Boiled, steamed, baked, or roasted, pumpkins are in important part of American culture. Our love of the big P has gone way beyond bread, pie, and muffins. The ribbed orange winter squash we carve faces into around Halloween trends heavily this time of the year.
As I write this post, I sit in a Starbucks on 6th Avenue, otherwise known as Avenue of the Americas, in Manhattan, across the street from the photo above, sipping a seasonal favorite Pumpkin Spice Latte (topped with whip cream). It was either that or the Pumpkin Cha. I managed the discipline to overlook the Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffin.
I didn’t want to get too pumpkin crazy because this morning’s fruit smoothie included a handful of pumpkin seeds. Yea, ok, so I harbor a little pumpkin love. It could be that my fondness for pumpkins began as a tike, when my mother made an elaborate Halloween pumpkin costume for me. I remember the outfit being stuffed full of balled-up newspaper to round out the orange globe that engulfed my body.
The day after I arrived in New York this past week, I had a dental appointment. Actually, it was with a maxillofacial prosthetics specialist. He had to access the titanium pins he surgically placed in my mouth a few months back, hence he made a small incision in my gum. I didn’t feel much like chewing that evening, so GV made a pumpkin soup. She has no idea of my, somewhat, tiny love affair with this ribby, orange squash.
The natural sugars make cooked pumpkin perfect for a unique blend of savory and sweet. They are, after all, a fruit. It might not be apparent, but they are 90% water. The soup was delicious, freshly made, a mix of puree with soft chunks of pumpkin meat mixed with other vegetables.
With a few weekend chore visits to the local markets, it was quickly and overwhelming evident that this vibrantly orange fruit has made front-row presentation in an array of forms, from cakes, bread and pies, to egg nog, beer, and liquor and lots of other stuff in-between. In their raw, whole form, they are quite comfortable taking center stage.
I was going to beg off pumpkin consumption yesterday, but last night’s dessert of pumpkin cheesecake with a side of pumpkin ice cream was not something easily passed up. Strangely, the two pumpkin-laced sweets complimented each other nicely.
Please don’t think you are reading about someone hung up on pumpkins. It’s probably just a case of seasonal pumpkin love.