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ON THE 11th HOUR: when the war went quiet
Pumpkin, pumpkin and more pumpkin, that’s all I see on social media lately — mainly because of the highly commercialized pumpkin spice craze.
Little gourds are also making their way into the grocery store. I’ve bought two bags of them for my dining room table. All of this means only one thing — aside from autumn settling in, Thanksgiving and Halloween are around the corner.
“I only have pies for you.” — Unknown
I was never a lover of pumpkin, except Jack O’ Lanterns.
would turn my nose up completely when offered pumpkin food items, refusing to even try the smallest bite. That is until years later a co-worker brought in a homemade pumpkin pie to the office, complete with whipped cream on top. I nearly died and went to heaven right in that very spot with the first taste. Needless to say, I kept a close eye at every little piece being handed out hoping I could sneak another little sliver to myself.
“Where do Jack O’Lanterns live? In the seedy part of town.” — Unknown
Outside of carving a bunch of Jack O’Lanterns with friends or family, when people hear pumpkin they typically think of something sweet that goes hand in hand with a pumpkin spiced latte.
Have you ever noticed the amount of desserts that are made with pumpkin? There’s everything from pumpkin pie, pumpkin scones, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin loaf, pumpkin cheesecake and pumpkin cobbler. That’s just a few examples kicking around in my head, there are a bunch more but I digress — you get the point. There’s a lot of sweet pumpkin recipes.
The thing is, there’s much more to this delicious winter squash than a sweet dessert. Have you ever put pumpkin and savory in the same sentence? Have you ever thought about the idea of making a pumpkin shepherd’s pie, or perhaps a savory pumpkin casserole? How about a creamy pumpkin chili, pumpkin pasta, or pumpkin pizza?
A really great recipe is pumpkin rolls with rosemary and sea salt — oh my goodness, so incredibly delicious. I’m drooling just thinking about that one. Note to self: Self, make that next!
If I haven’t sold you yet, I hear pumpkin is supposedly super healthy, packed with all sorts of wonderful vitamins and minerals. I’ve also read that it’s low in calories – 94 per cent water foodie friends. That I did not know! High five for fun foodie facts.
If you’re a regular reader of this column, you know I like things that are unique and different from the mainstream. Why in the world would you want to do the same ol’ same ol’ that everyone does for a dinner party or at home? Let’s give ’em pumpkin to talk about.
Next time you’re looking for a pre-dinner appetizer, a good munchie for a movie, a small dish for potluck or dinner party think a beautifully textured creamy flavourful pumpkin dip. Delicious! Dips and chips is one of my all-time favourite munchie foods, one that pairs perfectly with a glass of wine (or two).
I found a great recipe on foodnetwork.ca. It calls for pumpkin puree, brown sugar, cream cheese, pumpkin spice, salt and heavy cream. Whip it up in a mixer and pour it in a dip bowl surrounded by ginger snaps, pita chips or graham crackers.
Oh heck, go all out and put a little of everything on there.
Not only are you getting a mouth full of creamy pumpkin goodness with every dip, it takes no time at all to make. How’s that for a last-minute need for a yummy dish. I’ll never leave a fellow foodie stuck.
Don’t limit yourself. Open yourself up to other recipes you can make with pumpkin. Be bold and try something different for a change.
Pumpkin dip is definitely fit to eat.
Erin Sulley is a self-confessed foodie who lives in Mount Pearl. Email firstname.lastname@example.orgTwitter: @ErinSulley Instagram: @erinsulley.