Tuesday, November 24, 2015

In Search of Pumpkin

My quest started with an idea today.

Thinking about our JV family Thanksgiving celebration that begins tomorrow night, I thought Pumpkin Bars with cream cheese frosting (gluten free of course) sounded like a nice addition to our dessert table on Thursday, which of course will be loaded with all sorts of amazing selections...but why not one more?!

Cue number one problem with idea.

This convenient can does not exist in the Czech Republic.

For twenty two years I've hoped that one day I'd walk through the aisles of my grocery stores and find a can or jar of pumpkin.

It's not that there aren't canned vegetables here. There are plenty, in fact! How about mixed vegetables?

Red beets anyone??

Or you could try hot chilis!

And what about sweet and sour red pepper slices?

Alas, none of those will do in place of pumpkin. And as always, there's no canned pumpkin to be found, at least not in any of my regular grocery stores.

Well, except for the baby food section. Would you, or your baby, try some pumpkin with salmon and zuchinni?? Maybe it's good, but not in my pumpkin bars!

With no convenient way to get pumpkin for the recipe, it was off to the vegetable aisle. To get it the "old fashioned" way!

Right now, as I type, these little pumpkins are roasting in my oven.

After they've finished roasting I'll let them cool, then scoop the pumpkin out of the shell. It will sit in a strainer overnight to get rid of excess water, then tomorrow I'll puree it in my food processor and use it to make the recipe.

I don't mind doing these steps, but I'd take a can of Libby's right now if it was available!

I've done this before, but every time I do it feels like the first time. I guess that's because I only do it at this time of year. And why?

Because it wouldn't feel like Thanksgiving without something made from pumpkin!

PS a day later: The pumpkin bars turned out amazing!! If you're gluten free, give them a try!


  1. I imported canned pumpkin. It didn't hold a candle to the real thing. If you want to skip a step, try using the lighter pumpkins (in the front of your picture). They bake up nice and thick. No straining necessary. Just purée it and it's ready to go. And they make the best pumpkin pie I've ever had. :) Happy thanksgiving!

  2. Ha! I love this so much. Especially since this has been the story for many many years! We just never do find canned pumpkin. Good job baking them - I'm proud of you! ;)