It’s batty enough that I prepare my mirlitons with frozen shrimp from Thailand and not the Gulf of Mexico.
I am not about to bake my traditional Thanksgiving Day pie with pumpkin from China.
Earlier in the season, I had looked for canned pumpkin at the store as my daughter had requested it to use in everyday recipes. A very nice clerk who was stocking shelves told me it was scarce due to the unusual weather conditions the country had seen last spring. The mid-west had seen torrential rains and flooding – not very conducive to good pumpkin growing. Because of that, the crop wasn’t as big this year, and the store hadn’t received a delivery of canned pumpkin.
I accepted that and knew to keep my eye open for canned pumpkin. If it didn’t show up on the shelves in the coming weeks, I would buy a small, fresh one for pie.
A few weeks passed, and Mallory went to do the weekly shopping. I love when she does the grocery shopping because she sticks to the list, comes home with lots of fresh fruits and veggies, and is a super fast shopper.
On this particular trip, she bought some canned pumpkin. I was delighted that she had found some pumpkin at a bargain price. It wasn’t our usual Libby brand pumpkin, and I honestly thought the grocer had substituted it for the national brand, due to a shortage.
She used the canned pumpkin for yummy pumpkin oatmeal and thick pumpkin lattes.
When Thanksgiving shopping rolled around, I picked up two cans of the bargain pumpkin and stored it on a shelf in the basement.
Several days went by before it was time for the holiday baking. The aroma of baking cornbread and savory stuffed mirlitons filled the kitchen. Next on the to-do list:
- Bake a pumpkin pie
- Bake a fresh cherry pie
I looked at the label on the canned pumpkin before getting started. My brow furrowed at the sight of PRODUCT OF CHINA. This was an outrage – I couldn’t do it! I simply could not bake our time-honored pie with pumpkin from China. I told my husband, David, what I had discovered, and said I wanted to return it for pumpkin MADE IN AMERICA. It seemed absurd to me that we would buy pumpkin from China when we (Americans) are perfectly capable of producing our own pumpkins!
With 2 cans of pumpkin and receipt in hand, I explained to the girl with the oogly black and platinum hair that I had to return the pumpkin because it was made in China.
“Okay,“ she said, but I have a hunch she was a bit bewildered by my request. The younger generation just doesn’t get that America used to be a manufacturing giant.
David and I went down the cake mix aisle and found the Libby pumpkin. With some apprehension, I checked the label to make sure that it was made in America. It was – Ohio.
I brought the can of pumpkin back to customer service where I exchanged the 2 cans of “Made in China” to the one can “Made in America”. I received a penny back.
I know it isn’t much, but I left the store feeling like I had done a small part to preserve our manufacturing know-how of producing canned pumpkin in the United States.