Monday, October 19, 2009

A Plethora of Pumpkins

I like to try something new in the garden each year -- this year it was a double header of pumpkin and corn. I actually interplanted the corn rows with a couple of pumpkin vines in imitation of early Native American plantings. Strictly speaking I should have added pole beans to the mix, but I stuck with bush beans in their own short rows. If you've ever considered growing your own sweet corn, let me just say -- DO IT! Even though we only gave over a couple of rows to the corn it performed superbly. Delish! The pumpkins did just fine also, so now I'm searching out tasty ways to add them to our meals.

Of course there's the obvious -- pie, but it's also quite delicious simply oven roasted in a little olive oil with some minced garlic and seasonings. I've used it instead of carrots in a hearty split pea soup, and find it works well in a wide range of recipes -- who knew? Pumpkins, they're not just for Halloween anymore.

Our little spinning group has continued to experiment with natural dyeing, and I was lucky enough to stumble across some black walnuts along a nearby country road. Into the dyepot with the husks, and hopefully there will be enough nutmeats to flavor up a nice loaf of banana bread. The spouse did yeoman duty and separated the husks from the nuts for me, and sacrificed his hands in the process. Yes, he used gloves, but the wire brush he was using to clean the nuts simply shredded them.

Never fear, he has been rewarded with pie.

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