This post is all about the magnificent and wonderful pumpkin, and how to be creative with it.
I'm a big fan of the pumpkin. They've always been a symbol of Autumn to me, and especially of Thanksgiving time. I remember my mom taking us kids to pumpkin farms where we were each allowed to pick out a pumpkin.
We used our pumpkins to decorate around the house and then turned them into pies at Thanksgiving. The best part was cutting up the pumpkins and roasting the seeds in the oven, sprinkling them with salt, and then eating them by the handful.
My earliest recollection of really being taken with pumpkin was at my eleventh birthday when I requested a pumpkin cake with cream cheese icing. It was so soft and moist and gooey, and covered with that delicious mix of tangy-sweet that is the hallmark of cream-cheese icing. Ever since, I have snapped up recipes from friends for things like pumpkin muffins, cookies, bread, and even fudge!
Much of my pumpkin cooking in previous years involved lots of sugar. Recently I've discovered many recipes for savory dishes using pumpkin. I find that very exciting (especially since I'm supposed to avoid sugar). So, here is a collection of recipes, ideas, and links for using pumpkins this Fall.
Sausage and Pumpkin Roast
Bacon and Pumpkin Pasta
Tagliatelle with Roast Pumpkin, Sage, Ricotta and Smoked Cheese
This last recipe is from a cookbook that I reviewed once called Roast Figs, Sugar Snow by Diana Henry. A lovely cookbook for this time of year.
I try to stock up on butternut squash and other squashes when they go on sale. Wal-Mart had them for 48 cents a pound last week and so I stocked up. The cashier ringing up my 30-pounds worth asked if I was decorating my yard with these. "No," I replied. "We are going to eat these -- probably much to my childrens' chagrin." This week I added 5 pie pumpkins which I found for a bargain. At present this huge collection is decorating my hearth, but, fear not, we will be (and have been) eating it!
Just for a note on the price of canned pumpkin: Aldi's has canned pumpkin for 79 cents which is much better than Wal-Mart's $1.29.
I don't yet have a pumpkin soup recipe that I'm crazy about. However, there are plenty to discover on the web. I did try a pumpkin soup "topper" that I enjoyed: parsley, grated orange zest and dried cranberries. Lovely! You must try it!
Now onto things with a bit more sugar (or honey).....
Healthy Pumpkin Muffins
And then there are:
Pumpkin Cheesecake -- a terrific idea for Thanksgiving
Emily's Streusel-Topped Pumpkin Pie -- which has been my favorite pumpkin pie in years pastI'd also like to try Easy Pumpkin Chutney and especially Pumpkin Whoopie Pies!
And then there are pumpkin cookies, pumpkin scones, pumpkin bars, pumpkin rolls, pumpkin cakes, pumpkin mousse, etc. etc. etc.
Last, but not least, my friend Heather gave me an idea for the children: Pumpkin Play Dough! Adding orange food coloring and pumpkin pie spice to the regular play dough recipe makes for a great twist to playdough!
I hope you all will enjoy pumpkin in one form or another this Fall!