|Mattie after her lounge singer days.|
I guess backstory is a way of making sense of things and a way of letting your imagination run wild. For local foodists, for people that care about where their food comes from and if animals or people or the environment were harmed along the way, then backstory becomes important, an inextricable part of the eating experience.
We made pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving that had quite a backstory. The organic, heirloom sugar pie pumpkin seeds I bought in spring of 2009 online from Heirloom Seeds. But in 2009 the pumpkins all succumbed to squash vine borers. This year, I planted the squash in a new location, slightly sandier soil on the south side of my garden. We dug out a new garden bed in the spring, and had to dig out huge chunks of limestone and add lots of compost and horse manure to make the area friable. I wised up to the vine borers, too. I squelched the glutinous little worms with an organic canola oil based bug spray. While I was on the road teaching reading classes all summer, Kent watered the squash, keeping them alive. In the early fall, the new neighbor kids, the four-year-old and I in particular, had a lot of conversations about pumpkins. Finally in late October, harvest 2010: 7 gorgeous pie pumpkins.
|Pumpkin Pie making is chaotic.|
|On left: Pumpkin Pie with Pepita, Nut, and Ginger Topping|
|Pumpkin Curry Soup with Mark Bittman's Chickpea Flatbread|
Pumpkin Curry Soup
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 small onions, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced2 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 T. brown sugar
1 can full-fat coconut milk (15 oz.)
3 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
1 to 2 cups vegetable broth (if you use sodium-free broth, you'll need to add about a teaspoon of salt)
1 Tablespoon lime juice
Heat olive oil in large soup pot over medium heat. Add onion and saute until soft and translucent. Add garlic and cook for several minutes. Have coconut milk close at hand. Add spices, quickly, and saute until they begin to release their fragrance. Cook for just a minute or so, you want them to be slightly toasted, but not burnt. Then quickly pour in coconut milk to deglaze the pot. Add pumpkin puree. Add vegetable broth, starting with a cup, until soup is desired consistency. Simmer for about 20 minutes. Taste, adjust seasonings. Finish with lime juice. Serve with chopped cilantro on top, if desired.