Pickled Pumpkins

360px Munchkin Pumpkin– As recorded in 1930 by William W. Thorup, Son

Select your pumpkins.  With us it was the small ones, the ones Odd shaped for we sold the perfect ones as this was part of our living.

Cut them open, clean out the seeds, peel the rind sufficient so no green part is left.

Cut them in strips full length of pumpkin about an inch thick, and then after treating in Saline solution for so many hours, the long one are cut about the length of your finger, were taken out, wiped dry and put into sweetened vinegar liquid into which was put a number of vanilla beans.

 

This was allowed to boil till the pumpkin became transparent and a fork could be inserted into the pumpkin and would come off easily.  Then they were taken off the stove and put into an earthen crock, usually about 10-Gals. size, left then for ripening.  By that I mean the pumpkin was thoroughly impregnated with the liquid which had not fully penetrated the pumpkin during the cooking process.  This we call ripening, and it made a big difference in the taste of the finished product.

Now a word to you children about the vanilla bean, they are not so familiar on the market now as they used to be so I will describe them.  They were about eight inches long and about the width of a pencil, black wrinkled like any dried product would be, a strong pungent odor of vanilla.  During the cooking process this would flavor the vinegar solution perfectly if not overdone.  Here is where your grandmother’s skill came in ---she knew just how much bean to a given amount of solution.

The pumpkin orange transparent truly graced the tables and was a source of beauty and added to the palatability of the meal.