Food Archive

Long Pie Pumpkin, thoughts and review

Posted October 11, 2015 By Ruth

According to the internets, the Long Pie Pumpkin was brought to the USA sometime in the 1800’s, where it was dubbed the Nantucket Pumpkin.  Sometime after it was dubbed the Long Island Pie Pumpkin, which was in turn shortened to Long Pie Pumpkin.  Apparently they were quite popular in Maine for a while.  Anyone with grandparents from the area who gardened who might be able to confirm that?  I’m curious.  Supposedly lore states that they were “stacked up like firewood” for storage.  I can believe that.  I paraphrase, there are several pages out there with the history written out if you hit google and do a search for the Long Pie Pumpkin.

Like many heirloom varieties they faded in popularity as the general public was taught to expect pumpkins to be round and “normal” looking.  However they have qualities that make them potentially ideal for growing in colder climates and shorter seasons, on top of being a tasty pie pumpkin with almost no “stringy-ness”, as well as storing well.

They’re listed as having an approx 95-105 day growth period.  Actual reality is that the time spent on the vine can be quite a bit shorter than that implies.  These pumpkins can be picked as soon as the “ground spot” turns orange (from yellow).   Pick that green fruit, store in a cool place for long term storage, or in a warmer place for faster ripening, and they’ll continue to ripen just fine off the vine.

And my own experience backs that up.  I planted out my seedlings in Mid-May.  Admittedly we were having an abnormally warm spring and summer, but I could have picked the first “ripe enough” pumpkins before the end of July.  Two months to produce fruit that could be picked and stored for future use.  Now I left mine on the vine to ripen since we were having a decent summer.  I pulled 6 little (orange) pumpkins off the vines that died early, but left the 4 big ones to finish up.  Picked them back at the end of August/beginning of Sept.  Here’s a photo of 3 of them:


The biggest of those three was 13.5 inches long and weighed in at 5.5 pounds.  Not a bad size for a pie pumpkin!

The little pumpkins had a fairly soft skin and were easy to cut up for cooking and pureeing.

The big ones?  OMG.  I ended up resorting to a clever and soft headed 3lb mallet to get through the rind.  THAT worked quite well.  Every other knife I tried?  Barely scored the skin, no matter how sharp it was.  So if you grow these, be warned, vine ripened fruit have one hell of a rind!

That biggest pumpkin got processed first, so I kept track.  I removed 1.5lbs of seeds/guts and stem ends before putting them into the oven to bake.  When I pulled it back out of the oven I had 2 3/4lbs of puree.  Not a bad harvest!  However that’s where I hit my next problem.

I’ve not processed a lot of whole pumpkins, but I’ve done a few.  Cut them in half, gut them, place them face down on a baking sheet with a pan of water in the bottom of the oven, and bake at 400degrees till you can pierce the skin with a fork.  Right?

That hard rind struck again.  Instead of softening, like every other pumpkin I’ve done, it hardened even further while the flesh softened and fell off.  I over baked that first pumpkin by at least 20 minutes because I didn’t realize what was happening.  Not a big deal, the puree tastes fine, but consider this your heads up!  Now, I haven’t processed the other larger pumpkins, so I can’t swear that it wasn’t something I did wrong, but still….

Very tasty flesh.  Not sure how to compare it to other pie pumpkins as I don’t have a ton of experience with others, but definitely tasty!  I will absolutely grow them again, and will highly recommend them to other folks looking for a pumpkin to grow in a cold/short season summer!

Be the first to comment

Thats a little hot!

Posted August 12, 2015 By Ruth

I made my first batch of hot pepper jelly this week.  Right on schedule.  Except the ingredient list was a little different this year.

Normally I weigh out just short of a pound of red ripe Jalapenos, toss in a single red ripe Hungarian Hot Wax Pepper or ripe Habanero (or just do a full pound of Jalapenos, depending on what we have in the garden), and go from there.

This year the hot pepper growth pattern has been screwy.  The Jalapeno plants are half the size they normally are, and though they’re producing nicely they aren’t as loaded as normal.  However the Hot Wax plants are huge and loaded (normally they’re smaller than the Jalapenos and less loaded).

So I was getting ready to make jelly and realized I had 1/2pound of Jalapenos, and 1/2pound of Hot Wax peppers, and a single ripe Habanero pepper.  So I shrugged and made jelly out of that combination.


I will occasionally eat the tiniest little bit of the pure Jalapeno jelly.  But this batch is way out of my league.  Even Husband choked on it when he had his first taste.  Its a little hot!


I also pulled three cantaloupes out of the garden, a couple more Sugar Baby watermelons, the first harvest of Rattail Radishes, three more zucchini, another two colanders full of tomatoes….

Early Purple Sprouting Broccoli

Posted June 19, 2015 By Ruth

Anyone tried this variety?  It caught my eye, because its rated for down to 10 degrees Fahrenheit.  Apparently you’re supposed to plant it by the end of the summer, it HAS to over-winter in an actual WINTER, and then you harvest in the spring??

I might have to try it.  I’ll have to cover it for the winter regardless, we regularly dip below 10 in the winter, but the concept is tempting!

Well, crap…..

Posted April 19, 2015 By Ruth

A few weeks ago I posted about a random bout of digestive upset I’d experienced.  I actually posted to early, I ended up experiencing random digestive problems for the rest of that week.  Not cool.

I couldn’t figure out what the problem was.  And since then I’ve eaten large quantities of dairy (including the rest of my homemade velveeta) with no problems.  Prior to the incident I’d used duck eggs in a variety of baked goods.  And I’ve eaten duck meat with no problems.

Last weekend I made pancakes for breakfast for me and my husband, and (after performing a float test to be sure the egg was still ok) I used one of the remaining duck eggs I had in the fridge in the pancake mix.

About an hour later I had gas, bloating, general stomach upset, and acid reflux again.  And once again I had random stomach upset for the next couple days.  My husband, who ate from the same batch of pancakes at the same time as I experienced none of it.

I guess that answers that question.  No more duck eggs for me except in larger baked goods like breads or cookies.  Which means that my thoughts of eventually getting Muscovy ducks instead of chickens isn’t going to happen either…..


Posted January 9, 2015 By Ruth

Just because



Recipe HERE.  And if you take care to actually follow the directions to the letter its basically fool proof.

Smoked chicken for lunch meat

Posted January 2, 2015 By Ruth

3 chicken breasts (I didn’t weigh them, but they were pretty average sized)

Brined for 4hrs: 4 cups of water, 1/4cup sea salt, 1/4 turbinado sugar, 1 bay leaf, a heavy sprinkle of garlic powder, onion powder, mustard powder, ground pepper, and red pepper flakes

Smoked over hickory chunks.

Supposed to be to 165 internal, which should have taken about 1.5-2hrs, but I had a thermometer malfunction (its an elderly cheap digital and it didn’t like the outdoor temps of upper 20’s), and so they went a bit longer than they should have (closer to 2.5hrs) in order to be on the safe side.  As a result they ended up a bit dryer than ideal.

Still tasty though, and they’ll work very very well for sandwich slices which was the point of the exercise.  They aren’t going to last long though.  I smoked them yesterday and between Husband and I they’re already half gone!

Gonna do turkey breasts next time….

Gonna have to buy a proper smoker and wireless thermometer if we keep on doing this……

Home made peppermint marshmallows are evil

Posted December 23, 2014 By Ruth

and since I’ve already screwed with my chances of not gaining weight for the holidays I’m going to share the recipe 😉

Original basic marshmallow recipe here.

Add 1/4 teaspoon of peppermint extract at the same time you add the vanilla.

For a softer, almost melt in your mouth, marshmallow whip for the lesser amount of time (I barely did 10 minutes for this batch).

For a firmer “holds up better to toasting for s’mores” marshmallow whip for an extended period of time, 15minutes minimum, upwards of 20 reported by commenters on Facebook.

Its surprisingly easy to make these btw.  You’ll need a candy thermometer (or a solid understanding of how to tell the candy stages apart), and you really do want a stand mixer, but you could do it with a powered hand mixer if you wanted, though you’d have to be extra sure of your prep ahead of time and you might need an extra set of hands for the mixing of the sugar syrup and the gelatin.  The only strict part is the pulling them off the stove at the right temp part.  And the only pain in the butt part is the cutting them apart and keeping them from sticking to everything part.  Btw, I never have cornstarch on hand, I always just use extra powdered sugar.

I got 2lbs of marshmallows out of this batch…….

Home made hot pepper powder

Posted December 4, 2014 By Ruth

5 1-gallon Ziplocks of hot peppers (jalapenos, habaneros, and Hungarian Hot Wax) from the garden (rough chopped and frozen) went into the dehydrator on Monday.  

Overnight between Wednesday and Thursday the eye-watering scent from the dehydrator (which is in the garage for a reason) abruptly cut itself down to less than 1/4 of what it had been.  A check of the peppers showed them to be nice and crisp.  

The dehydrated pepper pieces fit into a single gallon ziplock.

A run through the food processor and we have hot pepper powder for seasoning.  And my sinuses are clearer than they’ve been in weeks…..


Its a fairly roughly chopped “powder”, but that was about all my sinuses would take…..

Smoked Turkey Breast and Hot Wings

Posted November 7, 2014 By Ruth

So on a whim I picked up a boneless turkey breast to smoke, and, after poking around a couple places, I picked up some chicken wings to try too.

Turkey breast was brined for 6hrs in an impromptu brine of water, salt, raw sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, powdered mustard, pepper, a bay leaf, and allspice.  Smoked (with hickory) for 2.5hrs, with the smoker running about 200-225.  It weight 1.8lbs raw.  Internal temp was 155 when I pulled it off the smoker, I wrapped it in foil and carryover brought it to 160.

Wings were brined in water, salt, sugar, and garlic.  Smoked for 2hrs 15minutes.  Hot sauce was butter (1stick), 1/4cup of Red Hot, 1/2tsp of garlic, 1/4tsp salt, and one chopped habenaro.  It was brushed on the wings before smoking, and every 45minutes during smoking.

Oh yah, we’ll be doing that again!

Quick and easy rolls

Posted November 6, 2014 By Ruth

I found this recipe here.

Ok, first off, despite the title of that recipe, they’re not 30 minute rolls.  If you actually follow the timing instructions you’re looking at a good 40 minutes from start to finish.  And mine took ALOT longer to bake than hers.  Could be my oven (though thats new and two different thermomters say its heating right), could be my pan (though I’ve now tried this with three different pans).  But give yourself an hour to make these.

Having said that, they’re still a very quick, very easy, dinner or small sandwich roll.  See the above link for the original recipe, below for my version of it

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast (yes, TABLESPOONS)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3.5 to 4 cups flour (AP is fine)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Thoroughly butter the inside of your pan (see below).

In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the warm water, yeast, and sugar. Allow the mixture to rest for 10 minutes or so, till the mixture is bubbly and foamy.

Mix the oil, 2 cups of flour, the salt, and the egg into the yeast mixture using a dough hook. Add the remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time.  It should be smooth and not overly sticky when its ready to go.

Shape dough into 8-12 balls and place in your pan. Let dough rest for 10 minutes.

Bake for 30 minutes or until tops are just golden brown.


Pans: she recommends a 9×13 pan.  After trying a couple different pans I ended up settling on my cast iron Dutch Oven of all things.  Setting it on top of the stove while the oven is heating (and for the “resting” time) warms it a bit.  To bake in the Dutch Oven, leave the lid on for the resting stage, and the first 5 minutes of the baking time.  After 5 minutes remove the lid, and let them bake till golden.  This produces a fairly high risen roll.  However they still took 30minutes to bake for me no matter WHICH pan I used.


I have to admit that we mostly use them for sandwich rolls, and infact these are the current running favorite for sandwiches in the house.  The fact that they’re very quick and easy to make helps with that.  The olive oil flavor comes through nicely and blends well with the sandwiches, though not so much if you just want a buttered roll.