Friday, November 20, 2009

Thanksgiving countdown IV:
Canned pumkin shortage?

Have you heard about it? Two words I offer in response: WHO CARES? Because roasting a pumpkin is about the easiest thing to do. And it's a good way to heat up a cold kitchen.

It's important though to buy the right kind of pumpkin.

Not one of these. You want a sugar pie or baking pumpkin. The jack-o-lantern kind are full of stringy stuff and will leave with nothing but a bunch of orange water (don't ask how I know this).

Scoop out the seeds and stringy stuff.

Place cut side down in a roasting pan filled with about an inch of water. This steams the pumpkin as it bakes. Roast at 350 degrees until skin starts to brown and can be easily pierced with a sharp knife.

When pumpkin is cooled enough to handle, spoon mixture into a food mill (one of the most useful low-tech. kitchen gadgets ever—makes the perfect mashed potatoes) and apply a little elbow grease.

The mixture is fine in the refrigerator for a few days and freezes well.

And it's not just for pie. There's bread! And soup! And risotto! Stir some into your favorite pancake recipe, add a few pumpkin-friendly spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, clove), and you have pumpkin pancakes!

But on the subject of Thanksgiving desserts, I've decided on three: pumpkin pie, apple crumb pie, and a new one: bourbon pecan tart, a recipe in Bon Appetit by my personal pie mentor, Carolyn Weil. I'm excited about the tart: It sounds like a great alternative to the standard pecan pie.

On other fronts, I seem to be going down in flames. We're having ambrosia. And after giving Husband the final call, we're also having rolls. He wants them for mopping gravy, and I was swayed by the argument that Thanksgiving is a feast and not meant to be a nutritionally reasonable meal. But I am drawing the line: We are not saying grace. It's my house. My dinner. No grace. No discussion. We're just giving thanks. Period.


Purple Flowers said...

We don't say grace either. What we do is before attacking the food, we hold hands. We call it "Hands around the Table" and basically all say at the same time "it's good to see you all here." It's a riot because everyone says it differently at the same time. But it's fun. Then we dig in. I love Thanksgiving!
P.S. Have Sophie take a pic. of you holding the basket of rolls and bowl of ambrosia. Don't forget to smile. LOL Just kidding!

ANFQ said...

We had no sugar pumpkins in our farmshare this fall, so I am gonna give pie a go with butternut squash and maple syrup! Why not?

You should try Giada's butternut squash and vanilla bean risotto from I just made it for cooking club-- to DIE for. You could sub in pumpkin, I'm sure.

Trish said...

I totally want to send you a batch of my ambrosia -- it's not bad! Really! I don't think the sour cream would make it all the way across the country though.

Jennifer H said...

I'm with you on no grace...

Just looked at the pumpkin sage risotto recipe. Wow, that looks good.

Monica said...

Sorry, I'm stickin' to my can. But I will side with you on the ambrosia...nasty!!