Cooking Pumpkins  – 18th Century Cooking Series  S1E2

Cooking Pumpkins – 18th Century Cooking Series S1E2


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
print catalog and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook.

100 thoughts on “Cooking Pumpkins – 18th Century Cooking Series S1E2”

  1. I'm sure soldiers with limited means of nutritious food would have tossed those pumpkin seeds! They would have been dried, roasted and put in some sort of bag to carry with them or just eaten on the spot!

  2. I love It, history, survival cooking an your teaching in 17th and 18th costumes. Touche love this channel. I'll be watching and learning 😁👊(maybe Bigfoot ate the pumpkin seeds lol) I'll learn a few recipes and impress my friends on a camping trip someday such awesome knowledge

  3. Laura Ingalls Wilder accounts her mother baking a green pumpkin pie. They were able to fool Pa into thinking it an apple pie!

  4. We used to do a beef stew inside a pumpkin. I'd be curious to try it again using an open fire pit like yours
    Love this channel

  5. These pumpking looks so yummy! Just watched a bunch of your videos and I love it. Super informative and inspiring, thanks for letting us in the 18th century reality. 🙂

  6. wouldn't they have just eaten them right out of the 'shell' instead of plating?
    I mean it looked good the way you did it.

  7. I thought he was going to say "and a little bit of nutmeg." instead of cinnamon. Just because in many episodes he adds nutmeg.

  8. used a white pumpkin just dis morning pan fried on modern stove top, it was a little bland but i used quite a bit of sugar and salt and it was pretty tasty, Thanks Townsend for the lovely breakfast idea 😀 although i'm a little late at finding it.

  9. Hey, save those seeds for roasted pumpkin seeds. Good source of nutrients when there's nothing else around. A snack if you will.

  10. Did an ACW living history at Franklin, TN. We were issued pumpkins which we gutted then added water to the cavity and placed around the fire.
    Once soft the meat was separated from the outer skin then pulverized and reheated in a frying pan. Sugar was added and it was spread on Confederate hardbread (longer, softer and with wheat flour). The pumpkins made the hardbread worth having.

  11. That is nifty, I never would of thought of roasting or frying pumpkin; we've only ever made pumpkin pie.

  12. I'm trying to wrap my head around enlisted men 1) being given any free time at all in the field 2) being trusted / allowed to strike a fire or forage for food.

    A different time indeed.

  13. If i recall correctly, soldiers didn't eat the seeds because they were seen as animal fodder, though the natives did eat them. Similar to how the British only fed corn to their animals but the colonists ate it up.

  14. I've actually tried the fried pumpkin at home and it was delicious. I didn't use green pumpkin, I used a ripe one because it is somehow very hard to find green pumpkins where I live, but it worked really well and it is a good side dish.

  15. AWESOME! as a tip – if you're cooking the pumpkins in their shells, adding cinnamon to the interior is a great idea; if, however, you wish to fry your pumpkin in a pan as the green pumpkin was prepared, it's wise to add cinnamon just before it's done cooking, as cinnamon burns easily and can make your food taste bitter.

  16. 'Mr. Townsend! Did you just discard those tasty pumpkin seeds? We toast and salt them for a snack later!'… Mom used to toss them in melted butter, sprinkle them with paprika and salt, then bake them till toasted light brown. The bowl never lasted long…

  17. No nutmeg!? I'll put some with mine! Going try all three of these. Yum.
    I would think back in those days you wouldn't want to waste the seeds. I'd keep them all and dry them. Then you'd have seeds for a snack.

  18. TOAST AND EAT THE SEEDS.
    You are a Soldier not a Farmer. You need the fat and protein from those seeds. I don't know if non-Natives ate the speeds at that time but they most likely knew about it. The pith can also be used in a beer.

  19. What, no nutmeg?! How tragic! Lol

    There was a woman that I met some years ago, another reenactor from Fort Osage in Missouri, that used a large pumpkin to cook stew/soup. The pumpkin itself was the pot, and was put in the coals to cook. The top was cut off and saved to use as a lid. Any meat put in, she said, was generally pre cooked, usually as salted and dried meat as per what they had.

  20. We use plastic wrap to keep bugs only for my food many other uses what would they have used obviously they didn't have plastic wrap

  21. Your pear stuff pumpkin reminds me of a few years back while stationed in Korea I went to a restaurant and had a dish that was a pumpkin with duck meat, wild rice, pears and herbs and spices and the pumpkins roasted in a massive wood fired oven.

  22. I've heard of fried green tomatoes before, but never fried green punkin. (Yes, I misspelled pumpkins, but that's the proper pronunciation. I noticed the narrator mispronounced it numerous times. 😉😂

  23. When carving pumpkin, angle the knife towards the center of the pumpkin to make a angled lip, and a notch in the circle at one point to make a key so it fits back on perfectly.

  24. If i were a soldier in a 18th century army that had to cook. I'd rather boil everything instead of roast and fry
    Because it won't cause too much waste of food and not so strict on time and heat control

  25. my favorite part of the pumpkin is the stringy innards, the bit between the rind and the slimy seed bits. fry them with oil, garlic salt, and a bit of pepper. tastes a bit like spaghetti squash 🙂

  26. A few years ago, we had what I thought was an enormous zucchini. I cut it lengthwise, stuffed both halves with veggies and Parmesan cheese and baked it. Best zucchini boat I'd ever made. It was only later when we found a ripe pumpkin on that same vine that we realized it was a green pumpkin that I had cooked! Tasted amazing.

  27. Sir, you are ruining the heat treatment of the steel of your axe as you shovel up the coals… use a wooden shovel instead…
    Nice video btw…

  28. This is awesome <3 I've been looking for more campfire grub and also looking to incorporate more pumpkin into my diet. This vid is a twofer!

  29. We eat the green pumpkin in New Mexico fried with onion, corn, and green chilli. We call it calavasita. (If I spelled it right) it's Hispanic.

  30. Green pumpkin is just like a summer squash, wouldn't cleaned out the seeds, just slice drench it in flour if you have it and fry.

  31. Tis the season for pumpkin so I'm delving into old episodes in search of recipes I may have missed! These are great and I can't wait to try the fried green pumpkin!

  32. Looks like I've got some experimenting to do. I'm gonna be making the Pumpkin and Pear one in my kitchen soon and I'll post the recipe I find to work best here.

  33. You can also sautee pumpkin with garlic and onions with salt and bp until it cooks down and eat it with roti or flatbread

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