Sunday, November 20, 2011

Pumpkin Puree and Gluten Free Thanksgiving Plans

Since I last posted, Dave had a successful PhD defense, and is now Dr. Dave!  We also took a trip to Wisconsin and got to see lots of Dave's and my family.  It was a lot of fun!

Believe it or not, a month after the first frost, our CSA is still delivering weekly boxes of amazing veggies.  In the last month we've gotten lots of squash and pumpkins.  This weekend, the start of fall "break," I had a chance to catch up on five loads of laundry, cleaned my house, and decided I'd better start taking care of these pumpkins.  We have three huge ones, one small one, and Dave already used a different one to make a pumpkin stout that will premier on Turkey Day.

The pumpkin stout went CRAZY and Dave had to improvise with an external air lock.  Don't mind the orange wall and the red chair.  (Yes, we have a room that is orange, and we put a red chair in it, it kind of looks like a throne.  Hey, we rent!)
Two of the pumpkins are "Cinderella" pumpkins, which are really "Rouge vif d'etampfs," which you can read about here.  One pumpkin was green, one is a deep orange.  We got the green one first, and we had another small pie pumpkin that was old, so it was time to bake these things in round one.  It took Dave's muscles and a huge butcher knife to cut the big guy open.  His meaty part was so thick!  This was definitely not a carving pumpkin!  We filled three pans with massive pieces of pumpkin.

I spooned out the baked pumpkin and pureed it in my kitchen aid food processor.  Don't be fooled, that jar is twice as big as a regular canning jar and holds 8, yes 8 cups of puree. 

I decided I could use 8 cups of pumpkin puree, but the other 8 would have to be frozen, so I made 1-cup bags and threw them in the freezer.  My kitchen is the smallest kitchen known to man.  You'd be surprised how often I use the stove top as a counter top.  The huge seeds that came from this monster are drying there on the left.  I might plant a few of these next year. 
 I think this is a good time to remind you that this was from one cinderella pumpkin and one small pie pumpkin.  I still have another, larger cinderella pumpkin, and one giant "New York Cheese" pumpkin left!  So, if you're one of my Boulder friends, and you're in need of some puree, please stop over! 

What's a girl going to do with all of this pumpkin puree?  My good friend already claimed pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving (she also belongs to a CSA and has the same problem).  It was time to get creative.  I made pumpkin fudge, and due to a massive failure of an ingredient substitute (canola buttery spread instead of butter-- hey, we were out!), I now have a huge amount of really thick candy-like jelly that might have to become a topping of some sort.  Try it yourself, the recipe is here.

Luckily, I've had a few other great suggestions.  I just bought some gluten free gingersnaps to try pumpkin cheesecake squares.  Best of all, though, one of my friends that dates all the way back to grade school loves loves loves pumpkin everything!  She just blogged about Pumpkin Risotto.  I whipped some up tonight and ate the whole thing (well, I cut the recipe down to 1 serving).  Savory pumpkin puree might be the way to go.  This was like thanksgiving in my mouth and I am so thankful that Alisa shared this recipe with the world.  Try it!   
Pumpkin Risotto.
Lastly, Thanksgiving is just around the corner.  Due to my gluten-free-ness, I am making a few extra dishes to make sure I can get all of my favorites on Thanksgiving Day.  Some I'll bring to share, others I'll just bring enough for me (stuffing, dessert).  I'm making
I hope you all have a happy Thanksgiving!   

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