Believe it or not, two pumpkins remain in my winter storage, and here it is April. Long ago, reading New England estate inventories from the 1700s, I noticed that stored food was recorded in rooms all over a house, and not just in cellars or kitchens. Dried beans in baskets under a bed in a sleeping chamber, for example, and pumpkins and squashes in any cool, dry room.
I took the hint and now store pumpkins in the upper hallway of my old farmhouse, which is not centrally heated. I see them every time I go downstairs and can monitor them for signs of spoilage and use them up before they go bad. Long Pie, an heirloom variety I plant nearly every year that looks like an overgrown orange zucchini, keeps very well.
About April and May, though, I have to get serious about using any remaining pumpkins. Or else I have to cook them up and freeze them in 1- or 2-cup packages for easy use later. I like pumpkin soup, seasoned with cumin, chili and garlic, or sometimes cooked with coconut milk and Thai chili paste. Pumpkin pie is always good, even if it isn’t October or November. I’ve stirred spoonsful of cooked pumpkin into bean and barley soup where it more or less dissolves leaving behind vitamins and minerals.
Sandy Oliver, Taste Buds
Sandy Oliver Sandy is a freelance food writer with the column Taste Buds appearing weekly since 2006 in the Bangor Daily News, and regular columns in Maine Boats, Homes, and Harbors magazine and The Working...
More by Sandy Oliver, Taste Buds