Food, the friends

Pumpkin Time

I’ve been cooking pumpkins.

I read somewhere that Libby’s actually cans kabocha squash puree, not pumpkin puree, and they get away with it because squash and pumpkins are in the same family. That’s why when you open a can of their puree it is much more orange than the yellowish flesh of the pie pumpkins you cook and puree yourself.

Plus kabocha squash are sometimes called “Japanese pumpkins,” even though kabocha is the Japanese word for squash.

I’ve been cooking pumpkins and “pumpkins” in my crock pot ever since they showed up in the market a couple of weeks ago. I cut up two pie pumpkins, stuck them in the crock pot on low for about six hours – ’til they were nice and soft – and then pureed them.

There is something really satisfying about having two jars of pureed pumpkin in the fridge. To feed the friends.

Two jars of pumpkin only lasts a few days because it is a staple of their diets.

So I cooked a green kabocha. And then I cooked another one.

Raw kabocha squash is REALLY hard to cut. So I didn’t cut it.  I just scrubbed it and stuck the whole thing in the crock.  After three or four hours I cut it in half, scooped out the seeds and put it back in the pot to finish cooking.  I cut the second squash just around the stem once it was soft enough – didn’t even take it out of the crock –  to release some steam.

I was experimenting to see how lazy I can get away with being.  Really lazy, as it turns out.

Alas, my stash is running low.

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So today I put a red kabocha in the pot.

The market had it labeled a red kuri, but I think they’re wrong.

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It has the squat shape and the creamy striping of a red kabocha.

The red are supposed to be sweeter than the green variety, so good.

Because my friends have not been the only beneficiaries of all this fiber and vitamin A.

I stirred some of the pie pumpkin into my pasta sauce last week.

I made “pumpkin” (kabocha), chocolate chip cookies late, late Friday night – even though I had to be up at 5:30 Saturday morning for a meeting. When you gotta’ have ’em, you gotta’ have ’em.

Annnnnd I made pumpkin pancakes this morning.

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Mix 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (150 grams), 2 Tbsp. sugar, 2 tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1 tsp. ginger, about 40 scrapes of a nutmeg against a grater and 1/2 tsp. salt in a large bowl.

In a smaller bowl whisk together 1 egg, 2 Tbsp. melted butter, 4 ounces lowfat kefir, 4 ounces milk (I used fat-free) and 6 Tbsp. HOMEMADE kabocha squash puree. Whisk in some smugness if you want.

They were delicious.

“Absolutely delicious,” according to our guest visiting from Toronto.

Speaking of pumpkins, we took this little pumpkin eater and her brother on an outing this gorgeous almost-autumn day.

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She spotted a leaf floating in the lake and apparently thought it was alive because she kept licking her lips. She was so determined she had to be carried off the pier.

She was like me and those pumpkin cookies…

Tomorrow I’m writing about God.

#passionateaboutrealfood

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