You've heard of friend green tomatoes, right? (I've had them--they are pretty yummy). How about a piece of green pumpkin pie? Never had that, though pumpkin is probably my favorite flavor pie! With so many resources right at my fingertips, it is hard sometimes to imagine a world where even basic food staples might be hard to come by. Living almost exclusively off the land, and not being able to visit a proper store meant Ma had to be creative in the kitchen in the Little House books.
Only three chapters in and I am already treated to vivid descriptions of life on the Dakota plains. And all signs point to a coming winter that is going to be long and hard. Pa sets off to try and bag a few geese (no luck--they are all hurriedly flying south with not even a short stopover to rest), while Ma decides a little surprise is in order for Pa for his return. She sends Laura off to the pumpkin patch to bring back a green pumpkin. A green pumpkin? For a pie, of course. You never know what you'll end up with if you don't give your ideas a try. So, while Ma prepares the dough for the crust, Laura cuts the pumpkin into little slices.
"Ma put the crust in the pie pan and covered the bottom with brown sugar and spices. Then she filled the crust with thin slices of the green pumpkin. She poured half a cup of vinegar over them, put a small piece of butter on top, laid the top of the crust over all."
And voila, pumpkin pie. Every time Ma opened the stove door, a warm, rich smell would waft out. It "was a beautiful pie." And the taste? Pa cuts off a piece of his slice and pops it into his mouth and exclaims, "apple pie!" and "delicious"!
I wonder what it really tastes like? The recipe appears in the Little House Cookbook apparently. I have never heard of anyone baking one (though you can google it and it sounds like others have attempted it to mixed results). I don't think I will attempt baking a green pumpkin pie anytime soon, but I would happily try a slice. Has anyone eaten it before? Or better yet, tried to bake one? Does it really taste like apple pie? What other treats are in store in The Long Winter? I am hoping that by reading about a long winter, it will make my own winter season seem like a piece of cake! (Or, rather, a piece of pie).