Falling for Pumpkin

Yellow, red and orange the colors of fall that dangle in clusters from trees reminding us that winter is approaching. Gardens are no longer bursting with vegetables however large round orange pumpkins dot the fallow fields. Pumpkins are abundant this time of year along with a variety of winter squash. I was introduced to the deliciousness of pumpkin by my mother-in-law. During the depression in the fall food banks gave participants pumpkins. As my mother-in-law told the story they lived next to an empty lot. Most people didn’t know what to do with the pumpkins other then pie. Often times people would leave  pumpkins in the lot. She would send my husband, who was a boy at the time, to go retrieve the abandoned pumpkins. Mom knew the value of this squash! She not only made pumpkin pie, but a fabulous  pumpkin stew and delicious fried pumpkin. Pumpkin stew was a combination of vegetables with cannelli beans in a light tomato broth. Fried pumpkin, thin slices of pumpkin dipped in flour, then egg and fried in light olive oil to a golden brown. Drain the fried pumpkin on paper towels and salt lightly. Absolutely wonderful! Last but not least pumpkin cake; a moist not to sweet treat that you can enjoy with a nice expresso. Here is a great recipe from the Cooking Channel that will make you fall for pumpkin.

1 3/4 c flour

1 1/4 tsp cinnamon

3/4 tsp ginger

1/4 tsp clove

1/4 freshly grated nutmeg

1 tsp kosher salt

3/4 tsp baking powder 

2/4 tsp baking soda

2/3 c light olive oil 

1/2 c granulated sugar 

1/2 c packed brown sugar 

3 large eggs 

1 c pumpkin purée

1 c chocolate chips 

Preheat oven to 350

Lightly oil a loaf pan

Whisk together the dry ingredients (the first 8) in a medium bowl.

In a large bowl vigorously mix the wet ingredients except the pumpkin when well mixed whisk in the pumpkin until smooth. 

With a spatula mix in the dry ingredients until well combined. Fold in chocolate chips.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 1 hour. Test with a cake tester until it come out clean. Cool and remove from pan.

Recipe courtesy of Gabriele Corcos and Debi Mazer hosts of Extra Virgin

  

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