FOOD HISTORY 101 | Pumpkin Desserts

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In my time running Mini Food Tutorials, I have seen countless talented miniaturists–both professional and hobbyist–try their hand at polymer clay to great success! The best thing about miniature food is that you can always fit more into your dollhouse—unlike another sofa. In this series, I will introduce you to a variety of foods and their history with plenty of miniature versions to whet your appetite. Today, we are examining the pumpkin, a humble fruit with endless possibilities for delicious desserts.

Pumpkins and gourds are indigenous to North America, where they were grown by Native Americans for hundreds of years before the colonists arrived. Settlers quickly adopted this hard-skinned fruit, which is cold-hardy and can often be stored throughout the winter without ill effects.

Pumpkin can be used in savory dishes, but it is perhaps most beloved as pie, which has become an American Thanksgiving tradition. Early settlers were so enamored with pumpkin that a colony in Connecticut delayed their Thanksgiving celebration until the molasses for sweetening the pie was ready! This delicate confection from A Bohemian Bazaar would be equally at home at a colonial-era Thanksgiving celebration or in a miniature bakery.

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Cooked pumpkin also finds its way into autumnal cakes, alongside shredded carrots, raisins, and other colonial-era staples. While it is nearly impossible to trace the direct history of a recipe, a raisin- and nut-studded slice of cake just tastes historical. Your dolls will be drooling over this sweet replica from Orsi’s Minis.

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In addition to their classic application in pies and cakes, pumpkins have become a symbol of fall, alongside turkeys, changing leaves, and scarecrows. Tiny piped-frosting pumpkins are the most at home atop a dollhouse-sized cupcake, as evidenced by these delectable treats from Stewart Dollhouse Creations. Wouldn’t these be excellent with a strong cup of coffee?

5What is your favorite pumpkin dessert, whether made in real life or in miniature? Leave a comment below, and we will discuss. Until next time, have a great month, and keep crafting!

101s is a LEARN Section series of articles teaching you everything you need to know about a mini subject.

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