As you can see, we’ve brought the pumpkins in from the cold, and are keeping them cosy by the fire. We don’t want a re-run of last year’s Pumpkin Slowly Rotting From The Inside (what’s that funny smell near the piano) Disaster, so we have our work cut out for us.
We tried to ‘cure’ them outside as recommended by Jackie French, but the method requires several sunny days… and all we had once we got them off the vine was RAIN! Here they are in various states of ‘trying to be cured’ for storage:
So far, the good things have been: pumpkin roasted with whole garlic cloves, pumpkin soup with African spice swirl, pumpkin… um yes, I believe that’s it. I’m thinking of just roasting a whole heap, mashing it and freezing it for adding to soup/stew as a thickener of sorts, but apart from that I’m out of ideas. The great Stephanie Alexander in The Cook’s Companion is not particularly forthcoming either, with only 3 pages devoted to the large yellow things, but some good ones to try, perhaps: Pumpkin and Amaretto Tart (savoury!), Pumpkin pie, and pumpkin and ricotta filling for ravioli.
Wish us luck: we have 2 children who don’t like pumpkin.
We’ve been here six months now. That dawned on me as I was brushing a Boychild’s teeth last night. It was slightly disconcerting, as I feel that we’ve really slowed down on the work that needs and wants to be done around here.
Canvassing opinion from some friends though assured me that we have made more great changes, and if we feel like we’ve slowed, and that the weeds are slowly creeping back, we can blame it on things like Christmas! and School Holidays! Spending Time with the Children! and Getting Ready for School to Start!! So it’s all good, really.
I can’t help feeling a little nostalgic for the early days of discovery – I know I have 6 more months, and then I will have been here, breathed this air, for the turn of a year. I will have seen the moods of a year pass in this place. Watched the sun stream from East to West each day for 365 of them. Or 366 this year. 6 more months, and then we can do some of the bigger things we’re planning; the infrastructure that needs to be taken down/shifted/put up. The plantings we’re dreaming of. Decide whether that home office we now have a permit for actually needs to be built or not…
What I do know is true is this: I fall in love with this place anew every day. It only takes a step outside to remind me how lucky and grateful I am to be able to call a place like this home. It is pretty shabby, and run-down, and the garden feels like a constant avalanche of weeds, produce and work, and I doubt that the edges will ever be neat, but there is something indefinably lovely about the whole thing. The ‘feel’ of it, which has gotten under my skin. I’m glad, and hope it never leaves.