I have always been drawn to how odd looking gourds are. I like their color, their squash-ish shape, the stripes they have and how they are often bumpy. This is the first year that I have given in and bought something that appears to have absolutely no purpose. I asked an older woman in the store if you can eat gourds, she looked at me strangely and said, "I reckon you wouldn't want to do that." Yeah, she said reckon.....I live in a southern town! I bought the gourds anyway figuring that at the very least I could put them on our kitchen table next to the pumpkin and they would be nice to look at.
Maddie is the queen of noticing when something new is in the house. Within seconds of being in a room she will pick out a new addition and start asking me questions about it. She asked me what the gourds were.....I told her they were gourds and she said, "Like Jimmy and Jerry?" Kids are amazing! For those of you who don't know Jimmy and Jerry (and you're probably my peeps who don't have kids) they are gourd brothers on Veggie Tales. So, now we have a Jimmy and a Jerry who live on our kitchen table and two little girls who play with them everyday. You should hear some of the dialogue between my children when they are playing with gourds.....it's highly entertaining!
Since I didn't know anything about gourds I reckoned (Ha ha) that I should do a little research and see what there is to know about gourds. I learned that gourds are part of the cucumber family. Only a few varieties are actually harvested for consumption. They can be hollowed out and used for planters or bird houses. Native Americans dried them out and carved them into eating utensils and in the 1800's Haitian people used them as currency. Gourd skins were used to replace missing portions of skulls in Neolithic times as part of surgery. They are used as resonating chambers on certain musical instruments and can be made into maracas. White gourd juice is common in China and has a smokey taste. There isn't much out there as far as information on eating gourds, and what is out there refers to gourds but really mean squash. I'd be curious to see if anyone has a recipe that uses gourds, actual gourds. Well, that's probably more than you ever thought you'd learn about gourds......enough gourd knowledge for a lifetime. I don't know what I'll do with my gourds after the fall season is over, but now I'm actually going to think about it...we can't just throw away Jimmy and Jerry!