Our friends gifted us with this gorgeous gourd about a month ago.
Wow. It was so pretty that I couldn’t bring myself to slaughter it right away. I just wanted to enjoy looking at it for a while before we ate it.
Pumpkin in the U.S. seems to only come in three varieties and they are only permissible October 1-31 & Thanksgiving Day. We have to have rules, people, or society deteriorates into chaos.
- A can of Libby’s and its derivatives
- A thing you carve but do not eat
- A coffee flavoring that has nothing to do with actual pumpkin but everything to do with pumpkin pie spice, an important distinction that many are shocked to learn
Please note that I will happily partake in any of those American pumpkin things, but here in southern China, pumpkin has a few more dishes and far more months in its repertoire. Still, it felt kind of appropriate to have this guy gracing our home during autumn.
Eventually, it was time to stop looking at it and start eating it. I was faced with the very enjoyable task of what to make with this beautiful thing.
There are so many directions you can go with a pumpkin: savory, sweet, even spicy! Thankfully, one pumpkin provided enough to make multiple dishes so I didn’t have to limit myself.
Here’s what I ended up making:
This was a big hit! My whole family loved this. Now I just have to remember what all I put in it. Drat.
I think it had been a while since I had eaten homemade pumpkin bread. It was divine! Even better was that it wasn’t me who baked it, but my daughter. Parents of wee ones, take note: eventually, they stop coloring on the walls and washing the dog in the toilet and start making baked goods. And then they graduate to edible baked goods.
I used this recipe and I had to laugh because she has a caveat that essentially says, don’t come crying to me if you change this & that and they don’t turn out right. Well, oops, because I did end up changing this & that, including making donut holes since I don’t have the patience to cut out actual donut shapes. (I try to limit the pain of rolling out dough to once a year for Christmas cookies, and even then, I have my kids to help with this dreaded task.) Thankfully, these still turned out amazing! The kǒugǎn is perfect: the outside is just a little crisp and the interior is fluffy and silky at the same time.
Just a couple of weeks ago, some Brazilian friends were teaching a group of us to make their national dish, feijoada. I had always assumed it was made with black beans, but it turns out that some regions of Brazil use a different bean that looks similar to pintos. I was also very surprised that my friend put pumpkin in this meaty bean stew! And you know what? It’s a great addition! So, feijoada with pinto beans and pumpkin made it to our table. My friends also recommended topping feijoada with this vinaigrette and serving with orange slices. It might look a little strange, but it is delicioso!
The verdict from all this pumpkin cooking? Yum, yum, yum, and yum!
I think my pretty pumpkin made lovely dishes! My one regret is that I didn’t save the seeds to roast. That would have made one more tasty treat from the pumpkin. But hey, there’s always next time!