Today’s post comes from Verily Sherrilee.
I’m not crazy about pumpkin.
My earliest career was in the bakery industry. I took several classes and then got my first job as a cake decorated at Shorewood Village Bakery in Milwaukee. It was a large bakery, as bakeries go, but there were times when I had to pitch in and help with other jobs in addition to making icing roses and piping out “Happy Anniversary Gramma and Gramps”.
One of those jobs was pumpkin pies. Beginning about a week before Thanksgiving and going until the New Year, we cranked out hundreds of pumpkin pies each week. In order to save time, the pies were filled while they were IN the oven, a big reel oven with rotating shelves. Each shelf held 24 pie crusts, par-baked for about 15 minutes. Then one by one, we would stop the shelves and pour the pumpkin mixture into each shell. This took about 15 minutes per shelf. The fun part is that if you keep your arms in a very hot oven for 15 minutes times 5 shelves, you burn your arms off. So when it was your turn, you had to wrap bakery towels around your arms, secure them with bakery twine and then another employee would pour cold water over the towels. After you were about half way done with a full rotation, you’d get another douse of cold water. We took turns, so you usually only had to do this once a day, but it was every day from mid-November to January, including Sundays. Actually on Sundays the only baking that happened was pies, so you sometimes had to pour twice.
I’m sure it doesn’t surprise anybody that I don’t eat pumpkin pie. In fact, because the smell catapults me right back to those bakery days, I don’t really like anything with pumpkin in it. (I do make an exception for Breadsmith’s Pumpkin Muffins w/ Walnuts, but that’s about it.)
So this time of year is particularly hard for me. Everything has pumpkin in it. EVERYTHING. I follow several food blogs and nobody has made a thing for a few weeks now that doesn’t feature pumpkin. My coffee place has pumpkin lattes and pumpkin scones. My bagel place has pumpkin bagels. I’m sure if I could remember my dreams, they would be pumpkin dreams. I figure I have a good four weeks before we’re safely out of pumpkin season until next year. I can’t wait.
Mind you, I don’t have a problem with the other members of the squash family – just pumpkin.
What food has been spoiled for you?