Is there a fall season without pumpkins? What is it about pumpkins? What creates this general enthusiasm over them?
Frankly, I wasn't crazy for almost anything pumpkin until I become a mother and because of my son I started paying regular visits to the local pumpkin patches, looking for the perfect pumpkins. Since then, I have been carving them, decorating with them, and sometimes even cooking them... Year, after year, the pumpkin's magical power has overtook me entirely and suddenly, the pumpkin was not only Cinderella's pumpkin that turned into a coach. Even childhood memories of pumpkins started to emerge...
"I love pumpkins and I have never bought one," would say my granny, "I had just harvested my own on my ranch... "
And I remember now - every single pumpkin strudel (тиквеник, tikvenik in Bulgarian language) and the roasted stuffed pumpkin with a savory meat mixture... I am almost tasting the caramelized top of the roasted pumpkin on Christmas Day in my grandparents' house. I think back to the time when toasted pumpkin seeds were a common snack during cold winter days...
"I particularly love the boiled pumpkin with dry fruits that my grandma used to make," would share my mom. "The plums would give the sweet pumpkin a pleasant sour taste. It was such a humble meal ... as our life back then...," she would conclude with a hint of nostalgia.
So, what is it about pumpkins?, I would ask again.
The simple answer :
Tradition (that's getting better),
and all the Comfort and Memories that go with them!
I have to thank my son for making me prepare this sweet roasted pumpkin. Read the story here.
Roasted Pumpkin with Organic Coconut Sugar
( one simple family recipe)
1/2 cup organic coconut sugar or brown sugar
1 stick of cinnamon
1-2 drops of organic pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 400'F / 200'C.
Cut the pumpkin in half and remove the seeds and stem. Cut each half into wedges and use a knife or spoon to cut off the pumpkin fibres. Place pieces cut-side down in a pot. Cover with water. You can set a plate on top of them to keep the pumpkin in the water. Put a stick of cinnamon and vanilla drops in the water. Boil for 15-20 minutes.
Drain the pumpkin wedges from the water and line them up in a baking dish. Sprinkle coconut sugar or brown sugar on top of each slice. Cover the bottom of the dish with the scented water and bake in the oven for approximately 40 minutes. Keep the bottom of the dish in water and frequently add sugar on the top of the slices. When the edges of the pumpkin turn brown and pumpkin is fork tender, put considerable amount of sugar on top of each piece, place the dish on the top rack and switch the oven to broil. Bake for 5-7 more minutes until sugar caramelizes.
Remove from oven and allow to cool. Garnish with whipped cream and serve.
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