by Joy Dlugosz – Librarian for Public Services, Administration & Research
With Halloween coming and the weather telling us so, I am going to tell you about a few resources we have at Warner Library.
Have you ever wondered how the pumpkin became a symbol for Halloween? Why do you drive for miles just to choose the perfect Pumpkin? You can find out by checking out the book titled Pumpkin: The Curious History of an American Icon by author Cindy Ott. Located in Warner Stacks, the call number is SB 347 O88 2012.
Cindy Ott has taken the pumpkin to a whole new level. While working at a friend’s pumpkin stand in Maryland she was moved to investigate the world of the pumpkin. She uses this “beloved vegetable in all its various guises, from the pie and the jack-o’-lantern to the affectionate term of endearment and the 1000-pound giants, to analyze Americans’ long-held and deeply felt veneration of nature and the small family farm, and the impacts of their ideas and traditions on rural economies.”1
Reviews indicate this as a worthwhile read if you are into cooking, looking at agricultural history and just for fun during the Halloween season. Tori Avey of The History Kitchen states “It’s definitely worth a read. Next time you bake a homemade pumpkin pie, you can serve it with a slice of history as well.”2
I also strongly recommend going to Cindy’s website to peruse her online exhibits delving into the pumpkin’s history by breaking it down by date range. Explore Corn, Beans and Just Another Squash (1600-1799) or try From Pumpkin Beer to Pumpkin Pie (1800-1860)3 http://www.pumpkincurioushistory.com/cindy-ott.html.
2Avey, Tori. The History Kitchens. Amazon Reviews. Accessed 2 October 2015.
3Ott, Cindy. “Explore Corn, Beans and Just Another Squash,” and “From Pumpkin Beer to Pumpkin Pie.” Pumpkin: the Curious History of an American Icon, 2 October