Tis the season of the pumpkin. We carve it, get scared by it, rip its guts out. We toast pumpkin seeds and bake pumpkin bread and of course, pumpkin pie.
Kids will eat anything pumpkin at the drop of a hat. That is, of course, until they learn the secret.
Pumpkin is a vegetable.
True, in pumpkin bread and pumpkin pie, we add sugar and eggs and flour and non-vegetable stuff, but the core ingredient is still a vegetable.
I decided to remind myself of this with a dish I occasionally make. The long elaborate name of the dish is "Pumpkin pie minus the crust and most of the sugar." There is no short name for the dish.
The premise is simple: take canned pumpkin, add as little raw sugar as one can to eat it, and top with tons of pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon and whipped cream.
The taste is like pumpkin pie in an odd parallel universe, not as horrible as the relationship between barium milkshakes and real milkshakes, but definitely not quite like pumpkin pie in terms of taste.
Outside of carrots, vegetables aren't supposed to be sweet. This is why it's called chocolate zucchini bread, not zucchini chocolate bread.
But in holiday time, pumpkin pie isn't the worst dessert choice. And if you make the pumpkin pie yourself, cut back on the sugar, leave out the artificial sweeteners, add more cinnamon, and hope that kids won't realize that they are that much closer to tasting vegetables.
What they don't know literally won't hurt them.