Saturday, December 05, 2009

Oh How I Love Pumpkins

Yes, Halloween and Thanksgiving are over, but the pumpkin is still here!  As I eye the sweet little row of sugar pumpkins on the windowsill in the kitchen, I rejoice!  3-4 months of amazing pumpkin treats are still in our future.

I'm turning 29 next month, and winter squash are brand new to me this year!  I had no idea they're so versatile and so goooood.  Clay and I originally stocked up on sugar pumpkins, acorn squash and delicata (peanut) squash before our CSA at Garden Treasures ended.  Our hope was that by stockpiling squash, we'd reduce the amount of imported vegetables we'd consume this winter...and we'd get to enjoy fresh veggies in the winter months!  (Because winter squash keep for several months as long as they're kept cool, dry, and intact.)  We were foraying into uncharted territory, having never really eaten a winter squash before, apart from a few spaghetti squash here and there and one attempt at butternut squash soup last year.  We have been amazingly surprised by how much we love squash, no matter which way we prepare it or which variety we try.

Yesterday morning was my first attempt at bringing squash to the breakfast table.  I was in the mood for pancakes, and our abundance of squash led me to mmm...pumpkin pancakes.  So I worked up this little recipe, using 3/4 c. steamed pumpkin with the water squeezed out.  Served it with maple syrup, cinnamon whipped cream, and enjoyed the last few days of fall!  (Note: when making this recipe again, I'll ditch the chocolate...really good, but overpowers the pumpkin.)

Also, if you're in the mood for a challenge this Christmas, find yourself a sugar (pie) pumpkin, and whip up a pumpkin pie from scratch.  Here's the recipe I used to make this beauty for Thanksgiving.

Inviting more winter squash into my life has been a great addition to the fall menu...a cheap and easy way to keep fresh veggies on the table when it's cold outside, and a fun challenge for nightly creativity.  Fear not!  You are not doomed to months of canned tomatoes and green beans: put some squash on the table tonight.

Happy December!