Beyond Pumpkin Pie

A Ramblings, San Francisco post written by on November 4, 2014

Beyond Pumpkin Pie

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You expected to be sad in the fall. Part of you died each year when the leaves fell from the trees and their branches were bare against the wind and the cold, wintery light. But you knew there would always be the spring, as you knew the river would flow again after it was frozen. When the cold rains kept on and killed the spring, it was as though a young person died for no reason.

hemmingway, a movable feast

 

Pumpkin Salad

Just last week, I saw a glimpse of autumn through the bus window on one of those rare San Francisco streets showy with hues of orange and yellow. For a moment it felt like seasons were upon us, but the next street came idling by in its verdant splendor like plastic evergreens, the ones that came in even shades of green, straight out of a box. Fall. I think it’s mostly a time for hoarding and eating pumpkins ’cause ’round here, we’re boasting sunny afternoons and flowering trees. Though, I do recall, with clarity, those crisp fall mornings with backdrops of Appalachian Hills – their warm shades of yellow to orange to red, a natural accompaniment to my then equally colorful wardrobe. Now, I just walk around trying to blend in with the tree trunks rather than leaves. Heather grays, leathery browns, and oh so many blacks. I’m just trying to hide from those chromatic decisions that makes dressing difficult in the early hours of morning. Laziness is a comfort of sorts. There’s a satisfaction in those comfortable choices that I indulge in now that my days are lengthened by work and snooze – oh god do I snooze. I lust for my bed and my blanket and my quiet Friday evenings with a cookbook or ten.

Then, there are weekends and weeknights when I get to cook among friends, which are the best. I relish my hours in the kitchen, and I am looking forward to this weekend because I get to do more of that. Also, there will be pumpkins. Lots of it. Some people call them autumnal squash or some similarly orange titles. The butternuts, the hubbards, the red kuris… and even a little bit of the pumpkin pie variety which I dislike because they feel a bit anorexic on the fleshy side. Give me the butternuts because they are meaty and I can cut a slab of it from the neck and shave ribbons for my salad (photo above). I like to blanch them slightly – just enough to break down their sprightliness – then I toss them with lemon and salt and oil. Of course, they look delicate when arrange in curls but they have  a crunchy bite with a delicate pumpkin flavor that’s not at all like pumpkin pie. I’m serving it this Sunday at the 2nd Suppers with Snoopy event with Nik and Alanna. I’m sharing the menu below because it’s crazy-fun, and I think you will like to read it if not eat it too.

Pumpkin Spread
Savory pumpkin bread, ginger-pumpkin butter, and pickled pumpkins!

Shaved Pumpkin Salad
with pumpkin seed pesto, watercress, pumpkin seed & candied cranberries

Gourgeres
filled with whipped pumpkin puree

Pumpkin & Smoked Tea Soup

Pumpkin Confit
with hazelnut crumbles and fresh ricotta

Pumpkin Spaetzle
with sherried chanterelles, chives

Pumpkin Sorbet
with cranberry orange sauce and pumpkin seed granola

Pumpkin Fudge Bites & Pumpkin Chai Latte

If you live in San Francisco, you can rsvp and purchase tickets @Feastly. I’m currently working on a really fun recipe for next week which involves pumpkins and sous vide and coffee and croissant! I can’t wait to share… see you soon.

 

 





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11 Responses to “Beyond Pumpkin Pie”

  1. I love the quote you used at the beginning of the blog entry. It’s very much how I feel about the beginning of fall.
    Thanks for sharing it and also for sharing that lovely picture.. I wouldn’t mind some of that salad 😉
    Kimberly

  2. I am not a big pumpkin fan, but I do like it in savory dishes sometimes. So, since I’m an pesto-aholic, I think I’ll have to try the pumpkin seed pesto idea!

  3. I am not a big pumpkin fan, but I do like it in savory dishes sometimes. So, since I’m a pesto-aholic, I think I’ll have to try the pumpkin seed pesto idea!

  4. What an amazing pumpkin themed menu! So creative.

  5. jane says:

    It’s a shame that I can’t really see the words on the page. I wish the type were darker. To me it’s like listening to singers who don’t enunciate. It is puzzling to me that people who seem to be wanting to communicate their ideas won’t make it easy for me to receive them. Best luck with this blog, though. It’s getting rave reviews. (And yes I am at a large desktop display.)

  6. Hannah says:

    That opening image is so beautiful!

  7. Comment Time to re-evaluate my foodie photography folks…..Some stunning pics here on this site and I particularly love the opening shot on this post. Cheers from the UK.

  8. Cristina says:

    I am never sad when Fall comes around…I love to feel that very first cold morning breeze. I have recently moved to a new location, much farther North and this Fall will be completely new for me. I know the trees will look beautiful here and that it will quickly move from pleasant to freezing…so we will see how I adapt. In the meantime, I am enjoying a cooler and wetter summer and I am loving it. A real bonus are all the new foods I am able to try for the first time…I hear the pumpkins in these parts a a sight to behold and can get very large…I can’t wait.

  9. […] a pumpkin chai latte made by Phi and topped with thick whipped cream. There was pumpkin spaetzle, shaved pumpkin salad, Tartine’s cocoa rye gougères filled with pumpkin chèvre mousse (recipe coming soon!), and […]

  10. […] a pumpkin chai latte made by Phi and topped with thick whipped cream. There was pumpkin spaetzle, shaved pumpkin salad, Tartine’s cocoa rye gougères filled with pumpkin chèvre mousse (recipe coming soon!), and […]

  11. […] (Read more…) […]

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