Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Pumpkins, Pumpkins, Everywhere!

I love pumpkins. Adore them! I have so many pictures of pumpkins that I have torn from old magazines or newspapers, squirreled away in the pages of other books. I love it when they print a picture of a whole wheelbarrow full of nobbly oddly shaped squash, in a myriad of shades of orange. Every year we have a pumpkin carving party, and every year I am sad when I finally have to throw mine out.

I love how cool they are to the touch, and I find it so hard to choose which ones to take home. They all call to me, and they all seem to have their own personalities somehow.

Imagine my delight, when ahead of the shelves-crammed-with-pumpkins season, I discovered an unprepossessing box of petite pumpkins with dull orange mottled skins, rather than the bright crayon-orange that you usually see; the box was labelled ‘culinary pumpkins’.

For reasons I cannot quite put my finger on to explain, this tickled me immensely. And it got me thinking…although I do love a handful of pumpkin seeds to snack on, and I do make a nice pumpkin and sage risotto, I don’t really cook with pumpkin. And really, I should.

Perhaps it was serendipity then, that at the food fair at Cressing Temple this weekend, I walked into a little room all draped with black cloth, and filled with pumpkins, and tasters of delicious treats such as scones and muffins…there in the middle of all this pumpkin-ness was a table of pumpkin recipe books, and the author there to sign them!

Even better, the recipes were all in English measurements…perhaps it is unspeakably lazy of me, but I always find myself daunted when I have to convert from cups to ounces!

I snapped one up and the lovely lady signed it for me, then I took it home to dream of all the pumpkins I shall be cooking. Pumpkin scones are a must, I think, as well as Pumpkin Juice, straight from the pages of Harry Potter!

As I re-read this post, I feel that I have not properly described pumpkins. Smooth, but gnarled is perhaps one way of sketching them for you, but I feel sadly let down by the thesaurus when it comes to their colour. It suggests ‘apricot’ ‘coral’ ‘salmon’ and ‘tangerine’ as alternative words for orange. Not one of those is even close! Perhaps ‘pumpkiny’ is the best word of all?

In the continuing spirit of all things pumpkiny, I have nearly finished one side of my pumpkin tea cozy. When it is finished, I shall post pattern and pictures, and be sitting down to a nice hot pot of tea, and a plate of pumpkin scones.

Before I must say goodbye for the evening, I must tell you how utterly scrumptious it was to pop out at tea break time this afternoon, and scrunch and scuff my way through a whole pile of fallen leaves that were all dry and brittle and gloriously autumnal! The scuffling-scrunching reminded me of the sound the chocolate chips made as they were stirred into the cookie dough on last nights Nigella Express!

3 comments:

Chris said...

A pumpkin cookbook sounds interesting! I love pumpkin pie and so have collected different pumpkin recipes over the years, but have never actually tried any. You've inspired me to dig them all out!
Can't wait to see your tea cosy!
The leaves are just starting to turn colour in our area, and I can't wait to go crunching through them too.
Chris (in Canada)

Anita said...

Ooo! I love pumpkins too! And dried leaves... the leaves are all still green here, strangely they are not even turning... I miss having a REAL Autumn!
The pumpkin scones sounc wonderful, maybe you could share the recipe! lol...

tash said...

I love them completely, they are my favourite vegetable and are so pleasing and delicious.

I took the dog for a walk at sundown (just before sunset, when the sun is low in the sky) and the smell of rot was everywhere. All the plants that can't stand the cold are withering and it's truly smelling of Autumn now. I love it.