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January 11, 2005 |

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This is just to let you know that I make a mean pumpkin pie! And I use the recipe from the label on the Libby's can WITH the canned pumpkin from the can. Back in my younger days I baked the fresh pumpkin, sieved it, added the eggs and spices and evaporated milk, and it wasn't as good as the Libby's pies. I have made thousands of pies, and my pumpkin pie is terrific. Without nutmeg.

The proof is in the tasting. Until you have tried it, please keep an open mind. By the way, I had lots and lots of fresh sweet corn last fall. The weather here was perfect and the corn season lasted almost to Labor Day. Some farmers nearby were selling a variety called Incredible, one of the new super-sweet varieties, and it was truly incredible. My Mennonite farm neighbor told me that those new varieties actually increase their sugar content after picking, unlike the older ones, whose sugar begins to change to starch as soon as they're picked.

Carole Cubbler
Shippensburg, PA

Carole, I knew somebody was going to take issue with my diatribe against pumpkin pie back around Thanksgiving, and here you are. I believe your every word and will try to keep an open mind on pumpkin pie, but the pie I long for is the mincemeat that my Aunt Eleanor made one year for a family Thanksgiving that was miles beyond any I'd ever tasted. She didn't divulge her secret but I gathered that there was meat in it and that it was labor-intensive. Of course, after a major feast, one hardly needed anything as rich as mincemeat, but it was remarkable. As for the Incredible sweet corn, I'm sure you're right and it is, though I hate to think that plant genetics has rendered obsolete the old ceremony of picking sweet corn and husking it as one walked quickly toward the house and popping it directly into the pot of boiling water so as to maintain maximum sweetness. The wonders of science can be discouraging to those of us brought up to be industrious in a world of scarcity.

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