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    Halloween is past, and the world is still littered with pumpkins. The carved ones have started to rot, while the specimens still intact remain as autumn decorations, perhaps destined to be consumed in bread and muffins and pie.

    Likely not, though. We are a country that likes its food pre-packaged with all the hard work done for us. Around this season, that means “homemade” pumpkin delicacies are made with canned pumpkin: mechanically produced, preserved, dulled down, and resweetened with sugar (or, more likely, corn syrup). This is sad to me, and every fall I tirelessly sing the praises of fresh pumpkin. The process is a little more involved than opening a can, but it is still relatively simple, and the results are worth it. (Pro tip: make a pie using fresh pumpkin puree, and you will be everybody’s best friend; this I know from experience.) As you consume any treat freshly made, you may find yourself tasting something you never have before: the actual flavor of pumpkin.

    How about that?

    To make the pumpkin puree, cut a pie pumpkin in half and remove the seeds and pulp. Place both halves face down in a casserole dish with about an inch of water and bake at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes, until the meat is soft. When it has cooled, scoop out the meat and puree. You may need to add a little water from the dish to get it to a proper smoothness.

    Now that you have delicious pumpkin puree, I present to you my own personal recipe for a simple pumpkin milkshake. It tastes like pumpkin pie in a glass.

    ¾ cup fresh pumpkin puree
    1 cup milk
    ½ cup heavy cream
    3 tablespoons brown sugar
    Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves to taste

    Simply place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. It can be made thicker by adding more pumpkin or cream, or by reducing the amount of milk. This recipe makes about two servings.

    Photo: Allan Day

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    About Allan Day

    There are legitimate theories that the Big Bang originated from the collapse of a black hole in a fourth-dimensional universe. This stuff fascinates me, and I love reading about it. I love reading about science. And about anything, for that matter, provided it's interesting - and everything is potentially interesting, so I'm fascinated by a lot of things. I also read a lot of fiction (Kurt Vonnegut deserves deification) and watch a lot of movies (Charlie Chaplin also deserves deification). I've made a few short films myself. I'm also a writer of everything - I'm close to a Bachelor's in English at IUS. My life consists of reading, writing, bartending, and taking care of my daughter full-time. Life is busy and life is stressful, but that's why there's music and art and other forms of relaxation.

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