28 Oct 2010
Best for carving pumpkins…
Well, we're nearly at the end of October; I had the best intentions of thrilling you all with a daily dose of cooking inspiration with pumpkin as the main ingredient which - load me up with guilt - has not happened. Those particular seeds of inspiration have fallen on stony ground thanks to a several factors: a few autumnal tummy bugs sweeping through the home, extra large doses of domesticity being required from me as I have my twent-ager niece staying with me (I begrudge housework when I could be gardening) and getting my son off to a school trip to Spain (sooo envious) … not to mention Work.
The draw for my giveaway book took place (drawn by my son) and the winner is: Pandora! The book is now winging its way to Cornwall in time for some spooky and creative carving. Thank you to everyone that entered, it was such fun checking out where y'all hail from.
And I found time to start my pumpkin carving experiments. Tomorrow I'm off to Fortnum's to see how the professionals do it (and will try and take loads of photos for a blog show-and-tell at the weekend).
In the meantime, for anyone about to start hollowing out a pumpkin, this is the tool that works best - for me at least:
Yep - a melon baller. I spooned the orange globe into submission. My pumpkin was fairly small - about 8 inches diameter - and this really did the biz for final smoothing when getting the right thickness. You can see the array of "tools" which I worked through: Sharp knife, small sharp knife , spoon, grapefruit knife. All useful but, seriously, with the melon baller we're talking icing on cake for speed and tired hands. (Plus, I imagine that small, child-sized, hands could manage this easily.) I've read elsewhere that ice-cream scoops can help; I haven't tried - yet - but I'd recommend one that has a clean edge for digging in to the pumpkin flesh.
Did I mention cake? By the end, I felt that I'd earned a treat and I baked all that lovely golden flesh into Spiced Pumpkin Muffins. Yum, yum. Recipe will be posted later today - they're delicious eaten warm from the oven!