October 23, 2012

What is It About Pumpkins?

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 small pie pumpkin
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. 


THANK YOU for visiting my blog. It's always a pleasure reading your kind words. 


  1. I love the answer. Traditions are so comforting.

    Beautiful post and photos...as always.

  2. Thanks so much for the recipe! I've never cooked pumpkin, although I do love acorn squash. This looks simply delicious. How nice it is that you have so many sweet memories of your grandmother! Some of the best recipes are the ones passed down!


  3. I have never cooked
    pumpkin, just squash,
    so I'm intrigued. I have
    baked with canned
    pumpkin, with good
    results. Thanks for
    pushing me out of
    my comfort zone : )
    Loved hearing about
    your family's history
    and traditions!

    xo Suzanne

  4. Beautiful post! I've never baked a pumpkin like that although I do squash that way. Your presentation on the silver plates is so beautiful and I liked hearing of your family traditions.

  5. What an awesome post, recipe, memory sharing and incredible pics.

    Love this post, have never heard of roasting pumpkin, going to try this!

    Thank you for sharing!

  6. My dear friend! I too never had a taste for pumpkin, even as a kid. Pumpkin pie was peculiar to me, but until I started to cook with it for my husband did I SEE THE LIGHT or taste the difference! Your photos are again, REMARKABLE and clear, and you lift pumpkin to a new height. I LOVE ROASTING squash, especially acorn squash, so why not with mini pumpkins?

    THANK YOU for the inspiration my dear friend! Anita

  7. Thanks for posting the recipe! I love roasted pumpkin seeds...one of my very favorite snacks!


  8. I must say that this is a delicious post.
    Thanks for the recipe!

    Have a beautiful day!

  9. Your roasted pumpkins look delicious Sylvia!

    Madelief x

  10. Hello Sylvia,
    I LOVE pumpkin any which way and form. Pumpkin Strudel; yum! The Roasted Pumpkin looks delicious! I have cooked squash this way but not pumpkin. Will have to give it a try. I so enjoyed your memories of family and pumpkin! Thank you for a lovely post and linking it to my HOME party. Have a beautiful rest of the week, my friend.


  11. That sounds really delicious! I enjoyed seeing them too.

  12. Hi Sylvia,
    What a beautiful post! Love, love your roasted pumpkin photo's ...looks delicious! Have a wonderful week.

  13. Wow, these look amazing! I will have to try the recipe sometime. I am visiting from Sandi's HOME linky party :)


  14. YUM! I just left you a long comment on your previous post... I just found your blog at Debra's Uncommon Ground. I LOVE your style!

  15. Hi Sylvia! I love that quote from A.M. Smith. And the pumpkin looks yummy! I like all the baked dishes. Pie. Pumpkin bread. Pie. We have a bakery with cakelike cookies with frosting. It's just around the corner. It's so character building...

  16. I don't think I have ever eaten roasted pumpkin, but this looks wonderful! Love your description of what it is about pumpkins... I think those are the reasons I love pumpkins too. Have a great weekend.

  17. I will try this recipe, beautiful sister...
    Tikva is a childhood memory for me as well. Grandmother fed a TON of it to me...whatever nutritious food she could get her hands on. I did not eat pumpkin for many years after.. :)
    But, now I love it again...pumpkin pie...pumpkin hot chocolate...and I must try your splendid recipe...
    Your photos leave me speechless.... :))
    Love to you, dear friend...
    - Irina

  18. I love pumpkin pie, but outside of that...not so much. However, this recipe looks like a winner. I cannot wait to do this with the family. Oh my goodness it sounds devine. Your pictures are wonderful. I would love for you to share this fabulous post at our What's it Wednesday linky party. Hope you can join us!

    Paula, your newest follower

  19. Hello Thank you so much for the pumpkin recipe. It is a wonderful reminder of my Mum's pumpkin baking. I am Hungarian and this was a winter dessert staple. Thanks again. Kate

  20. Thanks for sharing this recipe. It looks delicious. Stop by my blog Recipe for Life and check out some of my family favorite recipes at: deborah-bateman.blogspot.com I found your site through WOW. Blessings, Deborah H. Bateman-Author

  21. Gorgeous and delicious!

  22. Just visited your blog for the first time
    great photography
    will be back
    in the meantime, greetings from Brussels

  23. You make me want to roast up our jack-o-lantern right now! Beautiful photos ;)

  24. Precious Sylvia!

    Thank you for coming to visit my post yesterday. Fear is the enemy that we need to chase out constantly, isn't it? But I am finding that each STEP WE TAKE towards doing what we dream of or what we must do helps to cast out fear....but the main ingredient to me, is recognizing that LOVE along the way is our purpose. I will never know if what I have chosen to pursue in life is truly my calling, but if I go out in love and make an effort to do all that I can, then maybe that is what living is all about....

    Enjoy your weekend! Can you believe it is already November? Anita

  25. Dearest Sylvia,

    How wonderful to see that you came by again! I think that two of my favorite photos on that post are the man with the cap, tasting the fruit of his labor, and the man with his DOG.. Isn't life good? When we see the details, so much becomes so vivid to us and dredges up so many good memories. How wonderful that that photo of the wine maker reminds you of your grandfather!!

    It is now time for dinner here. I am going to make something with mushrooms tonight. Enjoy whatever feast you have before you my dear friend! Love, Anita

  26. Dear sister...I am so glad to see our precious Anita here too...
    How are you, dearest Sylvia?
    Thank you SO much for coming by, I have been thinking of you all week. So you had horrible winds?? Has the sun come out yet? I pray that there wasn't much damage in Toronto.
    What a surreal and unimaginable storm...
    I am just crawling out of my little emotional corner here, trying to get back to my beautiful blog friends.
    Love to you, dear friend...take care.
    I think it's time to roast that pumpkin...it is sitting patiently on my dining room table! :)
    Big hugs.

  27. Good morning BEAUTIFUL SYLVIA!

    How are you precious one? Thank you for coming to visit last night. You, as a fine photographer, must be in tuned with the senses, constantly! To photograph food, you get the smell and the taste, I AM SURE, as you try every angle to capture the beauty. The colors and the textures....oh my, you really use your senses in your art!

    Now the holidays are coming and we will prepare for another feast of captivating wonder. I wish you the HAPPIEST time ever my friend! Anita

  28. I would love it if you would join me in linking up at my weekly Clever Chicks Blog Hop: http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/12/clever-chicks-blog-hop-10-rural.html

    I hope you can make it!
    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick


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