You might call me stingy, but I prefer to think of myself as thrifty. Either way, I’m all about saving pennies where I can… which is exactly what I did some years ago when I salvaged several small pumpkins from being tossed.
My initial plan was simply to roast the pumpkin seeds. (If you’ve never had roasted pumpkin seeds, you’re missing a big piece of life.) But once I had the pumpkins cut open, I got to thinking about how much I could save by not purchasing canned pumpkin. Why spend $1/can when you can do it yourself?
A quick call to my mom and I was in business. It was a cinch: cut the pumpkin into chunks, place in a casserole dish with a little water, cover with a tin foil tent, and bake. Once the pumpkin is tender, remove from oven and scrape from its peel. Who would buy canned pumpkin with this easy process? I even froze some for later.
While I was on a roll, I went ahead and whipped up a pumpkin pie with my freshly baked pumpkin.
That evening, the first bite of the pie revealed a step I had missed: straining the pumpkin. As a result, the pie had bonus pumpkin strings inside.
Have you ever eaten pumpkin strings? If not, I’d like to advise you to avoid them. They ruin the presentation. And the taste. And the appetite.
It wouldn’t be so bad if this was the end of the story. But alas, remember the resourcefulness that got me baking my own pumpkin filling in the first place? A resourcefulness of this caliber doesn’t easily toss a hard-won pie.
I just couldn’t bring myself to waste it. So I made myself eat it—one stringy bite at a time.
Within several days, I was staring at the last piece. And I have a confession: I groaned inside.
And that’s when the real lesson of that pie hit me. I obviously hadn’t learned much while processing the pumpkin for baking. But I did learn something significant by eating pumpkin strings.
First, I learned that I am so blessed. When I have so much to eat that I can afford to complain about dessert, I am blessed. My sister serves in a third-world country where many people would be grateful for stringy pumpkin pie—or even just plain pumpkin.
God daily loads us with benefits. Spiritually, yes. But physically as well. He provides for our needs and…we complain?
And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.—1 Timothy 6:8
Second, I learned that murmuring is ingratitude. I never murmur without good reason… at least it seems so in the moment.
But think for a moment of the things you complain about. Do you complain about that which someone else would be grateful for?
Do all things without murmurings and disputings:—Philippians 2:14
Finally, and least importantly, I learned that pre-processed pumpkin is worth $1/can.
May you have a wonderful, happy Thanksgiving…with stringless pumpkin pie!