Thursday, October 29, 2009

Australian Heritage Pumpkins

So I wanted to utilize my greenhouse for as many months as possible. . .

You know, to make me feel less guilty about the amount of money we spent on it.

I decided to try pumpkins.

I could, of course, have chosen a regular pumpkin, but what fun would that be? I choose to grow an Australian heritage pumpkin instead.

It was an awfully pretty pumpkin with it's unusual bluish grey skin and I'm always up for a growing challenge!
I ran into some problems.

There wasn't a whole lot of pollination going on and I couldn't figure out if the bees were having a problem finding the flowers in the greenhouse or if there was some other reason I had only one tiny pumpkin on the whole vine. (considering how few mini pumpkins I got off of the rampant vines in the front garden I'm thinking other factors were in play.)

Fall came and the vine died back. Truth be told, the vines came close to death several times through the summer as I found it very difficult to keep it watered even with the enormous pot I used.
I brought my lone pumpkin inside and used him as decoration for fall.
He began to get soft rather quickly and as I wanted to save the seed for next year, I decided to cut him open.

Easier said than done!!

I nearly killed myself trying to cut this guy open! I have never cut into anything that hard.

Now, I had only intended to harvest the seeds as I am not at all fond of pumpkin pie, or any pumpkin dish.

This guy was tricky though.

As he split in two, the most refreshing aroma of cucumber wafted through the kitchen.
I had second thoughts about putting most of him in the compost bin.

Henry said if I made any thing pumpkinny I would have to eat it myself.

Hmmm. . .

I decided to work on saving the seeds while I thought things over.

The plan is to give seeds from this pumpkin to a few friends in my neighbourhood next spring.
Plants planted from saved seed begin to adapt to local growing conditions over time and I hope that by spreading it around the neighbourhood a bit we will see even more of that.

We shall see. . .

Staring at this beautiful pumpkin I had a brilliant idea!

Who else to give it to but my good friend Ev, who spent time living in Australia with her husband and oldest daughter?!

Look what this pumpkin came back to me as!
Pumpkin risotto!

Complete with chopped nuts on top. Ev seems to have a thing for topping things with nuts.

Shudder. Sorry Ev, but there is nothing worse than enjoying a soft creamy food only to be ambushed by crunchy nuts!

I hate to say it. . . but I scraped the nuts off.

I did however, add Parmesan cheese and noticed how lovely the chunks of pumpkin looked nestled next to the creamy rice.

But the question is. . .

Did it taste good??
Did it ever!
We'll have to grow more again next year Ev!


Anonymous said...

Wow Rose, talk about streching your food boundaries... I think I would have even tried it too!! I wish I had your drive to grow things, but, I don't. Maybe if you give me a pumpkin seed, I too would be inspired to grow one(really)Missing you, Lisa

Nancy-Mom said...

Like Lisa said,you do stretch those boundaries but it did look good, and I would have loved the nuts, yum.
Love the look of the pumpkin, would have looked nice beside a traditional one. You cut it up to soon :o)

Evelyn in Canada said...

Yay! After the nut comment, I was pretty sure you were going to say you didn't like the risotto. I'm glad you like it. I'll have to post the recipe for it on my site because there's another one I wanted to put there too. Check soon!

And I'd love a couple of seeds for next year!

Tamara Jansen said...

What a cooliO pumpkin! Love that color.....and I would have eaten every nut on the risotto if it was ME :)

Yvon said...

It was delicious.

Thanks Rosa

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