“Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater” is an English language nursery rhyme first published in Infant Institutes, part the first: or a Nurserical Essay on the Poetry, Lyric and Allegorical, of the Earliest Ages, &c., in London around 1797.
Anyone who knows me, knows I am all about pumpkins. From decorations to drinks, apparel to recipes, if it looks like, smells like, or tastes like a pumpkin, count me in. While there are many pumpkin enthusiasts out there, I never knew another whose obsession could revival mine; that is until I learned more about Dallas’ own Caroline Rose Hunt.
Caroline was born in El Dorado, Arkansas on January 8, 1923, to Haroldson Lafayette and Lyda Bunker Hunt. She attended school at Hockaday, Mary Baldwin College, and the University of Texas at Austin. She graduated in 1943 with a bachelor’s degree in English.
Known as a savvy business woman, she founded Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, a worldwide chain of exclusive properties in the 1980s. It began when Caroline purchased an old Dallas Mansion about to be torn down, and built the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek. She went on to own and manage twenty two luxury hotels around the world, as well as a line of luxury bathing and skin products.
Though she was a very successful hotelier and business woman, Caroline had many passions in life. One was pumpkins, the other to be a writer. In 1980 she published The Compleat Pumpkin Eater cookbook. Books were sold at her hotels including the Mansion on Turtle Creek and the Hotel Crescent Court in Dallas.
In 1983 Caroline was awarded first place in the Houston March of Dimes Gourmet Gala for her original almond pumpkin bisque. Inspired by her love of pumpkins, and a trip to Italy, she commissioned Rosewood’s food consultant Wolfgang Puck, to create a pasta dish using pumpkin to be the featured item in her award-winning hotel restaurants.
On top of publishing a cookbook of pumpkin recipes, and commissioning pumpkin inspired recipes for her restaurants, Caroline even owned a charter helicopter company called Pumpkin Air. Now that is dedication.
There are 438 different pumpkin recipes in the Compleat Pumpkin Eater, but here are a few for the upcoming holidays.
For access to these collections or to learn more about the adventurous women of the southwest, be sure to visit the DeGolyer Library and check out our books, manuscripts, pamphlets, and photographs.