Between the lively outdoor activities of summer and the chilling winds of winter, comes the nip in the air that speaks of change. This changes begins the wonderful transitional time of fall. The pumpkins show their vibrancy of color as the plants prepare to go dormant. They’re not only pretty to use in decorating, but they can also be cooked to make enjoyable meals, breads or desserts.
I’m sure you’ve seen Acorn, Spaghetti, and Butternut squash in the farmers markets and grocery stores. These act as a nice addition to a meal or as the main course itself. As the names suggest, Acorn and Butternut squash produce a nutty flavor that can become more pronounced the longer they are stored after harvest. Spaghetti squash is a healthy alternative for those of us told to “watch our carbs.” Spoon homemade tomato sauce on the squash, close your eyes, and remember those childhood memories of past family meals.
The pumpkins we offer to you can be a delight to your eyes as table decorations and also to your dessert table. You are aware of the traditional orange face and sugar pumpkins that create your Halloween Jack-O-Lanterns. You can enjoy roasting the pumpkin seeds by putting the seeds in a bowl with 1 Tablespoon corn or sunflower oil, 1Tablespoon salt, and 1 – 2 teaspoons salt. Coat the seeds and put onto a baking sheet in a 225 degree oven, stirring frequently until the shells are a golden brown. Cool and enjoy after about 1 hour of baking . There are plenty of recipes to be found for pumpkin pies, so find one that you like, and don’t forget the whipped cream or ice cream.
Onto the more interesting pumpkins. Have you seen the pumpkins that look like they have peanuts glued onto to the skin? Those are aptly named peanut pumpkins. They are edible and bake into pies along with the steel green skinned Jarrahdales. Jarrahdales have a thick skin so take your time cutting them, and get ready for the naturally sweet golden yellow flesh that makes a great tasting pie. It’s not stringy or watery like the regular orange variety. The paler Blue Doll can be canned, made into pies, and turned into warm soup on a cool night. The Triamble, that looks like a witches’ face can even be used in baking. They also have a tough skin, so take your time.
Our white Cotton Candy pumpkin has a sweet white flesh that can be used in soups, in a squash recipe, or substituted in a traditional orange pumpkin pie recipe. Flat Boer White Pumpkins can be mashed and baked. One Too Many pumpkins are a mix of white and orange with orange stripes. It’s a good baking pumpkin. Do you see the trend? There is the buff colored Long Island Cheese that looks like a ring of cheese and tastes similarly to Butternut squash. Again, add it to the list of pumpkins used in pies.
We have pumpkins with pink to redder skins that can be quite tasty when baked. It’s time to look online and in recipe books to find a delicious way to add pumpkin to your meals. There is a Cinderella pumpkin named after the famed story. Think about it. The insides of the pumpkin had to be used for something. Musque D’Provence is a fine flavored pumpkin originally from Southern France. Beauty for both your decorating and tastebud needs.
The cooler season makes us think of the warmth and smells of the kitchen. Enjoy walks in the brisk winds and the sound of crunching leaves while knowing there’s a golden glow of colors, smells and tastes awaiting you at home.