During the month of October, I will be participating in the Write 31 Days hosted by Crystal Stine. My category is Food, Health & Wellness and my theme is "Into The Kitchen".
In the Springtime, a young man's fancy turns to love. In the Summer, our thoughts are filled with sunny days, vacations, and barbecues. When the weather turns cold, hot chocolate and visions of sugar plums and brightly-wrapped gifts abound. What about Autumn, that season of red, gold and green? Where do our thoughts take us? Why pumpkins of course.
Random Facts and Trivia
- Pumpkins originated in Central America.
- They are a member of the squash family.
- Pumpkins are a fruit, not a vegetable as many of us thought.
- They are grown everywhere in the world except Antarctica.
- At one time pumpkins were used as a remedy for snake bites.
- Once pumpkins were thought to be a cure for freckles. (Who knew freckles were an illness?)
- Native Americans fed pumpkins to their horses.
- Only tan colored pumpkins are used for pumpkin puree.
Back in the day, there was pumpkin pie and maybe pumpkin bread. Later emerged the ultimate pumpkin treat (in my mind anyway), pumpkin roll—that yummy rolled pumpkin confection filled with cream cheese icing and chopped nuts...preferably pecans, please.
I loved pumpkin roll so much that one year my Mom asked a neighbor lady to make one for me for my birthday. So good!
Fast forward 30 years or so and it seems there is pumpkin everything. As of October 2017, here is a partial list of all things pumpkin spice flavored.
Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, glazed and cake
M & M's
Ice cream, multiple brandsPumpkin Ale
Starbucks Lattes and Frappuccino
Yogurt, multiple brands
Baily's Pumpkin Spice
Pumpkin Spice Wine from the California Fruit Wine Co.
Peeps Pumpkin Spice Latte
Chipotle Pumpkin Salsa
Toll House Pumpkin Spice Morsels and Cookies
Sugarland Shine Pumpkin Spice Moonshine
Krusteaz Pancake Mix
Pumpkin, it's not just for dessert anymore.
While the first thing we think about are the sweet treats, there is a savory side to side to pumpkin as well. Let's start with simply roasting. Take your pumpkin and, with your chef's knife, slice it in half and use a spoon to scrape out the seeds. Lay the halves on a baking pan, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Turn the halves cut side down and roast at 400 degrees for 35-45 minutes, or until the flesh is very soft. You may eat your pumpkin exactly as is, or use in a number of savory recipes. (Leave off the pepper if what you are making is going to be sweet.)
In lieu of the cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves usually associated with pumpkin, you may choose cayenne, thyme, rosemary, turmeric, cumin or basil for your savory pumpkin dishes. Personally, I might add sage to that list, as well. The only way I have eaten pumpkin is as a dessert, and as pumpkin roll when I can get it.
What is your favorite way to eat pumpkin? Have you ever tried a savory pumpkin dish?
Bye the way, I intentionally didn't mention Jack-O-Lanterns. That's a whole 'nother post.
If you enjoyed this post, please leave a comment. I would love to hear your thoughts.