The voluptuous beauty mentioned in my October 24 post, "Sexy Pumpkin," was beginning to get a little green around the edges. I decided to try roasting her for an upcoming slate of pumpkin muffins on the Thanksgiving menu. I've had success with roasting brussels sprouts whole on the stalk, so I decided to just plop the whole pumpkin in the oven. Here she is before going into heat, reflecting in all her majestic glory. The operation was a success, kind of. The pumpkin flesh was easily cut and scooped after baking, and no fingers were severed. However, it was indescribably tasteless and bitter. I'm not sure whether I went wrong with choice of pumpkin, her age, or my cooking method. But the object lesson is sometimes it's better to admire than consume.
Pumpkin designers are thinking out of the box. Is it because orange has become such a scary color in the 2016 election season? Or, like heirloom tomato and carrot growers, have they decided that colorful, misshapen, warty and hybrid is just a cooler way to grow. This season I've been surprised by the everywhereness of white, blue, peach, red and even super ugly pumpkins— anything but smooth and orange. I found ghostly white pumpkins with candles in a restaurant bathroom, I stumbled by a natural rainbow of pumpkins at my city fruit market, I read about autumn couleur heirloom pumpkins in The New York Times, and, when I went pumpkin picking in Maine, I walked right by a number of smooth-skinned Jacks to pick the quite voluptuous (and apparently tasty) Porcelain Beauty shown above. Thank God kids will no longer grow up thinking that pumpkins or even carrots (see my blog post, Purple Carrots, Black Dirt Region) can only be orange. Pumpkin diversity may not save the world, but it will definitely make it brighter.
Update 3/21/19: Jenreviews.com sent me this step-by-step recipe for fresh whole wheat sage spaghetti with creamy pumpkin sauce you can make from fresh pumpkins. I never thought to pair pasta with pumpkins before!