Monday, September 22, 2008

Pumpkin, Pumpkin Everywhere

Yesterday I made spaghetti with Italian sausage, green peppers, onions, tomatoes, and baked pumpkin. Tonight I sauteed baked pumpkin puree with some fresh sage, garlic, salt, and a little butter. Andy would tell you that I'm a little obsessed with pumpkin right now, but he's downstairs eating the hot pumpkin bread that just came out of the oven.

You might be asking, "What is up with this woman and the pumpkins?" Well, I'll tell you. I've become fascinated with them because I've neither raised them or cooked with them before. For me, that's really all it takes.

Ever since I started planting a garden (4 years? 5 years?), I've planted something I haven't really cooked with and then I have a ready supply to play around with. Every day Andy thanks his lucky stars that he hadn't yet met me during the Summer of Eggplant. To be fair, I've had eggplant at restaurants when I've thought it was quite good. All I learned from growing eggplant was 1) If you don't like the food, you won't like it as a soup; 2) gray is a particularly unappealing color for soup; 3) If you put enough marinara sauce on it, anything is edible, and 4) It helps to know alternate names for some things. Your friends may readily agree to accept your extra aubergines, and if you're quick, you can be out the door before they open the sack....

So, this is the summer of pumpkin. The results so far:

* pumpkin butter - highly traumatic to make, but incredibly fabulous
* baked pumpkin with curry powder sprinkled on it - good, but a little stringy
* pickled pumpkin - no idea, haven't tried it yet, but 50/50 odds on that one
* the spaghetti with pumpkin - totally fabulous! The recipe was in a new pumpkin cookbook we ordered after the spending ban. This was the first recipe I tried in it and the book was worth the pasta recipe alone
* sauteed pumpkin with sage - I was just messing around tonight, but it turned out really well
* pumpkin bread - really, was there any doubt?

Of course, the October Soup Night will be featuring either a pumpkin soup or a butternut squash soup, and there is a recipe for pumpkin ice cream......

Leaving us with the question: when is it creativity and when is it just sheer squash-induced madness.........?

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