More reader questions for Little Red Bear! Here we go with another one . . . . . .
Reader Question from Doubting Thomas in Bristly Barbs, South Dakota – “Dear Little Red Bear — I enjoyed your adventures very much and realize they are listed under fiction, but tell the truth for once . . . you’re making all of this stuff up, aren’t you? A ‘Cushaw Pie’ mentioned in “The Storm” story?!? I have never heard of a cushaw anything and I have heard of a lot. So be honest. You and that writer guy Jim are just pulling our legs on that one, right?”
Answer— That is a very good question, Thomas! And we are happy that you took notice and the time to write us about it. As you pointed out, the stories are listed under the ‘Fiction’ category, but that’s only because when Little Red Bear was having all of his adventures, people video taping everything and taking selfies had not really come into fashion yet, so having no photographic record Amazon made us list them as fiction, even though every one really, truly did happen just as they are written. Word for word. More or less.
Now, to the Cushaw Pie concern. Yes, Thomas, there really is such a thing as a Cushaw Pie made from a Cushaw Squash. Maybe it would help for you to think of it as a Pumpkin with a different name. And shape. And color. With stripes. But the rest is very similar.
A Cushaw Pie is made from a Cushaw Squash, an heirloom crookneck squash, and is a Southern Appalachian tradition. The cushaw is sometimes referred to as a “Tennessee Sweet Potato.” It does very well when grown, is resistant to pesky vine borers, and because it hails from the Caribbean tends to grow well in hot, dry climates. The inner flesh is light yellowish, with a mild, sweet flavor.
You have probably seen them used in autumn decorations, along with pumpkins, hay bales, scarecrows and such, but just didn’t know the name. And while so many folks use them for Autumn, Halloween and Thanksgiving decorations, few realize that they are not only edible but make up into a fantastic pie. Just like a pumpkin.
Here is a Cushaw Pie recipe to get you started the next time you see one, along with some links to some more cushaw recipes on our Pinterest Boards — Cushaw Pie Recipe, Kentucky Proud Cushaw Pie Recipe, Best Cushaw Pie Recipe, Cushaw Squash Soup Recipe, Cranberry Cushaw Bread.
Hope that answers your question about the Cushaw Pie in “The Storm” story, Thomas. As you can see, it is a real thing. Happy reading and cooking, and thanks for writing in and being such an involved fan of Little Red Bear!
Please keep those questions and letters coming. We’ll get to them as best we can here for you. Happy reading, and thanks as always for stopping by! And remember folks, cushaws can be pretty heavy, but it don’t take a very big person to carry a grudge. – Jim (and Red!)