Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Adventures in Pumpkinland

Last September, my sweet heart and I traveled to San Jose. On the drive home we explored garlic stands, artichokes and finally pumpkins. We indulged in 3 great looking squash(es?). After returning home, we admired out haul. We took pictures. I will post one at the end of this.
I love to make home made pumpkin puree for soups, breads and pies. Pumpkin can be in many different food creations. But I am pretty picky about texture and taste. Not just any old pumpkin will do.
My normal blend of squash uses Kabocha, a Japanese type pumpkin blended with a more traditional pie pumpkin. I like the sweetness and smooth texture of Kabocha, but it is a bit dry. Pie pumpkin is a bit grainy and wet. Together they make the best of both worlds.
The first pumpkin was very sweet, kind of beige looking and not too big, with a texture close to regular pumpkin. The second that I cooked was gray green and large. It was a bit like the blend I like to make- Kabocha and pumpkin together.  The third one got to sit on the table until after Halloween because it was just so darned orange and squashy.
After cooking two Kabocha and two big pumpkins, I needed some time off from scooping. The freezer was full and the pumpkin looked so pretty. That should have been a big orange flag. It looked to pretty to be true. It was called a Cinderella Pumpkin, or Fairytale pumpkin. These also come in white, but I got the reddish orange one. Trouble.
About two weeks after Halloween, I notices a gray spot on the pumpkin. Yikes! It was starting to rot. So I scheduled time to cook it quickly. I should not have bothered. After cooking the thing, it released a massive amount of water/juice. It just disintegrated in the pan. But I went ahead and scooped it out to see what it would do. It kept disintegrating into water and mush. So I tasted some. Yech. Bitter and bland, very orange and watery, kind of slippery but not quite slimy.  This was the worst pumpkin I have ever seen cooked or tasted. As it sat in the bowl it continued to release water.
I hate to go to the trouble of baking it and cleaning it, just to toss it out, but this bowl of yech is going to the compost, asap.
And then, I get to clean up the dishes. Oye! what a wasted morning.
Fortunately for my friends and fellow foodies, I have lots of good pumpkin pulp in the freezer waiting for me to make pies and such.

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