October 4, 2018 GMT

MILTON — Pumpkin please — the ultimate October icon. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin fudge, pumpkin pie, Charlie Brown, pumpkin festival — all these and more come to mind when the word “pumpkin” is mentioned. Often used solely as festive autumn decorations, the vegetable/fruit is also nutritious and versatile that can be used in soups, stews, desserts and other dishes.

Although available in various colors, the orange gourds are rich in fiber, potassium, vitamins A and C and beta-carotene. They are low-calorie providing fewer than 50 calories per serving.

All things pumpkin from food booths to baking and cooking contests to a giant pumpkin auction are among the features Thursday-Sunday, Oct. 4-7, at Milton’s West Virginia Pumpkin Park, as the 32nd annual event takes place. Hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

The amount of people traveling to Milton for this annual fest has grown to more than 50,000 as they watch demonstrations of blacksmithing, quilts, sorghum making, woodworking and more, as well as more than 100 arts and crafts vendors.

Admission is $8 Thursday and Friday and $10 Saturday and Sunday. Ages 5 and younger are admitted free. Group rates are available. Contact 304-743-8774 or wvpumpkinpark.com.

Betty Crocker Kitchens provides these recipes:


1 box yellow cake mix

3/4 cup canned pumpkin

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup vegetable oil

3 eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

3/4 cup chopped pecans


2 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

2/3 cup powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

2 tablespoons chopped toasted pecans

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Generously spray 12-cup fluted tube cake pan with baking spray with flour. In large bowl, beat cake mix, pumpkin, water, oil, eggs, cinnamon, ginger and 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg with electric mixer on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Stir in 3/4 cup pecans. Pour into pan. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven. Let stand 20 minutes; remove from pan to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 1 hour. In onequart saucepan, cook butter, brown sugar, 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg and whipping cream over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil. Boil 1 minute. Remove from heat; pour into medium bowl. Cool 20 minutes. With whisk, beat in powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth. Immediately pour over cake. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons pecans on top. Store loosely covered at room temperature.


1 box refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box

1/4 cup butter

3/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin

1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk

1 (16-ounce) bag large marshmallows

Heat oven to 375 degrees. On lightly-floured surface, unroll crusts; stack on top of each other, and roll out to 19-by 14-inch rectangle. Transfer to ungreased 17-by 12-inch rimmed baking pan. Fold any overhanging crust under, even with edges of pan. Place in refrigerator. In 1-quart saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Cook about 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until butter begins to turn deep golden color. Remove from heat; brush over bottom of crust. In large bowl, beat sugar, pumpkin pie spice, salt and eggs with whisk until well blended. Beat in pumpkin; stir in evaporated milk. Pour into crust. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until set and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Transfer to cooling rack to cool completely. Cut marshmallows in half; place cut sides down on top of filling. Use kitchen torch or oven broiler (on high) to toast marshmallows.



1 box yellow cake mix

1 cup water

1/2 cup vegetable oil

3 eggs


1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 cup half-and-half

3 eggs

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1/2 teaspoon salt


1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

3/4 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 cups heavy whipping cream

Pumpkin pie spice

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray bottom only of 13-by 9-inch pan with cooking spray. In large bowl, beat Cake Layer ingredients with electric mixer on low speed until moistened. Scrape bowl; beat 2 minutes on medium speed. Spread in pan. In another large bowl, mix Pumpkin Layer ingredients with whisk until smooth. Carefully spoon pumpkin mixture over cake batter in pan. Bake 48 to 53 minutes or until cake is set when touched lightly in center. Cool 30 minutes. Refrigerate at least 4 hours to chill. In large bowl, beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla and 1/8 teaspoon salt until smooth. Add whipping cream; beat until smooth, and stiff peaks form. Spread over chilled cake. Sprinkle lightly with pumpkin pie spice. Store covered in refrigerator.


Cinnamon Roll Bake

2 (17.5-ounce) cans refrigerated cinnamon rolls with icing

3 eggs, slightly beaten

1 1/4 cups half-and-half

1/2 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1/4 cup chopped pecans

Cinnamon Whipped Cream

1 cup heavy whipping cream

2 tablespoons powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 13-by 9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray. Separate cans of dough into 10 rolls; refrigerate 2 icing containers. Cut each roll into 6 pieces; place in dish. In medium bowl, beat eggs, half-and-half, pumpkin, granulated sugar and pumpkin pie spice with whisk until blended. Pour over pieces in dish; stir to distribute mixture and coat pieces with egg mixture. Bake 35 to 39 minutes or until deep golden brown. Let stand 15 minutes. In small microwavable bowl, add icing from both containers. Microwave uncovered on High 15 to 20 seconds or until icing is drizzling consistency. Drizzle icing, and sprinkle pecans over top of bake. Meanwhile, in chilled medium bowl, beat whipping cream with electric mixer on medium-high speed until slightly thickened. Reduce speed; beat in powdered sugar, cinnamon and vanilla. Increase speed; beat mixture until stiff peaks from. Use large spoon for serving. Serve pieces with whipped cream.

This recipe is from Taste of Home:


1/2 pound sliced fresh mushrooms

1 small onion, chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt, divided

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 (15-ounce) can solid-pack pumpkin

1/2 cup half-and-half cream

1 teaspoon dried sage leaves Dash pepper

9 no-cook lasagna noodles

1 cup reduced-fat ricotta cheese

1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

In small skillet, saute mushrooms, onion and 1/4 teaspoon salt in oil until tender; set aside. In small bowl, combine pumpkin, cream, sage, pepper and remaining salt. Spread 1/2 cup pumpkin sauce in 11-by 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with three noodles (noodles will overlap slightly). Spread 1/2 cup pumpkin sauce to edges of noodles. Top with half of mushroom mixture, 1/2 cup ricotta, 1/2 cup mozzarella and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers. Top with remaining noodles and sauce. Cover and bake at 375 degrees 45 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese. Bake 10-15 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting. Freeze option: Cover and freeze unbaked lasagna. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake as directed, increasing time as necessary to heat through and for a thermometer inserted in center to read 165 degrees.