Squashing Pumpkins

This week has, thus far, been a bit of a washout as far as cooking proper goes. I’ve had half a jacket potato for lunch two days in a row, and I have failed to summon up any inspiration for lunch tomorrow.

But fear not, faithful blogfans, because I haven’t told you about last week’s efforts (and – you never know – my cooking mojo may come back tomorrow evening). It was a good one, if I say so myself.

I had two gem squashes slowly ageing on my worktop, I was looking at recipes (allbeit for the wrong type of squash, but what’s sauce for the Cha Cha – if I’ve remembered the name correctly – is sauce for the Gem, surely) and as a result I became obsessed with the possibility of “pumpkin” pie adapted to squashes.

So I followed the trusty Abel & Cole recipe (even though it was designed for another squash altogether), and ended up with not only a pie, but four little tartlets as well. This was because there was far too much filling for my flan base; a little annoying because I’d already baked it blind before discovering this, so I had to do another blind-baking session. It was probably a good thing, all in all, though. I’m blaming it either on a) using two squashes rather than one, or b) the recipe needing a deeper dish (but not saying). Either way, a deeper pie would have been overwhelming, and a lower concentration of squash would have meant the mixture was even more spicy than it already was. I’ve never eaten pumpkin pie before, so I have no frame of reference. I took the big pie into work and it all went (even when I put the last quarter in the kitchen with no explanation regarding its contents), so I’m counting that as a plus.

photo 5 oct 2011

But I didn’t just eat pumpkin pie for lunch every day last week. Autumn has happened, all at once, so I felt the need for macaroni cheese. Which was perfect. I had brussels sprouts with it, which – using another trusty Abel & Cole recipe – was most pleasant. The trick appears to be, quarter them, boil for only 3-4 minutes then toss them in melted butter and whatever flavours you fancy (last week, lemon juice). They bear no resemblance to the sprouts of one’s youth (which I quite liked, to tell the truth, but these are better).

photo 6 oct 2011

Book I’m reading at the moment: Just finished the new Terry Pratchett, Snuff, so I’m ready to read it again.


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