Pumpkin might be my new favourite thing. I’m generally not a fan of autumn, meaning the end of summer, days closing in and the world getting colder. But I’ve realised recently there are some pretty brilliant things about autumn too. Autumn drinks at Starbucks – that salted caramel mocha is aymayzing; crisp autumn days when everything is golden and the sky is brilliant blue; autumn tv (much better shows on than in summer); fireworks; gingerbread men and maybe best of all, pumpkin.
Because pumpkins were on sale and it being October, I thought I’d join in with tradition and buy one, not knowing exactly what to do with it. Turns out they’re good for a lot more than just carving out faces. First of all I made pumpkin cupcakes. If you have a recipe for anything with butternut squash or sweet potato, it seems you can use pumpkin instead and it’ll work just the same. This recipe, which I plucked out of my cupcake cook book, used cardamom seeds, and honey instead of sugar, so I’m thinking for cake that’s pretty healthy. Practically one of your five a day.
Second time round, I made pumpkin and goat’s cheese risotto. Cook risotto following the packet instructions, cube and boil the pumpkin, then add in with slices of goats cheese and toasted walnuts, and you have quite an easy meal. You could probably do a whole three course dinner with pumpkin if you loved it that much, since it can be sweet or savoury depending on how you use it. A group of friends from church came over for dinner last night so I decided to attempt that American favourite, pumpkin pie. You bake a pastry case (made yourself or just shop bought), mash pumpkin and mix it with double cream, eggs, sugar, syrup and spices. Then fill the pastry case and bake, and you have an autumn pudding all ready to share. Conclusion: pumpkin is the reason for the season.