It's pumpkin time and there are patches and wagons and giant displays of them everywhere.
Whether you cook the hearty squash or buy it canned, the bright orange vegetable can be the basis for so many delicious things in addition to pie.
Pumpkin Cake in a Jar
2/3 cup shortening
2-2/3 cups sugar
2 cups fresh or canned pumpkin
2/3 cup water
3-1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup chopped walnuts
Cream shortening and sugar, adding sugar slowly. Beat in eggs, pumpkin and water. Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, cloves, allspice, cinnamon, and soda. Add to pumpkin mixture and stir well. Add nuts. Pour batter into eight greased, pint-sized, wide-mouth canning jars (with lids and rings for sealing), filling half full. Place jars on cookie sheet.
Bake upright uncovered in preheated 325 oven about 45 minutes. While cakes are baking, cut 8 waxed paper circles to fit inside canning jar lid. Cake will rise and pull away from sides of jar. When done, remove one jar at a time. While still warm, place 1 waxed paper circle on top end of cake. Wipe sealing edge of jar. Place lid on jar and close tightly with ring. Turn jar upside down until sealed (lid will remain flat when pressed in center).
To serve: Open jar, slide a knife around inside of jar to loosen cake, and remove from jar. Warm cake in oven, if desired. Slice and serve with whipped cream.
(Recipe courtesy of "Recipe Hall of Fame Dessert Cookbook," Gwen McKee and Barbara Moseley)
Pumpkin Cheese Ball
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup canned or cooked pumpkin
1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple, well drained
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 package (2-1/2 ounces) dried beef, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
Assorted crackers and/or raw vegetables
In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, pumpkin and pineapple. Stir in cheddar cheese, beef and onion. Shape into a ball; place on a serving platter. Score sides with a knife to resemble a pumpkin and add celery leaves for a stem. Serve with crackers and/or raw vegetables. Yield: 3 cups.
(Recipe courtesy of "2000 Taste of Home Annual Recipes," Reiman Publications)