I confess I have never tried to make a pumpkin pie absolutely from scratch. I always use the canned; it's simpler. But I have heard that the big, jack-o-lantern pumpkins are not the best for cooking. They say it is the small ones (not the miniatures, but the small "pie" pumpkins), that you want to cook with, whether you are making pie or soup, whatever.
That's generally true about squash anyway, you know. The smaller ones taste better.
I also saw a show about some of the bigger pumpkins and there's a town somewhere in the U.S. that has pumpkin boat races! Everyone builds a little boat out of a giant pumpkin and they get in and race each other! How awesome is that?
I forgot about another show that's about "punkin chunkin" where people build all kinds of catapults and see who can launch a pumpkin the farthest. It's so cool to see all of these huge homemade catapults and slingshots and cannons all lined up just waiting to fling a pumpkin hundreds of yards