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The Canned Pumpkin Shortage & Recipes to Thrill Any Pumpkin Lover

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With Halloween upon us, my family is in the throes of Everything Pumpkin. While my husband Jamie may be obsessed with growing The Great Pumpkin, I am consumed with eating it. My pumpkin craving began when I was six months pregnant with my firstborn and, six years later, has not abated.

But a nearly year-long shortage of canned pumpkin has put a dark cloud over the pumpkin lovers of the world. However, it was recently announced the shortage is over and USA Today reported:

“That means an end to the hoarding, rationing and even pumpkin profiteering that have been going on since heavy rain ruined last year’s harvest and caused a shortfall.”

In my defense, I only have about 20 cans of pumpkin stashed in my basement. And no, I’m not kidding.

A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I watched Seinfeld for the first time in years. The episode “The Sponge” centered around how Elaine, in a fit of hysteria, bought up every contraceptive sponge she could find when she learned they were being discontinued. I chastised her wayward moral compass as she tried to determine which of her suitors was “sponge-worthy.”

Until the next day.

It was the height of the canned pumpkin shortage and I was throwing a pumpkin party. One of my requests was for guests to bring their favorite pumpkin treat. In a panic, my friend Kristen called and told me she had been to several area grocery stores and could not find canned pumpkin anywhere. But then came the clincher:

“Amber, do you have any canned pumpkin I can use?”

I have to admit I hesitated. And then even worse, the thought crossed my mind:

“Is she pumpkin-worthy?”

And yes, she was.

It may have had something to do with the pumpkin cobbler she brought to my party the next day.


Do you have any favorite pumpkin dishes? My favorites include:

Pumpkin won tons
Pumpkin fudge
Pumpkin gingerbread trifle
Pumpkin pie bars
Old-fashioned pumpkin pie
Pumpkin risotto,
Homemade pumpkin yogurt
Pumpkin fritters dessert
pumpkin gingerbread with caramel sauce
Pumpkin pie pancakes
Curried pumpkin soup

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  • comment avatar Lauren in GA October 26, 2009

    You are funny, “Just so long as I am in charge of refreshments.”

    You have to want to help yourself, Amber. It has to come from withing you.

    Oh, I guess the point is that you don’t want help.

    You and Jaime are TRULY made for each other. He grows ’em you devour ’em.

  • comment avatar superpaige October 26, 2009

    Yum!!! I make an awesome maple pumpkin cheesecake for Thanksgiving every year. I would make it more often, but then I’d end up eating most of it myself, so it’s a once a year thing.

  • comment avatar Amber Johnson October 26, 2009

    A match made in pumpkin heaven, for sure. 🙂

  • comment avatar Amber Johnson October 26, 2009

    Ohhhh, pumpkin and maple–a combination I’ve never tried!

  • comment avatar kia October 26, 2009

    I am also a pumpkin fiend. For two decades it has been pumpkin season and peach season, the two best times of the year!

    Lately I am loving pumpkin and black bean combos like in casseroles. I am also playing with a pumpkin ravioli in sage brown butter. For simple desserts this month it has been a slice of baked pumpkin with maple syrup or agave nectar, spices, and nuts. So simple and yummy. I am interested in trying your savory pumpkin sauce you used on the chicken enchiladas.

  • comment avatar Amber Johnson October 26, 2009

    I can’t remember for the life of me where I found my pumpkin enchilada recipe online. This is similar.

    I had to tweak the sauce a lot each time to ensure it was *just* right. Just do a google search for chicken enchiladas with pumpkin sauce. There are a lot of recipes you can find that fit your preference.

  • comment avatar Melissa October 26, 2009

    Looks like I’m really missing out! I have a cake that I like to make from time to time… but that’s about the extent of my pumpkin-ness.

  • comment avatar Gretchen White October 26, 2009

    I was never crazy for pumpkin until recently. I’ve been surprised at its versatility. It’s like the chicken of gourds.

  • comment avatar JoAnn October 26, 2009

    My favorite pumpkin recipe is for super-simple pumpkin cake. (And I mean SIMPLE.) I borrowed the recipe from The Noble Pig: I dare you to click on that link and NOT lick your monitor.

  • comment avatar Jamie October 26, 2009

    Thanks for the ideas! I too LOVE pumpkin!!!

  • comment avatar Lori in Denver October 26, 2009

    I should not have read this so close to lunch:

    “I have made pumpkin gnocchi, chicken enchiladas with pumpkin sauce, pumpkin fritters, doughnuts, pancakes, cookies, bread, scones, pie, shakes, soup, risotto”

    Drooling on the keyboard!

  • comment avatar mommyknows October 26, 2009

    Mmmm … I love pumpkin too! I made my first ever pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving this year. I used a no roll crust it was easy and delicious!

  • comment avatar Amber Johnson October 26, 2009

    Thanks for the links! Laughing over Gretchen’s comment re: versatility. Pumpkin truly is the chicken of the gourds. 🙂

  • comment avatar Head Nurse October 26, 2009

    Sounds like you and your hubby are perfect for each other as long as he doesn’t have an issue with you eating his hard work.

    May try some of those for the pumpkin fans around here-

  • comment avatar Kimberly October 26, 2009

    I recently saw a recipe for pumpkin fudge. I cannot WAIT to try it!

  • comment avatar Amber Johnson October 26, 2009

    If that pumpkin fudge recipe turns out, let me know. I have tried various recipes and have failed every time!

  • comment avatar Danielle October 26, 2009

    I’m about to go to bed early for once, but I just got done reading this. Honestly how am I supposed to sleep now. My stomach is going to be growling and the little voice telling me to go consume something with pumpkin! I will definately be trying some of these recipes! yum! I have the worst sweet tooth-it’s seriously a problem!

  • comment avatar yvonne October 27, 2009

    I had a delicious pumpkin-ginger soup last week. Wish I had the recipe to share–it was WONDERFUL.

  • comment avatar Catherine @ Evolving Mommy October 27, 2009

    Oh, I love pumpkin. Love it! I think I drive my hubby crazy with the frequency I cook with pumpkin in the fall. I even had a pumpkin recipe week at last fall. Reading this makes me want to roast up the pumpkin that is sitting on my counter and make something delicious.

  • comment avatar englishlci October 27, 2009

    And pumpkin can be prepared in so many different ways, both in sweet and salty dishes. Love it as well! Rgds.

  • comment avatar kia October 18, 2010

    LOL, you are crazy! I too am a pumpkin freak and can go on and on like Bubba from Forrest Gump in regards to all the ways I love pumpkin. I have not done canned pumpkin in about a decade though. I prefer to get the sugar pie pumpkins and bake them myself for recipes. Even when I lived in Miami and they do not grow there so were like $8 a piece I still used them. No shortage for me. I actually even rejoiced to move to Colorado where they grow here. Glad to be living in a place where I can find them locally again!

  • comment avatar Kim October 18, 2010

    LOL! Oh my…. that is hilarious!

    I did the exact same thing… bought up pumpkin everytime the store stocked it. I have a pantry full….. and now that fall is here we’ve been loving the pumpkin treats 🙂
    But I have got to try your pumpkin gingerbread trifle! Thanks for the recipe – that sounds utterly divine~

  • comment avatar Lauren in GA October 18, 2010

    Whoa, this post has my comment from over a year ago…wild…

    A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do…it is the job of every self respecting pumpkin hoarder to make sure that any rations go to a truly, “pumpkin worthy” recipient.

  • comment avatar FFG October 18, 2010

    Too funny! I love pumpkins too!

  • comment avatar Rachel October 18, 2010

    I have to say I’m a bit amazed that you used canned pumpkin with the abundance of fresh pumpkin you have at your disposal! Just imagine how much you could have harvested out of that 800 pounder. Cut it, boil it, puree it into measurable amounts and freeze it. You won’t believe the taste difference and you can have REAL pumpkin pie year round. I can’t stand the canned stuff.

  • comment avatar Natalie October 18, 2010

    I’m so happy the shortage is over! I’ll admit I had 3 cans left from a little hoarding I did last year when I heard there was going to be a shortage. But since it’s showed back up in stores I’ve made pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and a pumpkin roll w/cream cheese frosting. So good…so not healthy! 😉

  • comment avatar Paige October 19, 2010

    I made those pumpkin wontons and they were fabulous! Loved them. Keep the pumpkin recipes coming.

  • comment avatar Sketchy October 21, 2010

    Oh thank you for all the pumpkin recipes. I don’t know how you feel about Rachel Ray, but this [url=[url=]]Pumpkin-Sausage Pasta[/url] is divine. In fact when looking for this recipe I saw she now has a Pumpkin-Sausage Lasagne and about died. I know what I’m cooking for dinner tonight!

  • comment avatar Tee aka The Diva's Thoughts October 21, 2010

    I haven’t had pumpkin in AGES!! Hmmmmmm…..