By Michael Y. Park, Epicurious.com
Hurricane Irene packed a wallop, and among those hurt was the pumpkin industry. And just before Halloween.
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Now, with the pint-sized ghosts and goblins of Halloween already readying their pitchforks and candy sacks, consumers in some parts of the country are finding that pumpkin prices are skyrocketing. (Especially if you insist on local and not imported pumpkins.)
Goodbye, Jack o' Lanterns up the wazoo and up and down the driveway and at each corner of the porch. Goodbye, inexpensive from-scratch pumpkin pies, pumpkin scones, pumpkin flan (pictured), pumpkin-seed spaetzle, pumpkin-seed brittle, and so on and so on.
Of course, you can always try acorn squash or butternut squash, or even sweet potato. And, when someone at a recent party complained she might not be able to throw a pumpkin-carving party this year, I only half-jokingly suggested switching in watermelons, turnips or beets. Which I dare any of you to try and report back about. Honestly, I want to see that.
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So how are you handling the pumpkin shortage? Are you paying more, carving less, or subbing in something else?
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SUPPER CLUB PICK
My after-school snack was a sacred ritual. I sat on the carpet in my parents' bedroom at a low table, the television turned to "I Dream of Jeannie," and ate a peanut butter and honey sandwich cut into neat squares. I wasn't fussy about crusts. I just loved the sticky pairing of creamy peanut butter with syrupy golden sweetness drizzled from a honey bear in diagonals across the soft white bread. Nothing else--save for maybe apples and peanut butter in a pinch--could have made for as sweet an