Pumpkin it is today, just like I promised last week. Before we get started, let me tell you that I will reprint the Pecan Pie recipe from last week. It will be at the end of this column.

Pumpkin has a long history not just in the New World, but you likely already know that for hundreds of years it has been grown in many parts of the world. The Colonists found the Native Americans grew pumpkins and taught the newcomers how to use this large, easy-to-grow melon.

Two of my best friends supplied me with this week’s recipes. Though pumpkin is not my flavor of choice, I will gladly admit these recipes are exceptionally good. Jeanie Folzenlogen told me about this recipe, and from the minute I heard about it, I knew you would like it also.

Pumpkin Loaf with Cream Cheese Swirl

Ingredients

A greased or sprayed 7-inch x 5-inch loaf pan

1 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cup sugar

1 cup canned pumpkin

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup melted butter

1/4 cup milk

Filling

1/2 cup sour cream

1/4 cup sugar

4 ounches cream cheese softened

1 egg

Steps

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare loaf pan with baking spray.

Combine flour, soda, spices and salt. Set aside

Thoroughly mix sugar, eggs, pumpkin, vanilla, butter and milk.

Slowly add dry ingredients and combine.

In another small bowl, combine filling ingredients

Pour half of pumpkin batter in pan. With spoon, make indentation in center of batter. Pour cream cheese filling in the center of indentation. Then pour in remaining pumpkin batter. Tap gently on counter to remove air bubbles.

Bake for 55-60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Let cool 10 minutes before inverting onto a cooling rack.

The next pumpkin recipe was given to me by Martha Rutherford. She served it at a Texas Shakespeare Festival reception a few weeks ago. The most important thing, I believe, is to serve this with Ginger Saps. I saw it served in a small pumpkin which had been hollowed out after about a third of the top of the pumpkin has been cut off with the seeds removed.

Martha Rutherford’s Pumpkin Dip

Ingredients

8 ounces cream cheese softened to room temperature

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 can (16 ounces) pumpkin

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 carton (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping

Steps

Mix cream cheese with powdered sugar. Add remaining ingredients, and serve with ginger snaps.

For your good, and mine, I have been practicing using my new computer this week. I also had another visit/lesson from my wonderful neighborhood computer-genius.

Here is the complete and correct version of Shirley Deteau’s Pecan Pie:

Ingredients

1 9-inch raw pie crust

3 eggs, beaten

1/2 cup sugar (I prefer brown sugar)

1 cup light corn syrup

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup melted butter

1 cup pecan halves or pieces

Steps

Mix all ingredients and pour into pie crust. Bake at 350 degrees for about 50-55 minutes until golden brown. Let cool a few minutes before serving. Cut into 8 slices, this is a very rich dessert.

I did not include a pumpkin pie recipe, but have one in mind for next week. My family did not traditionally have pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. I think my mother and daddy both liked sweet potato pie better. Since I grew up with this arrangement, I just followed it. You know how we often do things because our mothers did.

— Barbara Richardson McClellan is a longtime food columnist and has written three self-published cookbooks. Her column appears in the News-Journal’s Taste section each Wednesday. Write her at bayrm12@gmail.com or in care of the Longview News-Journal, P.O. Box 1792, Longview, TX 75606.