Considering Pete Nickeas was the only person to comment on yesterday’s blog post, he wins a mini apple-pie. Pete, you can pick it up during the wedding weekend.
Yesterday it was apples, today, it’s pumpkins! I never knew pumpkins as anything other than jack-o-lanterns or things that come in aluminum cans for pie, until last year. It was then that I first tried cooking the fall staple. I didn’t realize that there is a difference between decorating pumpkins and baking pumpkins. I cooked up a decorating one, which was a pain considering its size, and it wasn’t bad, but not at all worth the effort.
Then I discovered baking pumpkins, the smaller and fleshier sibling to those carving guys, and I was hooked.
I grabbed two chubby baking pumpkins at the market the other Saturday and this week chopped them in half and baked them at 400 for about 45 minutes. The skin came right off and I had a huge bowl of pumpkin, plus seeds to toast.
I threw some of that orange flesh in with my pancake batter, and the trifecta of fall spices — cinnamon, nutmeg and all spice, for a nice fall breakfast. Then for supper, while my wife roasted our haul of fresh veggies from the market, I made pumpkin soup. Basically, I cooked some onion, garlic and a fresh apple in a pan, through that in the blender after it was soft, along with pumpkin and vegetable stock, let the blender do its work, and threw it all back into a pot.
I put just a few drops of hot sauce in to counter the sweet, and let it heat up. Oh yeah, there was half a cup of milk in there too, but that’s really up to your taste. The whole meal turned out really well.
After our supper settled, Jamey and I went for a quick run and came back to some toast pumpkin seeds for a post-workout snack.
Even after all those treats we still have a good deal of pumpkin left over. This morning I made a pumpkin syrup. 1 cup water, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup pumpkin puree and the usual spices. Who needs Starbucks $4 pumpkin latte when you can throw that in with your coffee at home?
All in all, these two pumpkins have turned out to be ridiculously versatile and seriously economical.
Fall is by far my favorite season, and I don’t even watch football.