Soldiers in the 18th Century commonly had
short rations and they would supplement their rations and one of the things they would supplement
their rations with was pumpkins or sometimes they were called pompions. Today we’re going
to take some pumpkins and we’re going to cook them in a couple of different ways. So these first two pumpkins we’re going to roast, one I’m going to turn into a pottage,
and another one we’re going to stuff with pears. Let’s start with our pottage pumpkin. I’m going to take out the pith and seeds.
I’ll just scoop those out. Now we’re going to take this flat rock that we’ve had in
the fire for quite a while. It’s got a nice flat side to it. We’ll place those down
and then heap coals on top of them. So, this little pumpkin isn’t going to take
very long at all to cook up, but in the meantime, while that’s working, let’s work on our
other pumpkin. So I’ve got a pear here we’re dicing up
and we’re going to use to stuff our pumpkin with. So if you’ve got some spices, a little bit of salt and a little bit of cinnamon, it’s
the perfect time. We’re going to put these on top of our pears here, and there we go, and mix that up a little bit. I going to take our pumpkin and just cut the top off it off. Okay, that’s our pumpkin cleaned out. I’m going to take our pear dices and stuff that full. Make it so that it will fill up that cavity. On the very top, I’m going to place
some of my precious butter. There we go. And we’re going to place our top back on. So
here’s our pumpkin, it’s ready to go, ready to start by the fire. We’ve got it
all stuffed, and we’re going to find a place right by the fire and let it bake on one side
and we’ll slowly rotate it as it cooks so that it gets evenly cooked all the way around. So while that pumpkin is cooking, let’s get started on our last one. So, not all pumpkins
could be used when they were ripe. There’s one account of a soldier who, coming off the
battlefield, finds a pumpkin. He finds it green and he slices it up and fries it. So
that’s what we’re going to do with this one. So with this green pumpkin, we’ve got it sliced up, we’re going to fry it with a
little bit of butter and add just a little bit of sugar to sweeten it up. A little bit
of salt along with the sugar and pumpkin loves a little bit of cinnamon. Let’s get some butter in our pan and get that warmed up. You’ve got to keep these moving while they’re cooking or else that sugar will burn in there,
but these have softened up and they look like they’re ready to go. Very tasty. Let’s see how our other pumpkin’s doing.
These little pumpkins have only been on the fire for ten or fifteen minutes and they look
like they’re all ready so we’re going to take them off, and they’re nice and soft
on the inside. So while this is still hot, I’m going to
take some butter and melt that in there and then add some milk and it should be ready
to go. Maybe a little bit of salt. It’s really good. A little bit of cinnamon
really set it off. Let’s see how our other pumpkin’s doing.
I think our pumpkin is done roasting here. Let’s take this away from the fire to cool
just a little bit. Get all the pears out. See, they’ve been
roasting well in there. Okay, well there we’ve got most of it out. If you’ve got it, you
might want to add just a little bit of butter, maybe even a bit more salt. It should be ready
to go. Three wonderful, simple ways that 18th century soldiers could cook their pumpkin.
A pumpkin pottage, a stuffed roast pumpkin, and my favorite, the fried green pumpkin.
All the utensils here, all the equipment we used you can see on our website or in our
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