Have you heard about the Great Canned Pumpkin Shortage of 2009? If you are a baker, perhaps you have. I noticed this in October. I explained to loved ones "No pumpkin - it just wasn't there!" and was met with a suspect "...maybe you were in the wrong aisle?" Indeed something was up. 1/3 of Nestle's crops were ruined by heavy rains, causing an apology by the company for shortages in grocery stores nationwide.
Living in the Southern US, I could probably throw a rock and hit someone with a pumpkin patch. So, as long as I know how to roast a pumpkin, the natives in our Thanksgiving clan will not be restless.
Pumpkin Roasting Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut one small pumpkin into quarters and lay on a large foil-lined cookie sheet. (you may need 2 pans depending on the size of your pumpkin) Bake for 45 minutes. Pumpkin should be soft when pierced with a fork. If it is still a little firm, bake for 10 - 15 minutes longer. Allow to cool completely. Scrape pumpkin flesh from rind and mash in a bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Here's my very favorite Thanksgiving dessert to make with pumpkin.
I've recently noticed store-brand pumpkin has been fully stocked on the grocer's shelves where I shop. I would imagine the same is true for most grocery stores across the country. However, I would encourage you to explore the fresh option. Although not as convenient, the end result is much more rewarding.
I think we pumpkin-lovers just might survive this.