Mom is very busy this time of year so this will be a very short and sweet words of wisdom. This is a very busy time of year for lots of people. Baking and cooking tons of autumn treats, it is also a time for lots of pumpkin spice treats. Hot spiced cider and mulled wine also take center stage. There’s also the time of year for Falling leaves, raking leaves, and bonfires of leaves.

Unfortunately, there’s also the time for football widows, and for those nonfans of football either College or the NFL, they will be doing baking and cooking.

In this episode of Mom’s Corner, there’ll be a few life hacks and tips, as well as a recipe or two. For mom, this Time of year means drinking lots of hot spiced chai, hot apple cider maybe a splash or two dark rum. It also means thoughts of dishes featuring pumpkin, like most squashes’, pumpkin is also very versatile. You can make Pumpkin Spice Cookies, Pumpkin Pie, Pumpkin Soup, and of course Pumpkin Spice Latte. Pumpkin can be steamed, baked, or roasted. Pumpkin can also be substituted for sweet potatoes in almost every recipe. In fact, some folks have been known to use pumpkin and sweet potatoes half-and-half.

Mom cheats when cooking with pumpkin, she waits until the pumpkin is cooked before removing the skin. It is far easier to remove the skin once the pumpkin has been cooked. Last year Mom shared Mom’s favourite Pork and Pumpkin Recipe. This year mom would like to see your Favourite Pork and Pumpkin Recipes. So please take the time and send mom your Favourite Pork and Pumpkin Recipes. With your permission, Mom will share them next year.

During this time of year, Mom usually has two types of candles burning, Cinnamon Apple, and Pumpkin Spice. As it gets closer to Christmas Mom will burn Pine or Fir scented, and a scented candle that smells like Grandma’s Baking.

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds with Paprika

Roasted pumpkin seeds are a healthy and nutritious snack. They are filled with nutritional goodness and are very easy to do and are a great project to do with the kids, when pumpkins are in season.

PREP TIME 10 minutes, COOK TIME 50 minutes, TOTAL TIME 1 hour

Ingredients

One Pumpkin Cleaned of seeds

Olive Oil

Salt

Pepper

Smoked Paprika

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Using a spoon, scrape the pulp and seeds out of your pumpkin into a bowl.

Clean the seeds: Separate the seeds from the stringy pulp

Rinse the seeds in a colander under cold water, then shake dry. Don’t blot because the seeds will stick to paper towels.

Dry the seeds by spreading them in a single layer on an oiled baking sheet and roast 30 minutes.

Toss the seeds with olive oil, salt and your choice of spices.

Return to the oven and bake until crisp and golden, about 20 more minutes.

A Very Interesting Pumpkin Pie Recipe

The following recipe that I am sharing is by Alton Brown, and it is one of the most unique recipes that Mom has ever come across. Some of Mom’s more adventurous friends shared this meal with Mom many, years ago.

WHOLE PUMPKIN PIE SOUP By Alton Brown

Creamy and savoury pumpkin soup served inside…what else? A whole pumpkin.

In colonial times, when the American home had but one oven (the fireplace), most cooking was done either in a pot or a “pie,” a dish cooked inside a temporary vessel made of dough. The resulting crust was meant for containment rather than consumption and was so hard and flavourless that even the pigs shied from them.

Now, let’s consider the pumpkin. It can be hollowed out, filled with goodness, and parked by the fire to slowly simmer. The gourd is tough enough to hold whatever is in it, yet unlike crusts or “coffins” as they were called, the pumpkin’s inner flesh cooks during the process bringing flavour and nutrients to the party. Thus, pumpkin “pies” were born, and I offer this version to honour that tradition. Is it what most of us think of as a pie? No. Is it delicious? Heck yeah, it is. And you can compost the pot when you’re done.

Ingredients US:

1 whole (4-pound) baking pumpkin, rinsed

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1/2 small yellow onion, diced

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cloves garlic, minced

1 small apple, peeled, cored, and diced

1 cup low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 ounces goat cheese

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

Ingredients Metric:

1 whole (4-pound) baking pumpkin, rinsed

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

14 grams unsalted butter

1/2 small yellow onion, diced

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cloves garlic, minced

1 small apple, peeled, cored, and diced

237 milliliters low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth

120 milliliters heavy cream

57 grams goat cheese

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

Instructions:

ACTIVE TIME: 15 minutes, TOTAL TIME: 2 hours & 15 minutes, YIELD: 4 SERVINGS

Procedure

Heat oven to 375°F/190.5556ºC.

Make a lid from the top of the pumpkin by cutting around the stem at a 45-degree angle. Make sure the opening is large enough to work within. Remove the seeds and fibers with a metal spoon or ice cream scoop. Reserve the seeds for another application, like pumpkin seed brittle. Brush the exterior of the pumpkin and lid with oil. Oil a round casserole dish large enough to hold the pumpkin and put the pumpkin inside.

Combine the butter, onion, salt, garlic, apple, broth, and cream in the hollow pumpkin. Replace the lid of the pumpkin to cover. Bake for 1 1/2 hours.

Remove the lid. Carefully stir in the cheese and thyme, and bake for an additional 30 minutes, uncovered. Remove the pumpkin from the oven and use a large metal spoon to gently scrape some of the inner flesh off the walls and into the soup. Puree with an immersion blender to the desired consistency, being careful to avoid the sides and bottom of the pumpkin. Serve immediately…that’s right, inside the Pumpkin!

Mom thought it was absolutely delicious, it definitely wasn’t what Mom was expecting.

Tips & Tricks:

Since Mom is getting older, Mom may have shared some of these hacks, or tips and tricks. If so, oh well, they are still good ones.

Aluminium Foil and tomato sauce dishes, whenever covering something like Lasagna or Manicotti with foil for baking always spray the foil with Non-Stick Spray or wipe it lightly with butter or oil to prevent the cheese from sticking and the tomato from eating through the foil. Please remember tomato-based foods should never be stored in an aluminium or cast iron container. Only cook tomato-based foods in those containers for a short period of time.

Scrambled Eggs or Omelettes with no egg white spots; getting eggs for scrambled eggs or omelettes blended properly can be a time-consuming operation. Not any more Mom has the perfect solution for you, simply pour your chosen ingredients into a jar with a screw-on lid, or any container with an airtight lid and shake vigorously for at least 30 seconds. When you’re done, you will have perfectly blended eggs, with a pleasing soft yellow colour.

There’s probably as many ways to cut onions as there are stars in the sky, mom has a very simple method to make cutting onions easy. Mom cuts a slice off of the onion, the thickness depends upon the dice, or if you want minced. Mom then cuts that slice in half, and taking a chef’s knife starting on the top edge [The pointy Edge] and cuts diagonally across the slice until the half is finished. Then do the same to the other half, while cutting, you can move the knife or turn the onion half slice always keeping your fingers clear.

Remember that if your soup or stew is too salty just throw in a cut-up potato, you remove the potato pieces before serving.

Stay Safe and Healthy, and Don’t Forget to Vote!

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