As promised in my last post, dinner did involve plenty of experimentation with autumn decor:
As part of my organization efforts over the weekend, I packed up a box full of pumpkins and gourds that came from Brigitte’s family’s farm sometime in September or October. The gourds had served us well in their provision of seasonally appropriate color for months, but I decided it was time for an update! Brig was planning to toss everything, but she knew I might take offense at that and instead handed it all over for the sake of my kitchen adventures. I got started on the process last night with the four cuties pictured above.
I chopped them all in half (except for the one with all the tumors that would not yield to the knife) and scooped out (and reserved) the seeds:
They went face-down into a casserole dish with 1 cm water and roasted for 45 minutes at 375:
I knew the pumpkins would be fine (my oven and I got VERY friendly with a 25-pound fresh pumpkin back in October), but I was mostly curious to see what would become of the gourds. I licked my finger after getting the seeds ready to toast and found the answer:
Yes, the gourds went right into the trash. Along with the gourd seeds, which unfortunately contaminated all of the other seeds with their relentless bitterness. I was seriously running around the kitchen trying to get the taste out of my mouth. Note to self: no more gourds.
The pumpkins, however, met a different fate. I mixed them (skin and all) in a pot with two small chopped apples and 1/4 cup water and then simmered until it was all tender enough for an immersion blender:
After blending, I taste-tested several times and added 3 chopped dates, 2 chopped prunes, the last 1.5 cups of my healthy cream cheese icing, and loads of spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cardamom). The result was a mildly sweet, comfort-food puree that could go either the entree route or the dessert route. I began with the entree because I like to do things in order.
I had about 1 cup of the puree with a morningstar Asian veggie patty and half an orange:
These flavors blended deliciously. I even dipped some of the veggie patty into the puree for fun … and it was definitely fun!
I still felt hungry after, so I decided to go the dessert route as well (did you ever doubt I would?). I had 1/2 cup of the puree (chilled) topped with Italian cookie crumbs:
It did not let me down!
I slept well last night, relaxed in the knowledge that I had given the gourds a fair shot and that I will never need to wrestle with one again … unless you have experience with gourds and a different take on the matter? Let me know!
Be back later with brekkie and a workout 😀