Take one pumpkin ……

P1050178 P105018120151105_201123 20151105_201136P1050183

 

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.

Apricot and apple chutney

P1040179

This chutney is made with dried apricots, apples, onions and sultanas and is spiced with fresh ginger and cardamom seeds. It is delicious with hard English cheese and cold meats – a welcome addition to a Christmas hamper or a summer buffet.

Spiced damson chutney

P104017320140824_135841

 

In September, I always go damson picking. Unfortunately, I don’t have a big garden but there are fruit farms nearby where you can pick as many as you want. I started making this damson chutney a couple of years ago and it is very popular. It is spicy and goes excellently with cold meats and cheeses. Try it with a Wensleydale cheese – delicious! I have supplied it to South Downs Cellars for inclusion in some of their Christmas hampers.

It contains damsons, apples, onions and raisins as well as the vinegar, sugar and spices. It keeps well in the fridge after opening.