I think I am going to be sick… and suspect a peculiar malady which I have now named pumpkinitis. I kid you not when I claim that pumpkin is coming out of my ears! and by pumpkins I don’t mean the small butternut squash or the cute round Hokkaido, which I had all of the previous weeks. But I am getting ahead of the story.
Last month I purchased four large pumpkins for Halloween. I asked a friend (who works flexible hours) to source them among the neighbouring farmers, having the large American carving pumpkins in mind, after all, that is what the intention was. He returned grinning from ear to ear proudly displaying four pumpkins varying between 4kg – 7kg each, claiming he got them for a hell of a bargain from an Arab in Potsdam. One I kept for myself, expecting my daughter to fly in just in time for All Hallows. Well, Lufthansa decided it was not meant to be and my daughter arrived the next day and somehow neither of us was in the mood anymore for carving the pumpkin. I packed all the spiders and bats away in the basement but the offended pumpkin remained pompously upstairs, much to the frustration of the cats who had no clue what it was – it was obviously too big for a ball or a toy, useless as a scratching post, and one couldn’t even sleep on it. So they scoffed at the large orange presence and I wondered what I was going to do with it.
Last week I went to a potluck dinner, and much to my chagrin I realised in the middle of work that I had forgotten to buy vegetables for dinner (the others are vegetarians). Damn, it was dark, late, and darn cold, not to mention that I was not going to have any time to go shopping anymore. Madame Pumpkindour to the rescue! My contribution that evening was pumpkin curry in coconut milk and pumpkin rice.
Trouble is, once you slice open the dratted pumpkin, you have to keep using it otherwise it goes bad.
The next day I made pumpkin casserole with minced meat and cheese. Yes, yes, soup has been ticked off the list. If I eat another spoonful of pumpkin soup in whatever manifestation, I will spit it out! Vegan, South Asian, Southeast Asian, Middle Eastern, gourmet, continental, North American, you name it I have had all the blasted pumpkin soups already. With nuts, no nuts, with balls, no balls, cheese, cream, saffron, or even with alcohol…
I don’t like pumpkin pie, so that is out of the question. I think it is completely overrated and have disliked it since my childhood. There was no way I was going to spend time making something I wasn’t going to enjoy eating anyway. Before you suggest it, no, I will not consider pumpkin latte either.
In my desperation I turned to Pinterest to find alternative recipes. So far I have been successful with pumpkin strudel (see photo), oven-baked fries, pancakes, and salad. But there is still a third of a pumpkin left, and I draw the line at pumpkin ice cream.