Sunday, November 20, 2011

This weekend has ended up being devoted to pumpkins! Friday evening, after work, I went through my torn out magazine pages of recipes to pull out any that mentioned pumpkin or squash. I threw away the ones I knew neither of us would eat. Then, I made a tab, "pumpkin/squash" for a new section in my looselesf notebook of recipes. Noted the ones I wanted to try this weekend and went to bed.

Saturday started with an early (7:30am) trip to the grocery store. I pretty much had the place to myself. Certainly makes it easy to focus on the task at hand. Celery was $.88 for a bunch. I bought two to dehydrate for winter soups and stews. My celery tends to go limp in the crisper drawer so this helps me to have dried celery to use. Back home I made Fluffy Pumpkin Pancakes, yummy. Next I started cutting up the large Candy Roaster pumpkins. I scrubbed the outside, cut them in half, and scooped the seeds out. Into the oven at 425 to roast for an hour. The flesh comes right out and is easily mashed with a hand potato masher. I put 2 cups of this puree in a ziplock freezer bag and into the freezer it went. For lunch it was Pumpkin-Sage Cream Sauce on pasta. (recipe below) Cut up some of the pumpkin to dry until it was brittle to make pumpkin flour. I am very excited to use this flour in homemade pasta. Last, but definitely not least, I baked Pumpkin Spice Cake with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting. Then we went Contra Dancing!

This morning I ran the brittle dried pumpkin through the hand cranked grain mill. It worked great. I have a nice, fine flour to use to make pasta. Cut up another dehyrator full of celery and pumpkin. It should be ready to take out just before I go to bed. Also have some pumpkin seeds that I put in brine yesterday. They will need to be roasted.

Pumpkin-Sage Cream Sauce

1 cup heavy cream (you know its going to be good!)

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1/4 cup fresh-grated Parmesan

16 leaves fresh sage, sliced into thin strips (about 1 tablespoon)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground pepper

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Make the sauce: Combine the cream, pumpkin puree, Parmesan, sage, salt, and pepper in a medium saucepan over medium hear. Simmer the mixture until slightly thickened - 10 -12 minutes. Remove from hear and stir in butter. Toss with cooked pasta and serve immediately.

Also found (but have not tried) this use for leftover pie filling. Make a pumpkin milk shake! Mix 1/2 cup pumpkin puree with 1 cup vanilla ice cream, 1/2 cup milk and a pinch of cinnamon (or pumpkin pie spice). Sounds good.

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