Monday, November 19, 2012

A pumpkin on the porch

Note to self: do not mock farmer friends who do not have enough time to carve a jack-o-lantern or you may end up with an orange behemoth on your porch.

It came to pass that Farmer Robert left a pumpkin on my doorstep about 2 weeks ago. Having a soft spot for pumpkins as well as an almost clinical condition that will not allow me to let food go to waste, I wrung my hands for about a week before deciding to do something with the enormous cucurbit. Ever find yourself in such a predicament? I can't be the only one out there.

Mind you, I'd already made more than a gallon of pumpkin butter with the various winter squashes and pumpkins left over from 5 -- count 'em, FIVE -- lessons that involved cleaving open dozens of bright orange vegetables with 3rd graders in late October. I was quite proud of myself for disposing of the various jars filled with spiced orange-y spread amongst friends and neighbors so quickly. While I brainstormed ways to utilize this more recently acquired gourd on Friday morning, I began to chop, scoop, and roast.... An hour and four heavily loaded cookie sheets later, I had the pumpkin (plus half an heirloom Jarrahdale squash) roasted and ready.

I made a triple batch of curried pumpkin soup to bring to the 5-year anniversary dinner for a senior housing community in the neighborhood on Friday afternoon, but that only took out about a third of the stockpile of mashed pumpkin. So I took a few pre-roasted pieces to cousin Sonia's for dinner on Friday night -- these ended up pureed into a lovely shrimp and pumpkin bisque. With still nearly 10 cups of pumpkin left, I was getting antsy. A few more cups made it into another batch of pumpkin soup for my Slow Food DC board retreat on Saturday afternoon. Then this afternoon, I baked 3 loaves of pumpkin bread and a solid dozen pumpkin walnut muffins.

What's that? The seeds? Yeah, there were a lot of those, too. I roasted 'em while preheating the oven and am nibbling on them as I type.


I have about 3 cups' worth of roasted, pureed pumpkin left. Any ideas?? (Six batches of pumpkin biscotti, perhaps?)

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