Saturday, January 24

Pumpkin eaters

OK, this is how many years I spent living in suburbia: I never realized you could eat a pumpkin. I guess I never really thought about it. Pumpkins were for carving on Halloween, and you bought them in a can for Thanksgiving pies. That's about it.

In comes my favorite gal at the farmers market this autumn. "Are those," I asked slowly, quietly, "for eating?" I pointed to the pile of organic sugar pie pumpkins and ducked my head, slightly embarrassed by my own question but curiously enough to ask.

"Yes," she grinned back, and looped one hand over a large one. "And they're delicious."

I lugged one on the bus ride home, among my other tasty finds from that day. I think it was the same day I stocked up on winter squashes, for the farmers market in these parts closes around the end of October and winter squash lasts a good couple months.

We displayed our pumpkin proudly on our kitchen table for a few weeks before I decided it was time to taste fresh pumpkin for the first time in my life. Apparently I'm not the only one who didn't realize you should eat these decorative gems, because nearly every Google search yielded recipes for canned pumpkin, not fresh. It took some searching, but I finally found a simple recipe to taste this simple veggie.

Roasted Bourbon Brown Sugar Pumpkin, minus the bourbon, is what we made that day. The smell of it baking in the oven was worth the effort itself. We saved the seeds and roasted them later, rinsing them and then adding a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and cinnamon before throwing them back in the already warm oven.

Yum! Fresh pumpkin has a simple taste, slightly earthy but more squash than anything. Which makes sense, considering pumpkin is pretty much a winter squash and a proud member of the Cucurbita genus. And yes, I had to look that one up after I ate it. :)

I hope this post demonstrates to you how woefully behind I am in blogging. Halloween in near-February? Right.


Nadine said...

How cool! I don't think I've eaten pumpkin that wasn't inside a baked good.

Anonymous said...

Sounds delicious - I've cooked acorn squash this way. Pumpkin soup is also really good.

Jez said...

mmmmmm....pumpkin is soooo good. Well, squash in general is delicious, I think. :)

bernthis said...

if it makes you feel any better, I had no idea either and I'm 43.

Momma Val said...

Cool! I am very surprised a vegan did not know that. The regular pumpkins can be eaten too but are a lot more coarse and pulpy. My Mexican friend Maira showed me how to stew them last Halloween with brown sugar and they were very good. The pie pumpkins are the best for eats :)

nadhsamuel said...

i'm not a pumpkin person- it do not taste good-

BlackenedBoy said...

It never occurred to me to do that before, but now that I've read this I really want to.

It's things like this that make me wish I knew how to cook.

Nicole said...

Good stuff, I must say. Pepper enjoyed a pureed version of our CSA pumpkin just last week.

BerryBird said...

I went through a phase when I was in the 8-12 age range where I became obsessed with making pumpkin pie from scratch. The funny thing is that I didn't like eating it very much -- I was just so shocked and amazed that the humble gourd used for Halloween decorations was actually food.

I still generally avoid pumpkin baked goods and therefore don't ever eat it. I love squash though, unless it's prepared with pumpkin pie spices -- hmmm. I bet I would like pumpkin with just salt and butter.