Pumpkin for the American tongue

October is gone, but fear not: Pumpkin persists.

And the good news is that at the Charlotte Senior Center, it’s real pumpkin. No sprinkles of that bogus pumpkin spice running rampant this time of year. No jet-puffed pumpkin spice marshmallows or pumpkin spice Twinkies, tortilla chips, popcorn, Oreo cookies at our place. No pumpkin spice Cheerios, waffles, hummus, hot cocoa, cold brew with pumpkin spice creamer or harvest pumpkin pie cream liqueur. No pumpkin spice M&Ms, bologna, toilet paper or condoms.

You can see all the above items on the Internet in all their realistic packaging. Then you can go to Snopes.com to learn which three are fake. Only three fakes. The rest are real.

Although the Escoffier Cook Book contains 37 recipes for cooking quail as well as recipes for English, French, German and Scotch bread puddings, I was not surprised to discover that “pumpkin” does not exist in its 2,997-item index.

When studying at the Universite d’Aix-Marseille, I lived with a French family who were curious about Thanksgiving. My mother sent the ingredients for pumpkin pie, and I made two pies. There was only one son still living at home, but on the day I baked pies, five brothers dropped by. They all had the same response: “Interesting.”

I took some pie to the man whose wonderful avocation was to run Saturday classes for foreign students to learn about French cooking. When I confessed nobody liked the pie, he explained that the spices were just “too different,” not something familiar to the French tongue.

The results of a native dish produced by a student from Scotland living in our home weren’t any more successful: With great enthusiasm, she cooked oatmeal for everybody.

Monday Munch
Nov. 7 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., or until the food is gone
Butternut squash, cheese tortellini soup (with or without sausage) and pumpkin roll.

Thursday, Nov. 10
Men’s Breakfast, 7-9:30 a.m.
Bill Fraser-Harris will offer a travelogue of his trip across the country with his wife and dogs.

Grab & Go Meal pickup: 10-11 a.m.
Roast pork with sauce, mashed red potatoes, butternut squash and apple crisp. Registration required by the prior Monday. Call  802-425-6345 or send an email. Meals provided by Age Well.

Friday Nov. 11
Veterans Day Lunch: 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Shepherd’s pie, salad, and dessert. Suggested donation: $5. We thank veterans for their service, and they eat for free. We invite them to bring memorabilia and anecdotes to share.

Monday Munch
Nov. 14, 11:30 a.m.- 12:30 p.m.
Sausage with tortellini soup, salad, homemade dessert.

Grab & Go Meal
Thursday Nov. 17, pick up: 10-11 a.m.
Roast turkey and gravy, mashed potatoes, stuffing, sliced carrots, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie with cream. Registration required by the prior Monday.

Here’s Peggy Lee with the Benny Goodman orchestra to remind us of the fact that even when it’s raining or pouring, the Charlotte Senior Center is always on the sunny side of the street.