These are the last of my Winter Luxury squash- the ones that took over the garden. I heard they didn't store well, so this week, I cut them open to roast and freeze. In retrospect, it would have been more interesting to save one whole in the basement and see what happens. One of the pumpkins was stringy and thrown out to the squirrels, who didn't seem interested. The other pumpkin cooked up in that dense, fudge-y way that made me love this squash.
I first picked Winter Luxury up from a farmer's market after moving back to Wisconsin. A month later, I found one on display at the local food coop, and an older shopper watched as I put it in my cart. I thought he must be a fellow enthusiast, but he came over and told me that he had grown that pumpkin. He picked it up out of my cart, and looked at it for a minute with real tenderness, like it was still his pumpkin, not mine or the store's.
This year I learned that, like me, Winter Luxury has a history in Wisconsin. The heirloom was introduced in 1893 in Philadelphia, but by the time I was born in the 1980's, the Jung Seed Company in Randolph was the only one maintaining the seed stock. I saved seeds from my best pumpkin this year- something I never bothered with before. The rest were roasted and eaten and there were plenty. Cinderella rode in a pumpkin, and there really is something magic about them. Plant one seed in a hill, and you get trailing vines, half a dozen pies, and several bowls of good snacking seeds.