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Thread: Pumpkin - How Small is Small?

  1. #1
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    Pumpkin - How Small is Small?

    I have recently come across a recipe for a pumpkin and ginger soup. The recipe says to use a small pumpkin.

    I know this is going to have my America sisters rolling on the floor laughing but what size is a small pumpkin?

    Here in the UK we only see pumpkins in the shops around Halloween and they’re generally all about the same size so can anyone give me some guidance on choosing my soup pumpkin?

  2. #2
    Power Poster Annaquilts's Avatar
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    LOL Well I would say how much pumpkin soup do you want? My guess is the one in the store is probably the size they mean. 9-12 inches or about 20 -30 CM diameter. Over here there are some very large ones for the children to carve. It sounds yummy. Maybe you could post the recipe? It is that time of year.
    Anna Quilts

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    I can relate - when a recipe calls for an indeterminate size/amount of something - I always wonder what the writer's definition of small, medium, large, some, a pinch, etc. is.

    I do much better when - if the exact amount is not critical - that the writer says something like "one to 1-1/2 cups of finely diced carrots" - instead of 1 large carrot cut up.

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    The type of pumpkin used for carving isn't the best for cooking. The cooking pumpkins are "small" sugar pumpkins, between about 5-10 pounds. They have more flesh and less empty space. Yes, you can use a carving type as well.

    Kabocha squash works well and are easily found in my area (Seattle). They are green on the outside.

    Edit: As a rule of thumb, when recipes call for "a" fruit or onion, they are talking about roughly tennis ball sized.

    Edit 2: When using cooked squash or pumpkin, it's best not to boil it (too much extra moisture). Microwaving works wonders! As does baking.
    Last edited by Iceblossom; 10-24-2018 at 09:06 AM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iceblossom View Post
    The type of pumpkin used for carving isn't the best for cooking. The cooking pumpkins are "small" sugar pumpkins, between about 5-10 pounds. They have more flesh and less empty space. Yes, you can use a carving type as well.

    Kabocha squash works well and are easily found in my area (Seattle). They are green on the outside.

    Edit: As a rule of thumb, when recipes call for "a" fruit or onion, they are talking about roughly tennis ball sized.

    Edit 2: When using cooked squash or pumpkin, it's best not to boil it (too much extra moisture). Microwaving works wonders! As does baking.
    Good info.

    I've always considered a "tennis ball size" onion to be a "small" onion. I would consider a strawberry that size to be "enormous"!

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    Thank you so much - I think I know what to look for now!

    Here is a link to the recipe -

    https://www.prima.co.uk/all-recipes/...n-ginger-soup/
    Last edited by Moira in N.E. England; 10-24-2018 at 09:43 AM.

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    I make pumpkin bread all the time and use canned pumpkin. In USA, that's about 15 oz. I think that would be tiny... maybe you can substitute 2 cans for a small pumpkin. ... Just a guess. Also, the pumpkins here that are used for decorations on Hallowe'en are too stringy for cooking, IMHO.

    On second thought, one can of pumpkin may be about what you need, as it is already cooked down and quite thick. ... Good luck!
    Last edited by SillySusan; 10-24-2018 at 01:08 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SillySusan View Post
    I make pumpkin bread all the time and use canned pumpkin. In USA, that's about 15 oz. I think that would be tiny... maybe you can substitute 2 cans for a small pumpkin. ... Just a guess. Also, the pumpkins here that are used for decorations on Hallowe'en are too stringy for cooking, IMHO.

    On second thought, one can of pumpkin may be about what you need, as it is already cooked down and quite thick. ... Good luck!
    Pumpkin in a can, - don’t think I can get that in the UK!

  9. #9
    Senior Member BARES's Avatar
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    I found this...

    For cooking, a smaller sugar or pie pumpkin (usually weighs between 3 to 8 pounds) is more flavorful than a larger carving one. One pound of fresh pumpkin yields about 4 cups raw peeled and cubed, or 1 cup cooked then mashed or pureed pumpkin.

    -and-

    How many cups is a small pumpkin?
    Fifteen ounces of canned pumpkin is just shy of 2 cups (16 ounces would be 2 cups). A 3-pound pie pumpkin will likely give you enough puree for your recipe.

  10. #10
    Super Member SusieQOH's Avatar
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    Moira, the only thing I know is that there are pie pumpkins and not pie pumpkins My Mom educated me on that.
    Pie pumpkins, or those you bake with are small, not the big ones that we carve and decorate.
    Hope this helps!

  11. #11
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    Name:  20181013_090858_resized.jpg
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Size:  444.6 KBIs this one big enough? No it's not mine. Mine is the tiny 34 pounder just to the left of this 719 pound. I love to raise these along with piecing the quilts.

    These are from the Atlantic Giant pumpkin seeds that I bought over the internet. This was my second "weigh-in". The first one I attended in Iowa and it snapped me out of a deep depression. The baby had died and my husband ?? (legal husband only) had abandonded me. I heard about this contest on the radio and just the thought of belonging to a positive group brought my out of the depression.

    These are the neighbor kids. I gave them two seeds and they raised one pumpkin, weighed 86 pounds and they won 5th prize.
    Last edited by Battle Axe; 10-25-2018 at 05:53 AM.

  12. #12
    Super Member Battle Axe's Avatar
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Size:  469.0 KBThis is a poor shot of all of the entries. The kids raised the first one in line. I raised the next two and professionals raised all the rest. They gave us some good tips on how to fertilize them. I don't think they would be good in pies, better stick with the little pie pumpkins with the natural sugar in them.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Feather3's Avatar
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    You can order canned pumpkin from Amazon in the UK:

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Libbys-100-.../dp/B0005ZYSIA

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    Power Poster sewbizgirl's Avatar
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    In America we can buy the big carving pumpkins, or small ones called "pie pumpkins" for baking. The small ones are anywhere from 6" across to just smaller than a soccer ball.

    The "pumpkin" in cans is not actually pumpkin, but a variety of squash with less water content, and colored like pumpkin.

    I've heard those enormous pumpkins like Battle Axe showed are also a variety of squash, and not pumpkin. Don't know how accurate that is!

    My daughter lived in England for 8 years, and when she came home was always bringing back canned "pumpkin" and pumpkin pie spice, so she could cook American Thanksgiving in England for her friends. They loved it.
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  15. #15
    Super Member Battle Axe's Avatar
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    Some are squash and some are pumpkins as there is a tendency to have an orange pumpkin and not a green squash. I think the squashes are more developed into the giants phase. It's just a lot of fun and gets me out of the house when I get stuck on some quilting instruction.

  16. #16
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    Battle Axe - those pumpkins are amazing!

    Thank you everyone for you help. I manage to but a smallish pumpkin today so hope to make the soup this weekend.

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    I have made notes on my recipes when they ask for 5 or 6 apples, half an onion or 3 carrots. Some of my onions make two cups and sometimes I need two onions to make a half cup. Sometimes I would need 25 to 50 carrots to make a cake. And those little ones do work as I make my carrot cake in the blender. I need 4.5 cups of carrot pieces, so it doesn't matter how big the carrots are. That is a very good way to use those little buggers.
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  18. #18
    Super Member Darcyshannon's Avatar
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    Another idea is to find a similar recipe that gives information in exact measurements and use that amount in your recipe.

  19. #19
    Super Member Darcyshannon's Avatar
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    Either canned pumpkin (used a lot because easier) or cooked sugar or pie pumpkins.

  20. #20
    Super Member Darcyshannon's Avatar
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    As others said, often sweet varieties of squash are used. Butternut squash being a common replacement.

  21. #21
    Junior Member charley26's Avatar
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    I would use butternut squash; in fact, that is my favourite squash ever, and I use it for any recipe that calls for squash/pumpkin. I have never seen canned squash here in the UK, but since I have never heard of it, I would not go looking for it, let alone buy it from Amazon. Butternut squash is brilliant - use some for a dish, the rest (uncooked) will keep in the fridge until the next time.

  22. #22
    Super Member rusty quilter's Avatar
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    I grew "pie pumpkins" this summer. After we cleaned and cut them, we baked them, and put them through a food processor. Pie pumpkins (or sugar pumpkins) are darker orange, and weigh about 2 lbs. We did 5 of them, and got 6 cups of pumpkin puree'. They are sweeter than the big "jack o lanterns" that we see in stores for Halloween. those are much lighter in color, and much less "meat" on the inside. By the way, you can also freeze the puree' if you have more than you need.

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