Monday, 12 September 2011

Pumpkin cooked and eaten

The after work gardener, Monday 12 September

Pumpkin Risotto
Pumpkin bake-off
For those following my blog and the journey from pumpkin seed to beautiful fruit - it's a relief to report that I've finally eaten all my pumpkin.  Phew. 

Only one fruit and it has kept me in food for an entire week.  There was me being disappointed that the plant hadn't produced more...but I've no idea how I would have managed unless I was feeding a family of four. Plus there was the final four rhubarb stalks which I cunningly transformed into a delicious crumble, that also lasted me a week.  Sorry runner beans and French beans, I'm back to you, boiled and drizzled with butter for the week ahead.

My first worry with the pumpkin was that its scaly outer shell was an indication of it being rotten inside, but thankfully no - fleshy, orange, sweet and perfect.  I'm not the greatest of cooks (although I am realising more and more that vegetable growing and cooking actually go hand in hand), but I did manage a great pumpkin soup, roasted pumpkin, and a vat of pumpkin risotto. It was delicious.  Thank goodness I've kept my old margarine containers, as I clearly hadn't enough Tupperware to go around.

Note to self that roasted pumpkin is extremely easy - slice, drizzle with oil, season and roast for 40 mins, done.  However, I did have a mishap with the pepper mill and ended up tipping the entire unmilled contents into the roasting tin by mistake.  It added a great amount of flavour, but was a little bit overkill on taste, and rather difficult to digest!  I also never knew that roasted pepper could be such a great added topper to salads, mixed with couscous and even on a cracker.

Anyway, pumpkin is now all gone, as is the rhubarb crumble.  So now I am focusing all my thoughts on willing the tomatoes to turn red (all ideas welcome).  I have now had my first three - which were delicious - but I'm keen that the other hundred or so, languishing in bunches on my army of plants, ripen up before the first frost.

With my burgeoning cooking skills I want to try my hand at oven-dried tomatoes in olive oil.


  1. Hi Dan,

    Glad to hear that your pumpkin turned out well despite the water stress. Regards your tomatoes turning red, this is the time of year where all tomato growers are willing a last burst of sun to ripen them. Monty on GW last week advocated removing all foilage from tomatoes to help which I've tried this year (felt a little mean doing it). The plant variety also seems to have an effect - my Gardeners Delights are small but ripening well, but the Moneymakers although good sized are remaining resolutely green at the moment. Final option should blight or frost threaten is to pull them up with roots intact and hang the stalks upside down indoors in a sunny window. A further option is to put green tomatoes in a paper bag with a ripe banana - the ethylene given off by the banana helps to ripen the tomatoes. If all else fails there's always green tomato chutney !
    Cheers, Bob.

  2. oops forgot to mention - if you try the banana method leave the bag at room temperature rather than in the fridge.

  3. Bob - thanks for the great suggestions. I'd heard about the banana in a bag but not the other two methods. I might feel a bit mean stripping all their foliage, but am getting desperate, so I'll give it another week and then I'll be ready to get mean! Dan