Posts Tagged ‘pumpkin’

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these are a few of our favorite things

October 24, 2010

Time to bake for the shelter again.  I was trying to focus on maple, but my brain kept getting distracted by the pile of pumpkins that was slowly growing on the dining room table, waiting to be put up for the winter.  Maple.  Pumpkin.  Maple.  Pumpkin.  Hmm.  Determined to ignore the gourds, I pulled out the maple syrup cookbook.  Yes, she has one.  We’ve discussed her addiction before.   Anyway.

We first spotted the Maple Syrup Cookbook by Ken Haedrich last year while we were poking around a bookstore in Vermont.  It contains many delightful recipes for everything from maple butter to maple coffee cake to crispy maple spare ribs.  Yum.  Not wanting to make yet another impulse cookbook purchase, mrslovey took a picture of it and kept browsing.  We figured we’d put it on a wish list when we got home, and decide at a later date if we really wanted it.  Fast forward a year or so, and we’re in a different bookstore, different town, in Vermont.  Suddenly from halfway across the store I hear “This is the one!”  Confused, I hurry over to mrslovey, to see her with cookbook in hand.  She’s convinced that it’s the same one she wanted a year earlier, but to be honest, I’m skeptical.  You’re going to remember this glanced at and passed by item for that long?  Eager to prove me wrong, she pulls out her phone, skims through the photos, and I’ll be damned, it’s the same book.  Since we’ve now encountered and been interested in it twice, we decided it was a safe buy. Read the rest of this entry ?

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seasonally incorrect, and I’m okay with that

April 11, 2010

These cookies were born a couple of years back, when I was trying to figure out what to do with the boatload of pumpkin I had put up.  After spending an entire day processing and freezing beautiful Long Island Cheese pumpkins, I wanted to make sure I used every last morsel.  These pumpkins are phenomenal.  I had never heard of them until they were part of our CSA distribution one week, so I asked the farmer what his recommendation was for using them.  He told us that these pumpkins were a heritage variety that were just starting to make a comeback.  Apparently they’re one of the best pumpkins out there for baking.  Yay!  We took our share, and headed home.

Several weeks later, on the day we were planning on processing these pumpkins, in fact, we dropped by our favorite local orchard.  In addition to their amazingly delicious heirloom apples, they also offer local honey, homemade fudge and baked goods, and several varieties of pumpkins (mostly for decoration).  On this particular day, I noticed a wheelbarrow filled with pumpkins, gourds, and squash sitting near the back of the barn.  Some of the pumpkins looked familiar, so I asked if they were Long Island Cheese.  Yes indeed, they were, and did we want them?  They each had one or two tiny soft spots, so they had been heading towards the compost heap.  We could have them for free if we wanted them!  There was no way I could resist that opportunity, so we went from having two pumpkins to six pumpkins in the space of about five minutes.

After all the processing was done, I wanted to make something that would be easy to take back to the orchard, to thank them for their generosity.  Something sweet, but not bread or pie.  An internet search for pumpkin cookies delivered a wide range of recipes, and I pieced together a few of them to make my own.  Something about the combination of the pumpkin and the chocolate chips just sounded very appealing.  And it was, oh yes it was.  These two different kinds of sweet seem to have been made for each other.  Not overly cloying, simply a gorgeous blend of flavors.  The cookies are very moist, kind of puffy fluffy, with a cake-like texture.  The moistness makes them sticky, so I’d suggest separating the layers with parchment paper when you store them.

These cookies have become a bit of a tradition – now every fall they save the unsold pumpkins for us, and a week or so later we bring cookies.  Both households look forward to it, and everyone involved thinks that they are getting the best end of the deal, so it seems to be a win/win situation.  I know for a fact that I enjoy it, as I get a year’s worth of delicious organic pumpkin, in exchange for cookies that I’d have been happy to share anyway. Read the rest of this entry ?

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I know it’s not fall, so what?

January 18, 2010

Mrslovey’s hometown has a Farmers Market that’s been operating in the same location for 84 years.  It’s definitely an institution, although I must admit that I have never made it there.  When we lived out there, we didn’t appreciate good local food the way we do now.  And now that we’re back in New England, opportunities to check out the market are few and far between.  Last summer Mrslovey and her mother decided to go visit the old market.  Having driven 13 hours straight the day before (and not being a member of the insane early riser club, like those two are), I opted to stay in bed.

They came back just after I woke up, proudly showing off the vast quantities of fresh produce they had acquired.  And there, in the bottom of the bag, was the most prized purchase of the morning.  The market had put together a cookbook as a fundraiser, so they each bought a copy.  People, this is no tiny mimeographed handout.  This book is substantial – over 180 pages.  The majority is, of course, delicious-looking recipes from good solid midwestern farm folk.  Also included is a history of the market, with a nice selection of pictures showing how it’s changed (and stayed the same) over the years.

Just like any community cookbook, there are sometimes multiple versions of the same recipe.  When I decided I wanted to make bread to use some pumpkin I had put up last fall, I had several to choose from.  I used two of the cookbook recipes as a basis, and added my own  variation (and glaze) to it.  It came out VERY moist, and the glaze added just the right touch.

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