Let’s talk pumpkin, because you and I both know it doesn’t really taste all that great and yet we all swoon over pumpkin in October!
What Is Pumpkin?
Squash! Pumpkin is a vegetable, a big ole giant squash! The thick shell is not edible, though its pulp and even seeds are what we’re after.
We want to love it and yet we’ve also created a spice, called pumpkin spice, that was brilliantly created to cover the taste of pumpkin!
Don’t bother trying to grow pumpkins unless you have a huge yard or farm because they take over and by summer’s end look like Jumanji.
Have you ever tried cutting a large pumpkin open to scoop out and carve fun faces? I found it ‘not so easy’, so I also found the best tools for the job to use every October!
One year I tried to grow pumpkins in a large garden I have. The location of the garden has proven successful for numerous edible plants I like to grow.
Each pumpkin, alone, needs about a 3 to 5-foot distance from another pumpkin. They need to be planted on a fertile mound of dirt about 3-feet wide so the pumpkin vines will have room to spread, and spread it will!
It will take about 3 to 4 months to obtain a pumpkin that you can pick and cook. Pumpkin blossoms will be ready sooner but remember, each blossom you pick, was going to be a pumpkin!
Support your local farmer’s markets and let them do the pumpkin growing!
Cooking With Pumpkin Blossoms
The pumpkins gave me magnificent Pumpkin Blossoms, of which I picked a few and created a fabulous recipe for.
Stuffed Pumpkin Blossoms are a popular dish throughout Mediterranean regions. Most often they are fried, which I think is a rather ignorant approach to this delicate flower.
Therefore I created a recipe that respects the integrity of a delicate flower blossom and enhances the most of its flavor.
Let’s Talk Pumpkin Spice – Not!
Let’s face it, pumpkin spice has nothing to do with pumpkins, other than to mask their vegetable flavor and magically turn them into something else.
In the Autumn there are a few flavors and scents we look forward to enjoying. We call it pumpkin spice but it really is just a culmination of warm spices blended together.
Pumpkin Spice Blend is so easy to make yourself, for a fraction of the cost you will pay in Autumn to buy it mixed.
Some of my favorite recipes for sweet pumpkin dishes are as follows, though I create new ones practically every year:
- Keto Pumpkin Bread – a fabulous and easy recipe for those who would prefer almond flour to a gluten flour treat
- Maple Pumpkin Bread – my ‘now’ famous bread that I brought to PBS on The Great American Recipe program
- Pumpkin Ganache Spiced Cake with Cardamom Cream – this recipe is divine but suggested for those cooks who don’t mind the extra work for a showstopper, signature dish
- Pumpkin Spice Pie Crust – a luscious pie crust with all the warm spices that go into pumpkin spice and is perfect for anything from a Creme Brûlée filling to an Apple Pie or, or course, a pumpkin pie
- Pumpkin Seed Cake – let’s not forget those precious and very nutty flavored pumpkin seeds, crushed into a flour and sweetened with dates, making for a lovely Autumn cake
- The Best Pumpkin Pie – check out this recipe for yourself and tell me it isn’t the best pumpkin pie recipe you’ve ever seen
Let’s Talk Savory Pumpkin
Let’s go back to what I said earlier; pumpkin is a squash… a vegetable and not a sweet fruit!
Therefore… do I have some fabulous savory pumpkin recipes for you! In fact, while I was living in Brazil, most Brazilians had only, ever made pumpkin as a savory dish. That is, until I introduced American’s favorite October Pumpkin Pie!
And so, I want to share with you several of my favorite savory pumpkin dishes.
- Pumpkin Pita Bread – to die for delicious and so easy to make
- Pumpkin Hummus – a hummus dish that is also fabulous with chili oil drizzled on top
- Stuffed Pumpkin Blossoms – using only the blossom of the pumpkin before it becomes a pumpkin, stuffed with a cheese omelette
- Fesenjan Chicken Stew – a rich Iranian chicken and walnut stew traditionally made with pumpkin
Let’s Talk About Halloween Pumpkin
Even us adults must admit how much we enjoy the fun of Halloween! A visit to a pumpkin patch to pick the pumpkin we will carve.
Kids love Halloween and so do us adults. In fact, I’d say the adults really know how to have a blast for Halloween!
My favorite Halloween dinner party, Boo’s and Booze for adults, is right here for you to be inspired by! Enjoy a little of my witchery.
Enjoy a little of my witchery and by all means try some of my favorite recipes with Pumpkin!