It's the turn of the humble pumpkin for this week's Dim Sum Sunday at The Karmic Kitchen. Having arrived too late to enter anything for the apple theme the previous week, despite the apple pie rapture I've been experiencing this week, I'm searching for something interesting to submit this Sunday.
Hmmm... roasted, spiced, baked, pureed, in soup, risotto, pies, er... curries... crepes... cupcakes, candlelit on doorsteps, smuggled into the dog's dinner - no, that's just silly - nope, nothing interesting comes to mind. Pumpkins just don't inspire me much as food, lovely though they may look, and I use butternut squash instead, in a fairly unthrilling and familiar range of soups and roasts.
However, I did grow pumpkins. And this is what I did with my last batch of home grown beauties, seen here two years ago with the beloved and much-missed Harry.
- 4 pumpkins (no, size doesn't matter).
- Haul heavy, muddy pumpkins up steep hill from allotment. Groan loudly en route, to encourage yourself.
- Wash pumpkins thoroughly; dry. Stand back and admire their sheen and colour. Take photos for posterity. Leave in kitchen for a while to allow cats and visitors to admire.
- Look at pumpkins every day and think about what to do with them. Acknowledge that you may have met your match: single woman versus four pumpkins = un-level playing field.
- Give three pumpkins to unwary visitors who may have admired too enthusiastically. Smile brightly, accept no protestations.
- Look at remaining pumpkin every day. Notice that the part of your brain that devises meals goes blank within a nano-second of doing this. Live on toast and Marmite.
- After some weeks, Google websites specialising in 'How to Freeze Pumpkin'. Set mouth in grim expression, don pinny, take sharp knife, seize pumpkin and chop it up. Notice that it appears to have filled two sinks and three large mixing bowls.
- Stay focused. These are dark, dangerous moments, and it is important not to lose one's nerve.
- In batches, roast pumpkin till soft and kitchen is all steamed up. Remove skin. Allow to cool thoroughly.
- Find largest freezer bags and boxes, pack them with cooled pumpkin, label and freeze.
- Two years later, remove pumpkin from freezer containers and place reverently in dustbin, humming cheerful little ditty about freezer burn as the guiding demon who rescues the wasteful. Tell no one.
- Sigh with relief. Ponder on the versatility of millions of North American cooks who deal with trillions of pumpkins each autumn, and decide that pumpkins will not be grown on the allotment next year.