Take one pumpkin ……

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This year, I decided to make good use of the pumpkin I bought for Halloween. First, I made a pumpkin and corn bread with semolina and chilli flakes – it has a slightly gritty texture and heat from the chilli and goes well with soups. Next I made a sweet pumpkin cake, similar to carrot cake, with grated pumpkin and sultanas and flavoured with orange. I decided not to add the sweet cream cheese topping, although i can see that would make it a delicious pudding. Then I washed the seeds and dried them out in the oven before tossing them with salt, smoked paprika and olive oil. They made a lovely crunchy snack. For supper, I prepared a spicy pumpkin soup with harissa and chickpeas as I had seen an interesting recipe in the weekend newspaper. Finally, I made a pumpkin and raisin chutney with spices and pepper which goes excellently with cheese.

Parmesan and walnut wafers

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These delicate wafers are gluten free but full of flavour. I had been reading through various recipe books, looking for gluten free savoury snacks to make for a friend’s birthday but could only find ones using flour substitutes which were not in my larder; so these were an experiment using what I had to hand. They were very popular and I shall keep making them regularly as well as trying out new variations.

Smoked paprika almonds

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Almonds roasted and coated in smoked paprika, olive oil and sea salt – delicious with a glass of very dry fino sherry. These take a little while to prepare, especially if you buy the almonds with their skins still on. But the time and effort are worthwhile. They are usually available at South Downs Cellars in Hurstpierpoint.

Savoury muffins

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Today I though I’d make some savoury muffins – these are good to have in the freezer to add to packed lunches for school. They would also be great with salad for my lunch at home or on the move. These were made with sun dried tomatoes and feta cheese but I will be trying other combinations over the coming weeks using olives, goats cheese, raisins, nuts and seeds.