Syndicated Features: Creamy Pumpkin Pie, Pear Cider, and Cone Kite

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Newspapers liked our recipe for creamy pumpkin pie enough to make it a syndicated feature.
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Use this apparatus to squeeze pear cider.
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The cone kite is made of a dozen or so conically-shaped paper cups.

Over the past six years over 100 newspapers have run stories from MOTHER EARTH NEWS as syndicated features. Here are three.

Creamy Pumpkin Pie

The autumn nip in the air says we’re going into pumpkin season, which means that you oughta know how to put together a rich, creamy pumpkin pie. The following recipe was originated by E. Frances Kuntz, an Indiana farm wife of Swiss ancestry (and you know what good cooks the Swiss are). As far as I can tell, it’s never been beat. You’ll need:

1 cup granulated sugar
a pinch of salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup canned pumpkin (solid pack)
2 eggs (beaten)
1 cup sweet cream (at least 30% butterfat)
1 tablespoon melted butter 

Starting at the top of the list and ending with the tablespoon of butter, mix the ingredients in the order given and pour the filling into a nine· inch pie pan lined with an unbaked pie shell. Bake at 425°F for 45 to 50 minutes — or until the middle puffs up or a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack and serve with Sunday dinner or as a snack after the spooks have gone home on Halloween. This special recipe also makes a memorable pie for closing out

Pear Cider

It’s not that I’m “agin'” progress, you understand, but I do hate to see our culture lose some of the really good old-time pleasures in its headlong rush “forward.”

How long has it been, for instance, since you’ve enjoyed a tall, cool glass of perry? Probably quite a spell. As a matter of fact, I doubt if you’ve ever heard of the drink, let alone savored it.

More’s the pity. Once you’ve smacked your lips over a big mug of pear cider, you’ll know why Great-grandpa often preferred to sip this thirst quencher instead of a similar liquid squeezed from apples.

Fresh perry is seldom available on the commercial market today, but if you can pick or buy a stray half bushel of pears (the redder they are, the better, according to one old recipe), you can soon rig up a makeshift arrangement and wring out a gallon or more of the refreshing treat.

Chop the fruit fine and put the pieces into something like a used cloth sugar sack. Place the bag in a clean, straight-up-and-down, five-gallon pail that has a small hole punched in its wall near the bottom. Then cut a chunk of heavy wood (a piece of maple is best, but 1″-thick plywood will do) to fit the bucket like a piston in a cylinder.

Now set the loaded container on some cement blocks or a stout table placed squarely in a basement or garage doorway, then position a truck or heavy car jack between the plug of wood and the jamb overhead. (It might be a good idea to protect the door frame with a scrap of board.)

The rest, of course, is easy. Just squeeze the chopped pears until no more juice flows into the glass jar or crock you’ve positioned to catch the precious fluid.

Cone Kite

It won’t be long before the last of the late summer dog days will be blown away by the early breezes of autumn. Which means we’re fast approaching the last good kite flyin’ days of the year. And that makes this a good time to tame the wild Indians in your house (for at least one long evening) by putting them to work on the “lastest and bestest” kite of the season.

It’s easy, according to Jim Baker in his book, How To Be a Kid Again. Beg some of the little cone-shaped cups from any office or store that still uses a bottled water fountain, filch a few split-lead sinkers from Dad’s tackle box, buy a ball of string, and you’re in business. I haven’t tried this one personally, but Jim says the kite flies amazingly well. It’s worth testing!