Monday, November 15, 2010

Punkin, Punkin, Punkin Eater!

Living in a warm climate 12 months of the year sometimes gets me so confused. It is so warm I wake up thinking it is the month of July and not November. In the states many times you don't even have to look at a calendar to know what the month is because the stores have all their holiday wares in the aisles. So whether it be Valentines day or Halloween they have everything you need!

Here in Jamaica you have to look at the calendar, the stores aren't your brain. Whether you shop in February or November you find basically the same wares with the exception of Christmas. However even at Christmas time there is no comparison to the stores in the states.

On Thanksgiving day Renee has school and Den teaches at the college. Renee's weekly violin lesson still takes place on Thursday evening. In America it is a holiday, here it is just another day. That does take some getting used to! In Spain we celebrated the holiday with our food traditions but here it is difficult to purchase turkeys. When you do find a turkey it is very, very expensive.

Carving pumpkins is a favorite tradition of mine and the kids. Our first year here I searched high and low for normal, orange, round, easy to carve pumpkins. No luck! However, pumpkins are very common in Jamaica. As a matter of fact, our house has a pumpkin patch all year round!

Organic pumpkins are grown all over the island. In every grocery store and market you will find pieces of pumpkin, just the size you need to make soup, pumpkin rice with saltfish, or pumpkin fritters. YUM! Jamaicans will also boil pumpkin and eat it plain.

They can grow to be very large. Today I took pictures of the pumpkins growing in my patch. These look small compared to what you find for sale at the market.

I have used the organic Jamaican pumpkin to make my famous pumpkin roll, but it doesn't have the greatest flavor for that. But the pumpkins are fabulous for my pumpkin soup recipe. You may want to try it with the pumpkins you find this fall. The college students love this one!

Roast Pumpkin Soup
2 pounds pumpkin
Salt to taste
Black pepper
Coconut oil
2 ounces butter
1 onion diced
2 cloves garlic
2 stalks scallions, diced
1 sprig thyme
1 scotch bonnet pepper (or an habanero pepper)
16 cups vegetable stock
4 ounces coconut cream ( I use heavy cream)
Dice pumpkin and place on tray. Season with salt, pepper, cinnamon and drizzle with coconut oil.
Place in 400 degree oven and roast 30 minutes.
In a large pot melt butter, sauté onions, scallion, garlic, and add the pumpkin, thyme, and scotch bonnet
Add vegetable stock and simmer for 20 minutes until everything is tender.
Remove the scotch bonnet.
Add the coconut cream, boil and season to taste.

Happy Fall and Happy Punkin' eating!

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