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Pumpkin warts

Woah, did you know pumpkins could grow warts?

Knucklehead pumpkins

I walked into the Fresh Market yesterday and saw a pile of these ugly creatures in the corner past the sliding doors. I thought they must be the victims of a pernicious pumpkin disease, but according to this site they bred these knucklehead pumpkins on purpose. “In fact, it has taken over 10 generations of breeding to obtain the size and consistency of warting for these varieties.”

Knucklehead pumpkins

Now, I LOVE pumpkin pie and pumpkin cheesecake and pumpkin bread and canned pumpkin mixed with instant pudding mix. Pumpkin is my favorite squash. I love that it’s pumpkin season again. These pumpkins are probably just as tasty as their clear-skinned cousins. So, I know it’s looks-ist of me, but I want to take a knife or a bottle of liquid nitrogen and freeze the warts off that orange skin. It looks so gross.

But to each her own. I suppose someone must think these pumpkins look cool if they spent 10 years of their time on it. I won’t be buying any, but I won’t be buying any pumpkins after I spent over an hour last year chopping up a jack-o-lantern and boiling the pieces to make pumpkin puree. It was soooo not worth the work. Only canned pumpkin for me, for which I won’t be able to tell if it had warts or not.

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Olivia • September 19, 2008 at 8:32 am

Weird. I guess they would make a really ugly witch jack-o-lantern.


Just_Kelly • September 19, 2008 at 8:52 am

Can you do anything extra with the warts? Like are they delicate, warty, truffle like peices of pumpkin?


Kate • September 19, 2008 at 9:12 am

I thought lots of species of gourds have knobby “warts” like that…

I rather like the way they look! and would not hesitate to make pie out of them… well, if I were eating pie these days that is…


Sillycakes • September 19, 2008 at 9:28 am

I was totally going to mention the jack-o-lantern thing, but Olivia beat me to it. So I’ll just sit here pointlessly taking up space in your comments section.


K and J's mom • September 19, 2008 at 9:42 am

the wart by the stem on the front, totally looks like a man’s face…the nose, lips, chin. Maybe you could sell it on Ebay as someone famous? LOL


butterfly • September 19, 2008 at 9:50 am


I’m with you on the canned pumpkin business. Buying one, chopping, boiling, etc etc is far too much work when I could just pop open a can!


April • September 19, 2008 at 11:20 am

Canned pumpkin for me too. All that work is so not worth it but I do love me some pumpkin pie, especially the crustless variety my grandma makes. I have a thing about crusts…


maggieapril • September 19, 2008 at 11:21 am

mmm… pumpkin…

Cooking Light has lots of delicious-looking pumpkin recipes including a bread pudding recipe I already have marked for Thanksgiving. (Yes, thinking way ahead.)

I have been known to eat two whole pumpkin pies in two days (plus Cool Whip!) so I will NOT be making pie this year!!


Linz • September 19, 2008 at 11:43 am

We painted pumpkins when I was a kid. Those knuckleheads would make for a FANTASTIC witch pumpkin. Little construction paper hat, green face paint, crazy eyes, and some yarn hair? Fo’ sho!

That canned pumpkin and pudding mix thing sounds really good. I’ll have to try it!


TOWR • September 19, 2008 at 12:19 pm

Those pumpkins are going to give me nightmares.

I’m serious.


mandy • September 19, 2008 at 12:39 pm

Pumpin is my favorite! Especially pumpkin pie, but those pumpkins are gross looking! There funny. I dont think that I could get myself to eat them.


Cindi B. • September 19, 2008 at 1:35 pm

PLEASE tell more about the canned pumpkin and instant pudding powder! That sounds yummy!


PastaQueen • September 19, 2008 at 3:11 pm

@Cindi B. – Last year some of my readers sent recipes when I mentioned I liked pumpkin. I just combine a cup or so of canned pumpkin with vanilla or cheesecake flavored fat-free, sugar-free pudding mix and eat. There are variations where you also add in Cool Whip. It’s fairly tasty (for diet food) and fairly filling.


Melissa • September 19, 2008 at 4:40 pm

You know, making pumpkin puree isn’t too hard if you bake it. You clean out the seeds and gunk, cut it into pieces and bake it in a pan with some water in it. (Outside of the skin facing up.) It just comes right out of the shell.

Just thought I would mention it. :)


PastaQueen • September 19, 2008 at 4:58 pm

@Melissa – I don’t believe you :)


Tish • September 19, 2008 at 7:55 pm


Careful how you treat pumpkins–have you never heard of PETPU–the People for the Ethical Treatment of Pumpkins??? Check ’em out at http://www.geocities.com/petpu4/


Sally Parrott Ashbrook • September 19, 2008 at 8:05 pm

You have to admit a jack-o-lantern with warts is AWESOME. Especially a witch-carved one.

Did you actually make pie from a carving pumpkin? The smaller sugar pumpkins are much better for that purpose. Canned pumpkin is AWFULLY convenient, though. I keep it on hand in fall for everything from muffins to fall-themed lasagnas.


Sassle • September 19, 2008 at 8:47 pm

Wow, my first thought was something is wrong with those pumpkins. To think someone actually had to work at getting them to look like that. I’m not a big pumpkin eater (is that not a nursery rhyme), but I did once have a delicious pumpkin cheesecake that almost made me reconsider liking pumpkin.


Niagaraview • September 19, 2008 at 9:39 pm

Oh my god, that reminds me: it’s pumpkin-pie blizzard season at Dairy Queen. Stay away if you don’t want to blow up in a delicious orgy of pumpkin pie and soft serve.


Niagaraview • September 19, 2008 at 9:43 pm

Ok, so now I have blizzards on the brain and really shouldn’t have gone to the DQ website. SO.FREAKING.TEMPTING.

Anyway, found the nutritional stats for the pumpkin pie blizzard:

A Small serving of 315 grams total has:

total calories 560

total fat 21 grams

total carbs 83 grams

protein 10 grams


Alexia • September 19, 2008 at 11:17 pm

I totally have never craved one of those DQ blizzards. Until now. Damnit.

I will have to try mixing some canned pumpkin with coolwhip or something — sounds tasty!

The most I’ve done is toast pumpkin seeds as a snack for the kids — yum!


Anneke • September 19, 2008 at 11:38 pm

I do the real pumpkin thing… my secret is that I use a potato peeler, and peel the outer shell off before I cut into it. Much easier that way. I also freeze it, so when it thaws, I can pour off some of the extra water. I know – I’m weird.

did you know that canned pumpkin is not really pumpkin? It’s squash. Look at the ingredients…


K • September 20, 2008 at 8:08 am

We generally make soup with the carved-out bits of our Hallowe’en pumpkin. That’s not particularly onerous – you just liquidize it once it’s cooked. I like pumpkin pie, but you can’t get the canned stuff here (or not that I know of).

Pumpkin is just the name for squash that are big and orange. If you plant, say, courgettes/zucchini and pumpkins close to each other, and then harvest the seeds from the resulting fruit, you get some sort of weird hybrid, because they’re genetically close enough to fertilise each other. (I have never succeeded in getting any fruit whatsoever off any of the squash plants I’ve grown, but I am assured this is true.)


Candace • September 20, 2008 at 11:29 am

I’m with Melissa, baking pumpkins is the way to go. I get small pie pumpkins (not the big jack-o-lantern ones) and cut them in half like an acorn squash. Scoop out the seeds and bake them cut-side down on a baking sheet, maybe 375 for an hour or so. Then you can scoop the puree right out. Yum, now I want pie.


ginna • September 20, 2008 at 12:23 pm

A couple of crunched up, low fat graham crackers make the pumpkin pudding mixture very pie-like. Also, be sure to throw in some pumpkin pie spices.

When my cat was having hairball trouble, the vet told me to give him some canned pumpkin. It totally worked and he loved it. He hates that malt stuff that comes in a tube.


Melissa • September 20, 2008 at 3:07 pm

@PastaQueen – Try it and you’ll see. Or not. :) Although, if you do what I did a few years ago (when my pumpkins were rampant in my garden) and puree about 14 of them, it’s a different story. Takes a while. I ended up with lots of pumpkin puree in my freezer in pretty little pint jars. Mmmmm…pumpkin pie!


Melissa • September 20, 2008 at 3:11 pm

@Alexia – Just make sure to add spices and such (unless it’s already in the pumpkin). Plain pumpkin with cool whip might not be so tasty. :)


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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JennetteFulda.com now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

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