Though orange is the primary color of our surroundings in the local area during this time of year, many cooks, bakers and pumpkin lovers think it should also be the color of your food.
Lindsay Pullara of Altoona went through many other pumpkin soup recipes before she got hers just right. She said it was important to her to find one that wasn't too sweet, and brought on a little bit of heat as well with the inclusion of cayenne and crushed red pepper.
"You get a spicy taste, but it doesn't linger," she said of her Pumpkin Soup for Fall recipe. "The brown sugar calms the spice down a little."
Mirror photo by Patrick Waksmunski
Above, Louise Kline of Carrolltown tops her pumpkin mousse.
Pullara has made the soup for special occasions, including a fall bridal shower. It's also a favorite of her family on Halloween night.
"On a cold fall night, it really warms you up, especially those cold hands coming in from trick-or-treat night," she said.
Louise Kline of Carrolltown came across a pumpkin recipe that lends itself well to another fall holiday. She said her Pumpkin Mousse recipe can be made with low-calorie ingredients like light cream cheese, fat-free milk and sugar-free pudding and served as a lighter alternative to pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving.
"After a big Thanksgiving meal, you may not be hungry but you eat [dessert] anyway," she said. "This has a rich flavor, but it doesn't necessarily have to be loaded with calories."
Kline shared the recipe with friends who found pumpkin can be substituted by other fresh foods like squash or ripe bananas. The mousse can then be made even when pumpkin isn't in season.
"It's versatile, I guess," Kline said.
Eunice Wible of Martinsburg received a pumpkin bread recipe from a friend in Florida that also incorporates some unexpected ingredients. It calls for packages of both butterscotch and lemon instant pudding mix, but Wible said the flavor of the finished bread remains pure pumpkin.
"I make it in the fall and on holidays, whenever pumpkin is available," she said. "I make it into little loaves [to give] as gifts. I just think it's one of the best recipes I have."
Lisa Clapper of Saxton has never needed to try more than one pumpkin bread recipe - the one she pulls out around this time each year was given to her from a trusted source.
"It's my mom's recipe, so I just continue to use it," Clapper said. "I never found one that was better."
With simple ingredients and preparation, Clapper said she has shared Mom's Pumpkin Bread with friends and neighbors. She will make it for herself or to give it away as gifts throughout the season, from the first sign of fresh pumpkin through Thanksgiving.
"It is so light and tasty," she said.
Mirror Staff Writer Beth Ann Downey is at 946-7520.