The recipe for Pumpkin Tea Bread, which appeared in the Food Section of Oct. 13, was incorrect. The amount of baking power should be 4 teaspoons.

Peter, Peter, pumpkin eater, Had a wife but couldn't keep her. He put her in a pumpkin shell, And there he kept her very well.

Mother Goose

For many of us, pumpkins are big orange things that make great jack-o'-lanterns or horn of plenty fillers. When it comes to eating a pumpkin, you ordinarily open up a can. The prospect of eating a fresh pumpkin, particularly the larger Halloween variety, may turn away even the hardest of cooks. But the pumpkin is really a big economy-sized squash and can be treated like one. It is also a wholesome, delicious vegetable with a versatile temperament and a low price.

The pumpkin can be cooked exactly like a squash if you cut it into manageable pieces or buy the smaller versions (three pounds or less). Grocery stores and roadside stands price their pumpkins around 10 cents a pound, and you can get anything from pumpkinettes on up to the Cinderella variety.

To cook a pumpkin, you can go in three different directions. You can boil it until tender, then mash or puree it in a blender. You can bake it with butter and serve as a side dish. Or you can toast the seeds. They're great during football games.

Cooked, mashed pumpkin can be translated into a variety of recipes. There's always pumpkin pie, along with pumpkin soup, pumpkin bread and pumpkin souffle.

To prepare pumpkin puree, wash a pumpkin, cut it into small pieces and simmer in one inch of boiling water until tender (about 25 minutes). Remove from pan and scoop out pulp. Mash with fork or potato masher or, for a smoother form, whirl in blender for a few seconds.

Pumpkin pieces can be baked at 350 degrees until soft, about 45 minutes. Dot with butter and such spices as cinnamon, ginger or nutmeg. It is a fine accompaniment to pork, beef or lamb and, like squash, can be eaten right out of the shell.

To toast pumpkin seeds, you must first remove them from their stringy hideaway. Rinse with water and pat dry. Spread on a cookie sheet, sprinkle with salt and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. If you would prefer to shell them before using, the hulls will slip off easily if you score the seeds at the wide end with a paring knife before baking. Pumpkins are a fine source of vitamins. One half cup of mashed pumpkin contains about 40 calories, while 1/4 cup of unshelled seeds has 60 calories. Both pulp and seeds are fine source of fiber. PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE (Serves 12 to 16) 1 1/2 cups ginger snap crumbs 1/2 cup melted butter 6 eggs, separated 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese (at room temperature) 1 2/4 cups fresh pumpkin puree (blender method) %%1 cup (15 ounces) sweetened condensed milk 1 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg 1 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch springform pan. Combine ginger snap crumbs and melted butter. Press onto bottom only of springform pan.Bake 15 minutes. Cool.

Beat egg yolks until thick and lemon colored. Add cream cheese and beat until smooth. Add pumpkin puree, condensed milk and spices, beat until well blended. In separate bowl, whip egg whites until stiff but not dry. Fold into pumpkin mixture. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour, or until set.

When cool, spread with sour cream and chill until serving time. PUMPKIN SOUP %(Serves 6) 2 cups of pumpkin puree (blender method) 5 cups chicken stock, fresh or canned 2 1/2 cups finely chopped onion Salt and pepper to taste Dash of nutmeg 2 cups light cream

In large kettle, combine pumpkin, chicken stock and 2 cups onions. Bring to a boil and simmer until onions are tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper, add nutmeg. Add light cream. Do not allow mixture to boil, or soup will curdle.

Serve hot in individual bowls, sprinkling some chopped onions on top of each portion. Toasted French bread is a good accompaniment. PUMPKIN TEA BREAD (2 loaves) 3 cups all-purpose flour 1 cup sugar 1 cup brown sugar 1 teaspoon ginger 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1 teaspoon nutmeg 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon double-acting baking powder 2 cups cooked, mashed pumpkin 2/3 cup salad oil 3 eggs, slightly beaten

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9-by-5-inch loaf pans. In large bowl, mix flour with sugars, spices and baking powder. Add remaining ingredients, stirring until just blended. Pour batter into pans.

Bake 1 hour, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes, remove from pans and cool completely on wire rack.

Wrap in aluminium foil or plastic wrap and store at room temperature. PUMPKIN SOUFFLE (Serves 6) 4 eggs, separated 2 cups pumpkin puree (blender method) 3/4 cups light cream 3 tablespoons rum 3/4 cup light brown sugar 1/2 teaspoon ginger 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg Whipped cream

Preheat oven to 350 degress. Beat egg whites until stiff. Set aside. Beat egg yolks until thick. Combine with pumpkin puree, cream, rum, brown sugar and spices. Mix thoroughly; fold in egg whites. Gently transfer mixture into 1 quart souffle dish and bake 45 minutes. Serve at once with whipped cream. PUMPKIN CUSTARD (Serves 6 to 8) 2 1/2 cups mashed pumpkin 1/4 cup melted butter 1/4 cup milk 3 eggs, lightly beaten 2 tablespoons minced onion 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon pepper Corn meal

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 1-quart baking dish or ring mold. Combine pumpkin, butter, milk, eggs and onions. Mix well. Transfer to prepared dish. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and small amount of corn meal. Bake 45 minutes, or until firm. Serve as a side dish.