Our potato crop might have been decimated, but our pumpkins are thriving. This year, Ade has grown a mixture of old favourites plus some new varieties: Crown Prince, Rouge Vif d’Etampes, Musquee de Provence, Jack O’Lantern and Hundredweight Pumpkin.
I love pumpkins. Aside from looking adorable and being packed full of health-boosting nutrients, they are one of the most versatile veg we grow and are great in soups, curries, risottos, pasta sauces, salads, breads, cakes and pies; they lend themselves to pretty much anything really. They also store excellently, particularly the Crown Prince variety which lasts us well into the new year. When we hit February and our supplies from the previous autumn’s harvest have dwindled, we can always count on a couple of faithful Crown Princes lingering in the corner of our kitchen, waiting to be whipped up into something bright and delicious.
It’s the first year Ade has grown the Hundredweight variety, and I’m hoping they don’t become too monstrous. Giant veg doesn’t really float our boat, although we do wish the best of luck to the Paton brothers who are hoping to smash the UK record this weekend with the biggest ever pumpkin – it’s currently weighing in at 137 stone! (I’m actually more curious to know what they do with the beast after the competition.)
If giant veg contests are not your thing, there are still plenty of ways to celebrate the humble pumpkin this October! The wonderful folk at Riverford are organising Pumpkin Days at their farms around the country which will include music, carving workshops and cooking demonstrations. Or there’s the nationwide #PumpkinRescue which aims to increase awareness on food waste issues after it came to light that 18,000 tonnes of pumpkin are thrown away each year. (Do you know how many pies I could make with that?)
Rejoice in your pumpkins, people! 🎃