The summer toys were still strewn all over the yard and the leaves were just starting to think about their annual transition from green to shades of red, orange and yellow, and yet I was already dreaming of pumpkins.
Every year it is my mission to try and squeeze pumpkin into as many meals as possible. This is a skill I am very gifted in. I roll out of bed and make myself a homemade pumpkin spice latte. For breakfast I eat pumpkin muffins. For lunch it’s pumpkin soup. Dinner is some sort of pasta dish with pumpkin, sage, parmesan and bacon. Dessert is pumpkin rice pudding.
As a newlywed, I was determined to make a pumpkin pie completely from scratch for my contribution to our first Thanksgiving. I had heard rumors that it was possible to make a pie from the actual pumpkin rather than using what is found in the can. So, I got myself a pumpkin, clumsily hacked off the top and began to remove the innards. That’s where my project came to a halt. “What part do I roast?” I asked myself. I’m ashamed to admit it, but up to this point in my kitchen career pumpkin had always come from a can. I was in foreign territory. With the help of the internet, my questions were answered and I continued on my mission. The results were well worth the effort. I was rewarded with a pie rich in fresh pumpkin flavor and the thrill of telling people that this pie was made completely from scratch.
Since that embarrassing kitchen fiasco, I have roasted many a pumpkin. I have also turned back to the trusted canned pumpkin on several occasions and there is nothing wrong with that.
From the 1st of October to the last bite of my second helping of pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving, I get my fill of pumpkin. This is enough to last us the rest of the year, which gives me plenty of time to figure out all the recipes that I can squeeze pumpkin in to for the next season.
by Ashley Rodriquez
Chef, food blogger, and full-time mom. Read more of her writings at www.notwithoutsalt.com