"I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, then be crowded on a velvet cushion."-Henry David Thoreau
Somewhere around 1670, someone made a delicious pumpkin pie and, well, the rest has been pie history. Every year between October and Christmas we enjoy our pumpkin pies (and the occasional pumpkin spiced latte), but like many of you, I always seem to forget just how versatile this giant orange squash is. Creamy pumpkin and cashew curry anyone? How about starting a cold winter's morning with some pumpkin waffles? Think of the pumpkin as the little black dress of holiday foods. Still not terribly excited? Well, the pilgrims didn't care much for the pumpkin either during their first American winter. Most of them died of scurvy and hunger. Tragic, huh? If only they had known that the pumpkin could have prevented both. Fortunately for the survivors, they had the Indians who later showed them the glory of the pumpkin. And lucky for you, you have the PR great pumpkin series. So, to prevent both scurvy and hunger, we will pay homage to the pumpkin by kicking off a series of unexpected recipes using the versatile vegetable.
First up is a frozen treat: pumpkin ice cream. You may be asking yourself, "ice cream in the dead of winter?" Well, I just did not have the heart to put my ice cream maker away until next summer, so thought some seasonal ice cream making would be fun (P.S. Ice cream makers make great Christmas gifts for that kitchen gadget lover on your list). Also, fall and winter flavored ice cream can be the perfect dessert for holiday meals. I used this David Lebovitz recipe, which was fairly simple, and it turned out to be a creamy and delightful treat to capture the spirit of pumpkin pie. To complete the dessert, serve the ice cream with some gingerbread cookies. (I served mine with some delicious store bought ones from Whole Foods. But, if you're in the mood for some Christmas baking, this is a great recipe for gingerbread cookies.)
image source: SD