as desired. Freeze the pie shell for 30 minutes.
- Set separate racks in the center and lower third of oven and preheat to 400 degrees F. Put a piece of parchment paper or foil over the pie shell and fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake on a baking sheet on the center rack until the dough is set, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and lift sides of the parchment paper to remove the beans. Continue baking until the pie shell is lightly golden brown, about 10 more minutes. Cool on a rack.
- Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
- While the pie shell is cooling make the filling. In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, brown sugar, eggs, half-and-half, spices, and salt until smooth. Return the pie shell to the baking sheet and pour in the filling.
- Bake on the lower oven rack until the edges of the filling are set but the center is still slightly loose, about 50 to 60 minutes. (If the edges get very dark, cover them with aluminum foil.) Cool on a rack. Serve room temperature or slightly warm.
Well I hope you all enjoyed our Yummy article, and feel free to leave comments below!
Hi everyone! I’m on spring break now so expect lots of articles. We’ve got this one, one on the red panda, and another one that i don’t remember what i was going to write about. Haha, ya i’m kinda forgetful! So as promised, here’s the article on why i blame Great Britain for practically everything wrong in the world!
I’d like to point out first of all, that these are only relating to modern day topics. I’m not even going to REACH into the mess of their past and how the screwed everyone else over too. Here, I’m just going to talk about India/Pakistan/Bangladesh, Israel/Palestine, Australia, and of course Canada.
We’ll first start with the mess that is present-day India. Way back in the hay-day, England’s chartered East India Company, went into India and began bargaining for spices and such. Eventually they ended up colonizing the entire country. However, when their soldiers (who were Hindu and Muslim) found out that the bullets they were using were coated in cow and pig fat, there were huge riots all over the country. These riots eventually led to the dismemberment of the East India Company and Britain decided that they would instead set up what became known as the British Raj. After WWII, they decided they weren’t up to the task of keeping many of their territories, and wanted to “give India their independence.” The problem was, that the British had stifled the Indian people so long (they weren’t allowed to make their own cloth or salts and any food produced was handed to the British) that they had become overly dependent on the British. So not only were they not ready for independence at this point (i’m ignoring Gandhi cause i personally believe he was an idiot and a hypocrite but i’ll get into that some other time), but there was also the issue that the BRITISH hired a completely clueless idiot to divide the country into 3 parts, which are today Hindustan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. He, ignorantly, divided the country based on regions of religious concentration (i.e. Hindus and Muslims, completely ignoring other major religions like Sikhs). This, unfortunately, split some villages in pieces, and even worse, split major states into two different countries. You see, for people from Punjab, our identifier isn’t to our country, it’s to our state. So whether you live in Pakistan or India, if someone asks where you are from, you say Punjab, not India. This bond, though present in other states, does not run as deep. Therefore, when the map maker cut Punjab in half, there were huge riots in Punjab that are ignored by most present-day historians. To cut Punjab in half was like cutting a country within a country itself in half. Either ways, once the British deemed this entire affair settled they left. What they ALSO failed to take into account was that there was also a very important region in the north called Kashmir, which was important to BOTH countries not only for its resources, but for its culture. Though i have to say that today, both India and Pakistan need to stop acting like children and MOVE ON, it IS the fault of the British that wars break out every 10 years or so between India and Pakistan for Kashmir, and within Punjab for the creation of a land called Khalistan (land of the Sikhs), as the Sikhs were completely ignored in the partition movement, and are present in Pakistan AND India today. And let’s not forget that because Pakistan was split into East and West Pakistan (the East being present-day Bangladesh) being COMPLETELY separated from each other by a huge land mass called INDIA, there was no way for the central bureaucracy, which was based in west Pakistan to send support to Bangladesh when the faced their frequent flooding and tsunamis and other natural disasters. AGAIN, there was another independence movement, but this time, East Pakistan from West Pakistan. Until today, Bangladesh and Pakistan are not stable countries at all, with India being covered in poverty, pollution, and corruption – all because the British thought taking over a completely independent land in the first place in the name of profit was a good idea.
That takes care of the India section, so now we move onto the Israel-Palestine issue. Now my knowledge on this area is a bit rusty, but essentially, after WWII, the Jews of the world needed a place to go. So, Britain, in their infinite wisdom, decided that giving them a piece of holy land that they had ALSO promised to Palestinians when they were displaced from their own land as well, would be a good idea. Essentially, Britain promised the same piece of land to two different parties who had hated each other for centuries. When Britain finally realized its mistake, it was too late, and the two parties were already at the point of a full out war. With the US supporting Israel though, the Jews won and managed to keep a small section of land. By this point, Britain had dropped the issue in the US’s lap and had head for the hills with its tail between its legs. Israel, however, was a country completely surrounded by Islam-centered countries, and had to hold its own for quite some time, with only the US to rely on. When Egypt attacked them, the Israelis somehow managed to GAIN land, and took land away from the Palestinians. Once the US finally brokered a treaty with Israel and Egypt, other countries began to follow suit, albeit it after a VERY long and uneasy period. However, the Palestinians never consented to these “infidels” on their land, and until this day, war and extreme hate continue between the two half-nations.
With Australia, as i’ve pointed out before, England is responsible for the natural decimation of the land, and its because of them that very few indigenous species remain in Australia. However, what i HAVEN’T mentioned before is that the British rudely stampeded into Australia because they needed somewhere to send their convicts and wiped out the Aborigines of the area to accomplish this. Therefore, all the people who originally colonized Australia were convicts. Now this isn’t to say that all the people in Australia are bad people, as this took place hundreds of years ago. What this DOES say is because of the natural decimation caused by the British and their convicts, there are HUGE droughts in many parts of Australia, which would not have occurred if the natural fauna and flora were still present. Furthermore, though it has finally stabilized, the government of Australia was for the longest time in shambles.
On a side note, the British also send unwanted children to Australia on their own without any family. This part didn’t even happen that long ago, as many of these children are still alive in Australia today. If you’re interested, here’s an article on the apology that Britain made a little too late, after the Australians but up a fight.
Finally, we reach the Canadians. Surprisingly, or maybe not, the Canadians were one of the only Commonwealths that didn’t want independence. They had a healthy and very dependent relationship with Britain, even though they were mainly French speaking from the time they were conquered by the French in the early days of North American colonization. However, Britain forcibly broke them off when they could no longer support their colonies after WWII. To me, this is like taking a child away from his parents and say “Here, survive on your own.” As much as I hate Britain, this perhaps was not the right way to handle the situation. Ultimately, i feel this left the Canadians somewhat confused and in shock, and although they are better for it now, they still maintain a strong relationship with the British and continue to see the Queen as their monarch. Her birthday is even a national holiday. As much as i love the Canadians, i can’t help but feel a little sad for them, because they are such a great country and people, but somehow managed to get stuck with idiots like the British.
So it is for these reasons that i hate Britain. And to clarify, when i say Britain, i mean the government, not the people (i have too much family living there to properly hate the people, plus everyone in England is very pleasant and kind! It’s just the government that seems to be full of idiots). And i didn’t even touch upon the atrocities that occurred when there was a monarch on the throne or even after England became a constitutional monarchy. In essence, Great Britain really sucks.