Tag Archives: pumpkin

A Tale of Two Recipes, cont

Recipe the Second:

‘It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; “

I can’t think of A Tale of Two Cities without hearing Ronald Colman ….

roland colman

And now for a far better thing. Not that Broccoli Sauce’d Sicilano was bad…..

When I went to my friendly neighborhood super market and saw these little squashes, cute as bugs ears, live and in living color – and 50 cents a piece – I had to get me 2.  I swear I had seen SOMETHING about them in the last week or so, so I starting poking around……

Chayote_BNC

Chayote – it’s a kind of summer squash

 

But could I find anything that even had that word  in it, that word I’m still not sure how to  pronounce. The cashier called them coyote squashes….hey, she knew they were squashes….

So then I turned to the ‘grow veg/eat veg’, the straight and narrow garden to table books that I have unpacked. Several identified them, but didn’t mention how to use them…..and they have aliases….

Deborah Madison Vegetable Literacy, which I’m thoroughly enjoying and will need to read several times, there’s so much between these covers. No chaypote.

veg literacy

Dominca Marchetti The Glorious Vegetables of Italy, which has a dozen dishes I want to do, as well as small batch of giardiniera (five pints being as small a batch that 1 cauliflower can make) lots of summer squashes and zucchinis, no chaypote.

veg of Italy

Herbivoracious by Michael Natkin not a garden to table, but amazing vegetarian food and lots of great asides …..and the book falls open to the Sicilian Spaghetti with Pan-roasted Cauliflower – and where I sub out the pine nuts I’m not too terribly fond of, so why should I pay THAT sort of money for them, with almonds……shades of saucy broccoli….which may have even been the dish he served up at the book signing. My bus ticket is marking the page, so it was on May 6th 2012, in Somerville. His website is Herbivoracious ,too.

herbivoracious

And then I flipped through The Passionate Vegetarian by Crescent Dragonwagon.

CD pasion veg

This book is over 1000 pages, a workout in every reading. I love this cover. Shades of Carmen Miranda!

A little back story: Bean By Bean was where I first met Ms Dragonwagon. But not this revised, 21st century edition, no, not at all. It was a slim booklet, like you’d get from some sort of community group edition. Back in the early ‘80’s vegetarian cooking stuff was still very much a small press/artsy/folksy/hippy-ified/ handmade/crafted sort of thing. I read the whole book standing up in a kitchen, oblivious to the gathering going around me. I don’t remember exactly where or what event, because there was a whole book about beans, and the beans were good. The beans were varied. The beans were interesting. The beans were amazing!

The cover was torn off, so I never saw it till I found it on the internet, much more recently.

CDBean bokk1only

The little pamphlet like book on the left is the first BBB that I met up with – without the colorful front cover.The one on he right is the new, revised edition.

The recipes were all beans and were all vegetarian. Since I knew if you give an Italian woman a pound of beans, she can feed a horde 30 different courses….I naturally had to wonder,

“What was ‘Dragonwagon’ before Ellis Island changed it when they came from Italy?”

Yes, I immediately and completely Italianized Crescent Dragonwagon.

I carried this assumption around for a really long time. Hey – there was no internet in the olden days! When The Passionate Vegetarian came out early 21st century, the cover image only reinforced my belief. Look at her – she’d fit right in an Italian crowd. My people do things with flair. And she was certainly my people…ironically, the very heft and size of The Passionate Vegetation kept me from it for a while.Not forever, but still…

arcimboldo friut basket

Another Italian, another fruit basket worn as a hat…..

Fast forward to 6 or 7 years ago.

I join Facebook.

I join to keep in touch with people who I’d worked with. I re-connected with some people I had seen or heard from in years. Then I discover Groups  – places with topics for like-minded people to gather….groups that talk about food and cooking….and in one of these Groups was

Crescent Dragonwagon

She also had her own pages, and she can tell you her own story – like about her name….. (Here’s a hint – she’s not the least bit Italian) This is her website about her, her writing,and workshops . Because she was commenting on some of the same pages I was reading, and I was even daring to offer some sort of comment from time to time, there were some occasions we were part of a ….conversation.

Now, if you want to continue to converse with certain people on Facebook, you have you request to ‘Friend’ them. You can also un-friend people, which isn’t as drastic as it sounds, and you can downright block people, if they turn out to be a troll (an apt image if ever there was one), and you can also set your privacy settings which helps you control where your stuff goes when it leaves you. In short, though – don’t say anything on the internet you wouldn’t want on the 6 o’clock News, film at 11.

So, I send a Friend request to Crescent Dragonwagon.

She wrote back and said the word friend was one she didn’t take lightly, and could I tell her something about myself that we might have in common (she phrased it much, much better). This is the only time anyone on Facebook has responded this way.

I was thrilled. Where to begin????

So I told her about my Aunt Eileen, who gave me my first cookbook and said,

“Every recipe is a story. And not all of them have happy endings.”

(Good Housekeeping).

I was particularly thrilled because she was working on revising – and by revising she pretty much re-worked it from stem to stern – Bean by Bean

cd bean by bean

Sooooo, as I was looking for chayote…..which in the index said, “Chayote. See Mirlitons”, which in turn brings me to the Squash Family which brought me to Pasta with Pumpkin. A pasta recipe on the same page as Pasta with Hearty Greens and Beans, which is rather a way of winter life for me….and because I had taken some of the roasted pumpkin out of the freezer to make a pumpkin panzanella but what I really wanted as a hot dish, which meant I would have to invent savory pumpkin bread pudding….OR I could just make the Pumpkin with Pasta, have my hot meal and be done with it.

But

WAIT

Read the recipe, the whole recipe and nothing but this recipe right NOW.

I have the actual ingredients, except my punkin is already cooked, so just needs to be heated through…..

And so

Punkin’ Pasta

7 oz fettucine or linguine (half a box)

1 # roasted deep orange pumpkin/squash (no peels, no seeds – I don’t really need to add that, do I?) PS – I love my freezer gold!

1 Tablespoon olive oil, plus more for serving

3 cloves garlic, pressed

Salt and pepper

Parmesan cheese

  1. Cook the noodles. Save about a cup of pasta water before you drain.
  2. Put the oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the pumpkin and the garlic, stir madly about, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Breakup any of the larger pumpkin chunks – the smaller ones with break down mostly on there on to make the sauce.
  3. Combine the cooked noodles with the hot pumpkin. Adjust season. Add some of the pasta water to loosen, if that’s what you like (I find there’s such a moisture variation with different gourds, that a little extra water is always good to have on hand.)
  4. Serve hot with Parmesan cheese on top.

2 servings.

Note: These are generous servings. I’ve been eating a big bowl and had enough for a whole ‘nother meal, and still had the orphan portion that was just right for a 3 egg frittata.

Adapted from  Pasta with Pumpkin in Crecent Dragonwagon’s Passionate Vegetarian. Workman Publishing: New York. 2002. p.858.

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Filed under Books, Influencers, Recipe, squash, winter

Gold in them there Gourds

Because,

if you’re house-sitting the week of Halloween and have already been displaced so you’re at your ancestral home but 2/3’s of your stuff is at your former dwelling where the fire was AND you’ll be moving in November….did I mention it was the day before HALLOWEEN…..then you should definitely give into the temptation to buy, not one, but 2 giant and rather unattractive ‘decorative gourds’.

But they were substantial and hefty and the price was right – and they had the promise of being tasty culinary gold.

And after Halloween ALL the Gourds and Pumpkins  will be

GONE

Gone gone gone. As if they had never been here at all; as if there was no need for a Pumpkin or a Gourd in Winter. Winter is for Squash, alone.

Poor squash. Alone, poor lonely squash.

pumpkin 2015

They actually looked quite a bit like this, a Speckled Hound variety, but there were more warts.

amygoldmancompleat squash

SOMEWHERE I have a copy of this book, which has everything you could want to know about squash and pumpkins between it’s covers.  But think I learned well. Thank you, Amy G.!

The upside is that not only have they been decorative, but once I had time to hack, seed, peel and cook one……I have over 10 pounds of delicious golden squash/pumpkin/gourd (because they’re different names for essentially the same thing) .

You can’t freeze squash or pumpkin without cooking it first (consider the water content – you’ve seen this on front steps everywhere you look every year around a Halloween frost). Keep them indoors where the frost doesn’t go and you have much more lee-way. When the weather is cool  – and this week has been downright cold, and windy and rainy/snowy/sleety – it’s a perfect excuse to keep the oven going, as you roast it up to store in the freezer.

My excuse to keep the oven on and the kitchen toasty on an otherwise far too gray a day . Like John Alden, I shall speak for myself.

In typical fashion, the first quarter of the pumpkin took more  (or at least as much) time as the last three quarters.  I weighed the seeds and peelings when done – a little over 5 pounds. I wasn’t particularly wasteful; it really was that big.

I did have the option of roasting it whole, which I did once several years ago to a giant Blue Hubbard, Hubbard being my Dad’s favorite. That squash had been used for decorative purpose, and I saved it from the Dumpster. It was a carry in both arms /bigger then a big baby big.

Hubbard_squash

Blue Hubbard

I actually brought it to the ancestral home, poked it with an ice pick (evidently the real reason that that was still hanging around. Even though we called it an ‘ice box’ it was an up to date Frigidaire, frost free and everything) and put Baby Blue on the biggest baking sheet in the house and put it in the oven for a couple of hours until it was all  schlumpy. When it was cool enough, we used the stainless steel serving spoons to break in, separate the gold from the skin and the seeds and packed the gold  into baggies. Lots and lots of baggies. Which we stored in the freezer until there was need for gold. And it got us both through the better part of the winter.

But if you roast a squash or pumpkin whole, you end up with pulpy pulp, and I wanted to hold onto a little more structure/texture.

My new kitchen has 4 windows, so I set my cutting board on the table and was able to watch the dogs walking their people on the green, and cars coming and going at the street corner and the sun moving on the  horizon….I was also paying attention to the big knife that is necessary to cut a big squash…and my knives are home! Knives are sharp. No wounds to report.

Cut the giant in half.

Seed with the ice cream scoop. Seriously the right tool for the job.

Ice+Cream+Scoop

Ice cream scoop/pumpkin seed scoop – a multi-tasker!

Cut into whatever shapes make it possible to peel, peel, peel.

Toss with a little oil, sprinkle with a little salt, spread out on a baking sheet and pop into a 375° oven until it’s done…..20-40 minutes – poke it with a fork, you’ll know.

pumpkinNimono_of_japanese_pumpkin_2014

This is what it looks like coming out of the oven. You can eat it just like this. While humming happy food songs.

Some I ate off the roasting pan as it came out of the oven….lunch.

  • I kept  three of the chopped pounds to add to an equal amount of potatoes for slow cooker  for Squash and Potato with Rosemary that I’ve made before.

 

Italian slow cooker book

  • I’m going to use some of the leftovers of this to make a version of the squash and potato soup. I’ll puree the already cooked veg mix with the broth, and since I’ve already seasoned with rosemary I might leave the sage out. Note to self: Next time cook squash and potato with sage instead of rosemary.
  • Some of the squash/potato mixture will be mixed with eggs and fried in olive oil, a golden and easy fritatta. I fried a chopped shallot in some olive oil, added a little more oil, put the egg/potato/pumpkin in. When the bottom was browned, lowered the heat, put a lid on it and waited impatiently for it to be done.I had thought to sprinkle a little cheese over, but I forget and it was LOVELY.A glass of pear cider and a greens salad with pecans and blue cheese dressing made up the rest of that supper.
  • Some will be thinned with a little broth (or wine) and mixed with some hot macaroni, I’m thinking some hot pepper to season that…

Smoke & Pickles by Edward Lee has another version of Squash Mac and Cheese that I’ll be trying with freezer gold.

Gold updates  as they occur.

 

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Wicked WayBack Pumpkin Pies

pumpkin-dream-pie-recipe-1959

I made this pie for many Thanksgivings…and then there was a Cool-Whip version, and yes, I made that, too. And so many other pumpkin pies.

But I was thinking of pies even more WayBack then the 1960’s.

like the 1660’s

1653

Tourte of pumpkin.

Boile it with good milk, pass it through a straining pan very thick, and mix it with sugar, butter, a little salt and if you will, a few stamped almonds; let all be very thin. Put it in your sheet of paste; bake it. After it is baked, besprinkle it with sugar and serve.”

– Francois Pierre La Varenne. The French Cook [1653], Translated into English in 1653 by I.D.G., Introduced by Philip and Mary Hyman [East Sussex: Southover Press} 2001 (p. 199-200)

1655

To make a Pumpion Pye.

Take about a half a pound of Pumpion and slice it, a handful of Tyme, a little Rosemary, Parsley, and sweet Marjaoram, stripped off the stalk, and chop very small. Then take Cinamon, Nutmeg, Pepper, and six Cloves, and beat them; take ten Eggs and beat them, them mix them, and beat them altogether, and put in as much sugar as you think fit, then fry them like a froize; after it is fryed, let it stand till it be cold, then fill your Pye, take sliced Apples thin roundways, and lay a row of the Froiz, and then a layer of Apples, with Currans betwixt the layer while your pye is fitted, and put in a good deal of sweet butter before you close it; when the pye is baked, take six yolks of Eggs, some white Wine or Verjuyce, & make a Caudle of this, but not too thick; cut up the lid and put it in, stir them well together whilst the Eggs and Pumpions be not perceived, so serve it up.”

– W.M. The Compleat Cook. E. Tyler and R. Holt for Nath. Brooke: London, (1655) 1671. Prospect Books: London. 1984

Pompion Pie baked by Kristi Leigh Schkade 10-2015

Pompion Pie baked by Kristi Leigh Schkade 10-2015

1660

To make a Pumpion Pye.

Take a pound & slice it, a handful of a time, a little rosemary, and sweet marjoram stripped off the stalks, chop them small, then take cinamon, nutmeg, pepper, & a few cloves all beaten together, also ten eggs, & beat them, then and beat them all together, with as much sugar as you think fit, then fry it like a froise, after it is fried let it stand till it is cold, then fill your pye after this manner. Take sliced apples sliced thin round ways, and lay a layer of the froise, and a layer of the apples, with currans betwixt the layers. While your pie is fitted, put in a good deal of sweet butter before you close it. When the pye is baked, take the yolks of eggs, some white wine or verjuyce and make a caudle of this, but not too thick, cut up the lid, put it in, and stir them well together whilst the eggs and pumpion be not perceived, and so serve it up.”

– May, Robert. The Accomplisht Cook, or the Art and Mystery of Cookery. London: Robert Hartford. 1671 (third edition). p. 224.

1670

XCIII. To make a Pompion-Pie.

Having your Paste ready in your Pan, put in your Pompion pared and cut in thin slices, then fill up your Pie with sharp Apples, and a little Pepper, and a little salt, then close it, bake it, then butter it, serve it in hot to the Table.

– Hannah Wooley. The Queen-like Closet. 1670.p. 235.

CXXXII. To make a Pumpion-Pie

Take a Pumpion, pare it, and cut it in thin slices, dip it in beaten Eggs and Herbs shred small, and fry it till it be enough, then lay it into a Pie with Butter, Raisins, Currans, Sugar and Sack, and in the bottom some sharp Apples, when it is baked, butter it and serve it in.

– Hannah Wooley. The Queen-like Closet. 1670. p. 256

The Pumpkin - Bartolomeo Bimbi - second half 17th centuryi

Zucca – The Pumpkin – Bartolomeo Bimbi – 1711

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Pumpkin Bread

Not just ANY pumpkin bread.

Mary Peddell’s never fail, super zippy, fast and easy, quick bread pumpkin bread.

Although in polite conversation she was Mrs Peddell (until in more recent years when she is Mrs Crothers) the bread has always been, to us, Mary Peddell’s. My mother made this literally hundreds of times in the late ’60’s, early ’70’s. I have made it hundreds of other times in the early ’70’s to the right nows. I have copied this recipe out of the Church Cookbook several times, just to make sure I wouldn’t/couldn’t lose it.

Easy-peasy.

Doubles easily.

Make two.

One to snack on when it comes out of the oven, the other for whatever you intended it for in the first place.

.

Mary Peddell’s Pumpkin Bread

1 ½ C sugar* (I sometimes use a little less now)

½ C salad oil

2 eggs

1 C canned pumpkin

1 2/3 C flour

1 tsp soda

½ tsp cloves

¾ tsp salt

¼ tsp baking powder

½ tsp cinnamon

½ tsp nutmeg

½ C raisins

½ C nuts

Mix together and put in a greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 ½ hours.

  1. A Book of Favorite RECIPES compiled by the Ladies Sodality of St. Joseph the Worker Church, Hanson, Mass. p. 59.

Serve with tea or coffee, old friends or new, cream cheese or Brie….you’ll have time while it’s baking and cooling to figure out your game plan.

Plain ole pumpkin. Easy and good. If you want to pick out a pumpkin, peel, seed, boil, drain (or roast) and then mash - go right ahead! Freeze it in 1 Cup batches so it's good to go when you want it.

Plain ole pumpkin. Easy and good. If you want to pick out a pumpkin, peel, seed, boil, drain (or roast) and then mash – go right ahead! Freeze it in 1 Cup batches so it’s good to go when you want it.

If you pick up the pie filling instead of regular plain pumpkin, you have jsut let Libby's do the seasoning for you. Adjust the spices accordingly.

If you pick up the pie filling instead of regular plain pumpkin, you have just let Libby’s do the seasoning for you. Adjust the spices accordingly. Pumpkin, Sugar Syrup, Water, Salt, Natural Flavors, Spices. Gluten free. Better plan – just use the plain pumpkin.

This is what we felt we looked like back when Mary Peddell's Pumpkin Bread was new to us...

This is what we felt we looked like back when Mary Peddell’s Pumpkin Bread was new to us…groovy

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Punkin Bread Puddin

Last week, after making Indian Pudding and Sops of Pompion for the Mass Bay masses….I found I had rather a lot of sops of pompion left.

There are some things that can be re-heated and be just fine…but OTHER things need to be re-imagined to turn into something else altogether to eat.

Let’s start with the sops……..

Here’s the 17th century recipe for the sops…..

To butter Gourds, Pumpions, Cucumbers or Muskmelons.

Cut them into pieces, and pare and cleanse them; then have a boiling pan of water, and when it boils put in the pumpions, &c. with some salt, being boil’d, drain them well from the water, butter them, and serve them on sippets with pepper.

– 1675. Robert May, The Accomplist Cook,

RobertMayTheAccomplishtCookFrontispieceI’ve never tried this with gourds or cucumber or even muskmelons – only pumpkins.And my pompion/pumpkin/punkins  in this case were pre-peeled butternut squash from the grocery store.
In Austraila butternut squash is called butternut pumpkin...confused yet?

In Austraila butternut squash is called butternut pumpkin…confused yet?

I cut the pumpkin into smallish cubes, and dropped it into a pot of boiling, salted water. When it was tender I drained it.

Just like macaroni.

I toasted sliced Thirded Bread from Plimoth Plantation’s  Plimoth Bread Company. For the Boston event I carried both elements separately and finished the sops when I got there to Boston:

Put ample butter in a frying pan, add the cubed, boiled squash and saute until heated, golden and just starting to get a little not quite mushy, but most definitely soft. Spread the pumpkin and butter on the toasted bread – I cut each slice into halves or thirds to make it easy to eat as an appetizer.. Sprinkle the tops with fresh ground pepper. Easy. Serve. Great with beer.Or with soup. Once you have it, you’ll figure out how it fits into your life.

And then the leftovers ( a late 19th century term) …..otherwise known as the relics or the orts……to PrestoChangeo into

PUDDIN

  1. Take your pumpkin sops and eyeball them. You should roughly equal amounts of bread and pumpkin. There were some pears that were a few minutes past peak, so they got cut up and added to the mix. With a whole grain bread you’ll need to add a little more moisture. If you have an enriched type bread, not so much to worry.You can break the pieces up or keep them very large to be broken up in the serving.
  2. The liquid is going to be about equal to the mass of the bread and fruit (technically, pumpkin is a fruit, so is squash) so plan panage accordingly.
  3. The bottom half of a granite ware roasting pan was my choice

    The bottom half of a granite ware roasting pan was my choice. Any type of baking dish you can put in the oven will do.

    Butter the pan very well. Then butter it again even better. As Julia Child has said, “Add more  butter”. The butter keeps it from sticking and the butter will help the edges brown and crisp up nicely and just improve everything.

  4. Mix equal amounts of milk/cream and/or half and half with beaten eggs . We used 6 eggs, but four would be enough for a smaller amount. I’m thinking the ratio is 1:1:1:1 – bread:fruit:eggs:milk. If you have juicy fruit (peaches, say, not the gum) keep that in mind when sloshing in liquids. It’s very forgiving. A little longer in the oven helps dry it out.

    juicy-fruit-vintage-packaging

    Commercial Break!

  5. Mix the eggs and milk together with the bread and fruit. Now is the time to think about spicing…..if you don’t know how to pumpkin spice…….pumpkin pie spice
  6. Or you could go with something different….Ginger, cinnamon and some anise seeds are good. Nutmeg on top another good choice.  Or orange peel and fennel seeds…..
  7. Drizzle honey all across the top. Be generous, like the caramel on a sea salt caramel latte generous.
  8. This whole thing can sit while the oven heats up…helps every little thing to soak up and get it’s act together, working out the melody and the harmonies so it can stand up and sing when it time to serve it.
  9. Bake in a 350° oven until heated through and has crispy edges and a knife in the middle comes out dry and not dripping.
  10. Enjoy hot, warm or cold.

Now if you had Pumpkin Bread….you could also make a different Punkin Bread Pudding again…

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