HISTORY: Celebrating fall with pumpkins

Columnist Lindsay Foreman talks about the versatility of pumpkins as the marker of fall

Fall in the Agassiz-Harrison Valley is full of tradition, and competing to grow the largest pumpkin is one of them!

I witnessed this firsthand when I checked out the exhibits in the Agricultural Hall during the Fall Fair and Corn Festival on Sept. 14. The Agassiz-Harrison Museum’s photo and newspaper archives document this community past-time over the past century, including the 78- and 84-pound monsters produced 50 years ago in 1969!

The Pacific Northwest and beyond has developed a pumpkin spice craze, and popular culture marks the beginning of fall with Starbucks’ seasonal release of their Pumpkin Spice Latte. Some like this sensory experience so much, the aroma has been captured in candle form to fill your home or office all year round.

RELATED: Fall comes early with the release of pumpkin spice lattes

Most of us enjoy the seasonal slice or two of pumpkin pie or pumpkin loaf, again usually during the fall between the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. But what other ways can we consume this wonderful fruit, which originated in Central America between 9,000 and 10,000 years ago?

Roasting pumpkin seeds and pumpkin carving has often been included as part of the Halloween festivities in my own home. Since turning vegetarian, however, I have realized how versatile pumpkin is!

Pumpkin is a great source of many natural vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A and C, potassium, phosphorus, manganese and iron. I love making pumpkin soup, pumpkin pancakes and substituting pumpkin for sugar or applesauce in many of my baking recipes. Some of the Japanese restaurants I have visited even serve pumpkin tempura.

RELATED: Cooking program teaching healthy eating

A review of several of the vintage cook books in the Agassiz-Harrison Museum’s collection identified one of the most unique pumpkin recipes I have ever come across: pumpkin pickles! If you have some extra pumpkin this fall, maybe you can try making pumpkin pickles of your own.

Here is the recipe, courtesy of the British Columbia Women’s Institute Centennial Cook Book, published in 1958:

Clean, peel and cut up about 4 quarts (16 cups) of pumpkin into pieces about 1 inch (2.54 cm) square. Add 1 teaspoon salt and boil in water until barely done. Pour off water. Bring to a boil 1 quart (4 cups) vinegar, 1 quart (4 cups) water, 2 cups sugar, 2 tablespoons mixed spice (tied in a cheese-cloth bag). Now add the drained pumpkin and bring all to a boil. Seal in jars.

Do you have favourite pumpkin recipes you would like to share with the community? We would love to hear them! You can reach us at agassizharrisonmuseum@shawbiz.ca or 604-796-3545.

-Lindsay Foreman is the manager and curator at the Agassiz Harrison Museum


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


Just Posted

School board briefs: SD78 planning for June re-start of in-classroom learning

Board says goodbyes to trustee Koopman, Coquihalla school talks recycling, absenteeism

‘My spirit hurts, I want her home’: Family shares pain, fond memories at vigil for April Parisian

The 45-year-old Indigenous woman, who made her home in Spuzzum, has been missing since early April

District of Kent reopening facilities to the public

Enhanced COVID-19 protocols in place throughout

Pedestrian struck in late-night collision on Highway 1 in Hope

RCMP were on scene at the incident near Flood Hope Road where traffic was rerouted for eight hours

District of Kent Council: Additional Notes

Further agenda items from the May 25 meeting

11 new COVID-19 cases in B.C. as top doc urges caution amid ‘encouraging’ low rates

Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced that two care home outbreaks would be declared over

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

VIDEO: NASA astronauts blast off into space on SpaceX rocket

Marks NASA’s first human spaceflight launched from U.S. soil in nearly a decade

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

B.C.’s police watchdog probing death of Richmond man in alleged shoplifting incident

Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is asking any witnesses to come forward

PHOTOS: U.S. cities brace for increasing unrest over police killing of George Floyd

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has fully mobilized the state’s National Guard

Aldergrove zoo to reopen with staff in masks, one-directional visitor experience to tackle COVID-19

Reopening on June 1, to be ushered in by words from Darryl Plecas, Legislative assembly Speaker

Most Read