Sunday, 25 October 2009

The anti-pumpkin recipe



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.



Ingredients:
  • 4 pumpkins (no, size doesn't matter).
Method:
  • 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.

14 comments:

Big Shamu said...

I think you should stuff that bad boy like Susan did with hers. Poor unwanted freezer fodder pumpkin. Pumpkin bread?

Happy Dim Sum Sunday!!!

rachel said...

No, no, no....

We're in courgette territory again, peopled by optimists with recipes!

judy in ky said...

I love this post!
This week my only cooking dilemma was what to do with a single, uneaten baked sweet potato. I mashed it up and made sweet potato muffins! There wasn't quite enough potato to make a cup, so I mashed up an over-ripe banana with it and made sweet potato-banana muffins! It didn't call for any spice at all, so I threw in a little cinnamon... not bad!

Isabelle said...

I made pumpkin soup once. It was horrible.

At least you could have put yours on the compost heap.

Big Shamu said...

You're right. What was I thinking? Now...what is blood pudding again?





(I kid)

love those cupcakes said...

Many years ago I made a pumpkin pie. It went straight into the bin.

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

I confess to liking it roasted with olive oil , rosemary and sea salt but recognise your pain .
A few years ago Husband took a delight in growing monster pumpkins by the dozen in his allotment , and wobbled home with them in relays on his bike . After a while you begin to run out of friends , I find . Curtains twitch as you approach , laden with orange goodness , but doors don't open .
They're just too incredibly abundant .

Making Space said...

OMG that's hilarious! Now I don't feel so bad about my Sara Lee frozen pumkin pie!

Linda said...

I have to admit to never having tasted pumpkin - anyone able to describe the tase?
Personally, I would have been very tempted to varnish it, use it as an ornament. If I had the room, I would grow a variety of gourds. I think they can last a year like that, although they are not edible later on, of course!

Rattling On said...

We scoop out the middles, roast the seeds (which everyone loves) and,er, throw the rest away. I agree the soup isn't very inspiring.

rachel said...

Aaaah, some kindred spirits....I feel better now. Thanks, all!

Susan said...

you crack me up ... totally
and always

xo les (bigger) Gang

Hey ! Where' Millie
xo Oliver

LaDivaCucina said...

Ahhh hahaha! Funnee! So do Brits enjoy pumpkin just as much as Aussies do and you are an anomaly or do they all feel as you do Rachel?

Your kitty is gorgeous!!!

Bee said...

Pumpkins ARE wonderfully decorative, but I don't like to cook with them either. I love love love pumpkin pie, but the canned stuff works better for that.

Your recipe* made me smile in recognition. (Most of our gardening projects resemble that progression.)

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