What is up with all the pumpkin excitement this year? Coffee drinks, soup, pancakes, beer, store windows, house decorations spilling from the porch to the walkways....pumpkins of all sizes and strains are everywhere.
I think it is just great.
To get in the spirit I made a pumpkin coffee cake for Halloween night with extra ginger. Yummy.
A few days later, stuck in a raucous airport terminal (JFK, you're better, but why so much fast food and noise?) we calmed ourselves with pumpkin frozen yogurt topped with dark chocolate chips.
Yeah, and my decorations for Thanksgiving are tiny pumpkins.
All that bright orange pumpkin is happily healthy. It's loaded with the minerals and the antioxidant, beta-carotene, which helps our busy bodies fight cancer, heart problems and helps us feel younger than our years. Not too shabby.
So, the burning question is: what types of wine go with pumpkin?
Welp, if the pumpkin is savory with herbs like sage, thyme and onions, a light Pinot Noir is nice.
If it is in a creamy soup, try a Sauvignon Blanc.
And if it is sweet -- in a pie or (yes) bread pudding, you can go with a Sauterne or a delicate Champagne. Or just try a pumpkin beer, if you must.
The thing is pumpkin fever will pass after a month or so, and then what are we going to do? That's why I make and store pumpkin butter, with lots of sweet spices. Excellent on crusty toast or Greek yogurt, with a big mug of cinnamon tea. Who cares if it's raining outside.
Easy Pumpkin Butter
4 cups pumpkin puree
1 cup honey or maple syrup
1/2 cup apple juice
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp each -- cinnamon, nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cloves
Combine everything in a crockpot, cook on medium-low for about 6 hours, with the lid slightly askew to let the steam out.
Afterwards, store in the fridge.
(BTW: the top photo is courtesy of Smithsonian.com and Flickr user GmanViz.)