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  • Writer's pictureDawn Hames

The Famous Central Suite Pumpkin Pie

As I write this, I just finished co-organizing a Pumpkin Fest in Downtown Lloydminster, with a new business owner, Brenda from Kalon Creative Collective. Six downtown businesses worked together to bring this event to the community, with a small grant from our City Downtown Redevelopment Committee DARC. Cliff Rose for Clothes, gave up his parking lot for Just Cruzin car club to display their beautiful vintage restored vehicles. Kerry from Furniture Gallery is part of the car club and makes the connections for them to come with their cars, to the downtown. Nallie from the Central Suite Hotel and his staff made the most amazing deep dish pumpkin pie, with even a homemade crust, a generous amount of whipped cream, and your choice of coffee or tea. They set up tables, with umbrellas, and turned their street corner, into the most amazing outdoor café. Lynn from Artistic Dance and Costume, had three lovely young ladies, two granddaughters, and one niece fitted with her handmade gowns as Pumpkin Princesses. Little children in attendance love to run up to the princesses to give them a hug, and moms would snap photos of their children with the princesses. My new friend Brenda, runs a craft Co-OP, Kalon Creative Collective, and used her connections to line up creative vendors, photographers, and a really good mom, to enforce the bouncy castle rules of no shoes and no food. Together we mapped out where all the tents and tables would go, to fully activate a block of our downtown. From running summer block parties, I was able to connect with additional creative vendors, and artists, arrange the live music, and do the paperwork or getting city permits, a small grant, and all the forms sent to the Saskatchewan Health Authority for food vendors. Jim from Crafty Crates was one of our vendors, he makes barricades and kindly used them to barricade off the location, which worked great for keeping the area free of parking motorists, however, I did not think to barricade the parking lot off, so it was a bit of fun, trying to fin the owners to move their SUV’s and trucks to make space for the Just Cruzin car club. The icing on the cake, or should I say the whipped cream on the pumpkin pie, was to be fortunate to have from the area, both the first and second place winners of the Smoky Lake Pumpkin growing contest. Don and Tina Crews took first place with their pumpkin weighing in at 2,037.5 pounds. Dane Suchan took second place at 834 pounds, and his wife Alyssa won sixth place at 500.5 pounds. Congratulations to them all.

Fun highlights of the event were that we had pumpkin pie, pumpkin loaves, pumpkin earrings, pumpkin spiced honey from Flint Farms, knitted pumpkins, and even a Pumpkin Princess, with a custom-designed gown handmade by her grandmother Lynn, owner of Artistic Dance and Costume. We had straw bales for event seating for the live music, which included: Himalaya, Brianna Gammond, Elnora and Pierre Pittman, and Kenny Mac. The event was very well attended. One lady who works at the hospital said to me, how great it was for an event like this to create a connection in our community. Then she asked me what the opposite of addiction is? I said “I don’t know”, and she answered, “Connection”. I did a bit of research, and it turns out that connection, is also preventive or depression and anxiety. connection increases self-esteem and even our immune systems. I know I had a lot of fun, and I hope all those that came out did as well.

The Famous Central Suite Pumpkin Pie

4 large eggs

1 large can of pure pumpkin 796 ml

1 can of homogenized evaporated milk

1 1/4 cup white sugar

1 Tablespoon cinnamon

1 1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon cloves

1/8 teaspoon allspice

In a large bowl whisk the eggs, then add the rest of the ingredients, stir until well blended, pour the mixture into two 9” pastry or graham wafer pie shells. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes then at 350 degrees for 30 – 40 minutes. The pie is done when a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool and serve with whipped cream.

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