Major grocery chains may be downplaying the pumpkin shortage, but Publix has run out. Shopping for groceries for Thanksgiving earlier this week brought back memories of shopping right before a hurricane.
Although the shelves are full of batteries and candles, bottled water and other staples this Thanksgiving…. there is no pumpkin… NO PUMPKIN!!!
Where the canned pumpkin “used to be”, a sign last Monday read ,”Publix is working on restocking Libby’s canned pumpkin”. Publix had literally nine cans… of premixed pumpkin pie mix… that day. I stopped back again on Tuesday to see if they’d received any ‘real’ unadulterated,canned pumpkin, without the pre-mixed part. No such luck…They had NO pumpkin whatsoever.
In it’s place were cans of premixed cherry pie mix. (No sign… No apparent indication of a continuing search for pumpkin.) Cherry pie for Thanksgiving? Pumpkin is somewhat of an American tradition, like it or not. As with turkey, whether or not you actually like it , it’s part of the holiday. I’m imagining households across America, serving up cherry pie this Thanksgiving. Somehow, that strikes me as humorous. Cherry pie is fine for some occasions I suppose… (and I know it’s a favorite of many people) but it seems misplaced at Thanksgiving. Sweet potato pie perhaps… or yam pie. Sure… even apple pie or pecan pie. But cherry?
Libby’s controls 85 percent of the canned pumpkin, and once the shelves run dry, that’s it… until next August.
I don’t know when I accidentally stocked up on canned pumpkin. It’s not normally a staple in our pantry. But somehow, yesterday afternoon, I vaguely recalled “perhaps” having bought some this past fall… maybe I’d been thinking about making pumpkin bread for Halloween. Sure enough, I had canned pumpkin in the pantry, enough for several pies. So, we’ll have the traditional pies after all. Good thing, because one of my main ‘assignments’ for Thanksgiving dinner is to make and bring pumpkin pies for 25 people… and I couldn’t imagine showing up saying “Publix was out of pumpkin! ”
Where are the bakeries getting their pumpkin from? There doesn’t appear to be a shortage of pumpkin pies on bakery shelves. Publix has an endless supply of ready made pumpkin pies…. just no canned pumpkin. Someone must have thought to stock up. Bet that wasn’t an accident!
Years ago, I made 17 pumpkin pies from scratch…all at once… from handpicked, real pumpkins. I just read (last night) that Libby’s canned pumpkin isn’t made from the same round pumpkins I used way back when (but rather from a sweeter, lighter orange, oblong pumpkin which I’m sure I’ve never ever even seen). What Libby’s uses isn’t pithy, like what I used years ago for those 17 pies. It was worth all the hours rolling out crust, mixing, baking, and hand delivering on bicycle! The recipients may have long forgotten… but I remember. Fortunately, this Thanksgiving we’ll be having pumpkin pie … and not the stringy kind…. thanks to our accidentally well-stocked pantry. Post-hurricane, I gained an appreciation for FPL (and having electricity, air conditioning and refrigeration!) … This Thanksgiving , for the first time ever, I have an appreciation for Libby’s canned pumpkin!. (If you can’t find pumpkin, try using yams or sweet potato as a substitute.)
Although the current situation (whether it be in regard to canned pumpkin… the economy… the real estate market… or weathering the challenges of day to day life), there are many reasons for us to be thankful. Look around … They are all around us… Happy Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones!