Life Cycle of a Pumpkin, or How I Ate Audrey’s Last Baby for Breakfast

It wasn’t too long ago that my favorite Uncle Fred was puzzling his FaceBook followers with photos of a mysterious volunteer plant on his compost pile.  What was first speculated to be a sweet potato plant or a weed, turned out to be a pumpkin vine.

But not just any pumpkin vine… a monstrous, overlord-of-the-neighborhood kind of vine that was quickly dubbed “Audrey”.  You know, “Feed me, Seymour!”

Most of us chuckled as the Accidental Gardener kept us updated on the illegal growth of the plant that soon covered at least 100 square feet.  Audrey’s “children” were given away one by one, until finally, I was awarded the last of her progeny – a good-sized pumpkin I could just get my arms around.

I buckled Junior into the backseat and away we went, destined for many slices of spicy, whipped-topped goodness ahead of us.  A day or two gracing my countertop – and more than a few amused smirks from my husband – had me rethinking exactly how many pies I thought I could eat.

So what do you do with an excess of fruit or vegetables?  You can it, of course!  I didn’t want just plain pumpkin puree, so I found a tasty-sounding recipe for pumpkin butter – which has a lot of uses in other recipes.  And now I can spend the rest of the year nibbling on pumpkin butter pie, pumpkin butter bread, or just pumpkin butter on my morning toast.

 Scooped Out Pumpkin  Baked, Peeled, & Quartered  Spiced & Simmered!
Finished Jars ofPumpkin Butter Nothing Goes to Waste…Spiced Pumpkin Juice!

Thanks to Audrey, and Uncle Fred, for a project that went from volunteer plant to Autumn harvest in a pint-size jar!