Pumpkin rose to fame under the guise of a split personality – playing both the princess and the evil stepmother with aplomb. On one hand, puffed up and polished within an inch of its life as the golden carriage every little girl wanted to get married in. On the other, carved away and lit from the inside to reveal its inner daemons and protect houses from the spirits of All Hallows Eve. But in all its glory it was still just the bridesmaid – second to a glass slipper and piles of candy, respectively.
I had the best of intentions to celebrate October with stacks of pumpkin recipes. To share with you my love of the humble pumpkin, resplendent in its many shapes, and sizes, and colours, relegated all too often to the side dish category, over-looked, under appreciated.
I wanted to exclaim ‘no longer!’, because it’s October – the month of pumpkin fame – and it’s high time that it gets its moment in the sun, or on our plates as the case may be. Playing nicely with sweet and savoury, sour and spicy, this October I wanted to take a vow to make pumpkin the hero … And then, like it always does, day to day life took over, again, and the calendar boxes showing October ticked away, until all of a sudden the last day of this month was upon us.
But that brings me to the most important question – Why just October? And the conclusion I’ve come to? … Pumpkin deserves more than just 31 days, so in my book its earned a whole quarter of a year, at the very least.
Now I’ve already made it the belle of the ball, pureed within an inch of its life into a silky Pumpkin Soup, finished perhaps with a touch of cream for the ultimate indulgence, and introduced it to chickpeas, kick-starting an unexpected Mediterranean love affair as morrish Pumpkin Hummus.
But don’t worry, soon enough I’ll dress it up in scarves and silver bells to dance to a Bollywood soundtrack with a tamarind laced pumpkin and green bean vegetarian curry; I’ll let it strut around in the buff and serve it raw, shaved thinly with zucchini, red cabbage and a tangy Japanese inspired dressing; And most importantly, in my book at least, I’ll welcome it home from a long day in the fields with warm spices and creamy textures – creating a multitude of variations on Pumpkin Pie – for a start, check out the spiced Pumpkin Pie Pancakes [and then stay tuned for the spread, and the cupcakes, and of course, Pie!] that serve as namesakes, proving that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and pumpkin can make its way into every meal.
There is so much more out there too, so join me in making pumpkin the hero straight through to the end of the year. Putting it front and centre, not just invited as a guest, but the life of the party.
And on that very note, Happy Halloween, or as the local produce market says, Happy Holloween!
Have any pumpkin recipes that I just have to try? Leave me a link in the comments!