Friday, November 07, 2008

Friday Fruits: Fall Gourds

I haven't written much about local food this year but we have made it a habit to visit our regional markets and nearby roadside farm stands frequently. My cousin told me about the farm pictured above. It is just a few minutes from the hospital and I have detoured by several times this fall for the best corn, onions, garlic, and other vegetables. The corn is done but there are plenty of squash, pumpkins, and root vegetables available.


Pumpkins are grown around the world and are a staple vegetable in some areas including southern Africa. The entire plant, from the leaves to the seeds can be eaten. It is one of the most nutritious foods on the planet with plenty of vitamins and phytonutrients and deserves better than being carved for Hallowe'en and then discarded in the trash. I cut them up, bake them in a large roasting pan then run the cooked pulp through the blender and freeze it in containers.

We eat other varieties of squash often as well. Turban and butternut are my favourites and spaghetti squash is a tasty substitute for pasta ( I haven't convinced my family of that yet!)

Small ornamental gourds come in an interesting array of colours and shapes and are great for fall decorating. Our children used to love to select a few from the big bins of them at the market.

Do you have a favourite pumpkin recipe or story?
For starters, here is KGMom's recently posted recipe for Pumpkin Soup.

P.S. My last post was not picked up by blog feeds (?).
The link is here.

15 comments:

  1. What a great place for fruits and veggies! I think I'd shop there at least once a week :)

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  2. Great post....I am very much for local produce.....I have a box of vegetables delivered to my gate every Friday......all the farmers are within a 25 mile radius of my home.......and all the produce is organic.....
    Today a pumpkin and squash have been included.......I love the vegetables this time of year......

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  3. Look at all that Orange - my favorite colour!!

    We are very fortunate to have many stands in our area of fresh vegetables and fruit. It's a good feeling knowing that the vegetables was grown in local soil and wasn't picked weeks before and then sprayed with some "ripen" chemical.

    I have only experimented cooking with squash a few times and I must say I need more lessons. I do like squash soup, sweet potatoe pie, pumpkin pie is my favorite - does that count as being healthy? All this talk is making me hungry. Is it lunch time yet?

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  4. Ruth--thanks for the shout out on soup. This week will be sausage and bean--so watch for it.
    Isn't autumn the best--nature goes on full color mode. My favorite time of year.
    As for your last post not being picked up--would it have anything to do with your link saying ReflectionS when your title is Reflection (no S)? Or is that too simple a reason?

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  5. Thanks for your visit to my skywatch sunset! It's nice to meet a new-to-me blogger! Aren't the local stalls just a cornucopia of wonderful fall produce? This looks like a great spot to pick up fruits and vegetables.

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  6. I make a fantastic Roasted Winter Vegetable soup, featuring butternut squash, sweet potato, carrots, parsnips, an onion & a touch of curry. All the roasted veggies get pureed in a stock...the result is a velvety bright orange soup that is to die for!

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  7. Your photos are gourd-eous!!! (I couldn't resist the pun.) My favorite Halloween story would have to be the pumpkin: every year we get one pumpkin and I carve the same face and we bake the seeds and eat them all in three days and get our fill until next Halloween. It could almost be called Groundhogs day, as the ritual hasn't change. Pumpkin pie is the best!!!

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  8. Tanya- I did stop by once a week and sometimes bought more veggies than we could eat. I keep forgetting the household has shrunk.

    Cheryl- That sounds like a very convenient service, local and seasonal at its best.

    Cheryl D- You do like a good variety of squash recipes. Have you been to TJ's. It is on Kossuth Rd just about 1/2 km from Fountain St. They really had the best corn I have tasted.

    KGMom- always glad to promote your blog... I tried fixing the last post but it still didn't go to feed. I use the auto post a lot now doing a week of posts at a time. I sometimes edit them a little after I post and that may be the problem.

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  9. KC- Welcome to my corner of Ontario. Thanks for commenting.

    Karen- Your recipe sounds wonderful. I often make roasted veggies and this is a great way to use them.

    Robert- Glad that you don't waste that pumpkin ;-) I like roasted pumpkin seeds too.

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  10. I really like spaghetti squash and I've eaten some really yummy acorn squash too.

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  11. The fall gourds and winter squashes are one of the best things about autumn. My favorite pumpkin recipe is pumpkin bread which can also be baked as muffins. I love how the house smells after baking with pumpkin.

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  12. Although Wayne says he doesn't like squash, I hide it in a lot of dishes.He never knows.

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  13. Ruth,

    I don't carve pumpkins for Halloween, but do put a few out in the yard. Unfortunately this year they were smashed the very next night.

    For cooking, I prefer the small cooking pumpkins. The flesh is not so stringy and they are just a touch sweeter.

    The boys and I always chose gourds to decorate for fall. There were some beautiful ones for sale this year.

    Take care and enjoy your weekend.
    Blessings,
    Mary

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  14. That is a beautiful picture--I hope that you shared it with the proprietors. Thanks for the idea on freezing the pumpkin--I've never done that but will.

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  15. Jayne- I love a good acorn squash too, but the odd one is pale, bitter and stringy. Best with butter and a little maple syrup!

    NCMW- Pumpkin bread/muffins are always moist and delicious. I would say that is how we use most of our pumpkin.

    Jean- I hide it in soup instead of tomato paste sometimes.

    Mary- The pie pumpkins are the best and are not as watery as the big ones. I generally strain the puree from the big pumpkins in cheesecloth to drain off much of the liquid.

    Beth- I should get a print of it and drop it in their mailbox. The frozen pumpkin keeps very well.

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