The recipe is fairly straight forward. Having peeled and chopped the pumpkin it was then roasted with an assortment of spices. Once cooked through, this was added to a base of onions, ginger, onions and cumin that had been sweated off. Adding water and simmering till tender, the pumpkin became tender and was then blitzed with a hand blender. The one difference in this soup compared to ones made previously, was the addition of home grown fenugreek for additional flavour. There were also some frozen home grown chillies in there too.
If you hold a second, I will be posting the other half, where we curry Bruno!
Remember that green pumpkin above, the little green one?
Well, I have that to my aunt. It had turned orange over the last few weeks and she was ready turn it into something edible. So today as an early diwali present, she handed me these.
Seeds. I had asked her to save them for me. The plan, as with all bruno seeds, is to save them, dry them; and send them to loving homes for next year. The seeds were in one hand, in the other was a tupperware box of pumpkin soup. So two presents, for the price of one.
Bruno, one of three, has come full circle. From being a seedling, to a heavy vine, from which we harvested a fruit. To curried and souped, with his seeds now drying.
Bruno, one of three, you actualised your potential.
It is not unusual for me to take my pumpkins from the vine and put them on the window sill to ripen. Especially as the weather turns, the levels of sunlight drop and the temperature lowers.
Having gone away for a week, I had removed the fruit from the vine hours before taking a plane. A week has passed, and there is a distinct change. The green striped skins have given way to the bright orange that we associate with Autumn and All Hallow’s Eve.
Crucial question, how much do they weight?
Well, the precedent is six pounds, that was the weight at which the original Bruno weighed in at. That is the record that we then aim to meet and exceed. Their collective weight does exceed that. However, individually. the largest is 5.5 lbs, the middle one is 3 and the smallest just over 1.5lbs.
Whilst the individual weights may not match the first ever Bruno Fruit, I am going to take great solace in the fact that I have managed to get three fruits from two plants. That is something that I really prize, three is the magic number this year.
Not sure as to what will happen to them, we don’t tend to make lanterns out of them.In the past, they have either been souped or turned into an Indian dinner.
Rain has stopped play today, it’s grey and grim outside. The perfect opportunity to take stock of what is happening on the plot. Means I can update you on the blog, also work on another creative project. A project that builds on the blog actually, none too dissimilar and to be made public later on this year. Let’s just that whilst the blog is updated as and when I have something to share; the creative project is something of a summative assessment of all plot based learning experiences. That is a story for another day though.
So what has been happening this week?
The chillies are cropping weekly, and with the hungarian hot wax chillies loitering on the window sill I wanted to use the constructively. Mum’s been using them in her kitchen as per usual. They’ve gone into assorted Indian dishes, and even the odd fenugreek stuffed chappati. That is after all what they were grown for. The same goes for the harvested garlic crop.
The plums in the pan aren’t mine, not sure where they are from. I fancied making a jelly, and this is somewhat popular amongst friends and colleagues. I was rather traumatised emptying the jelly bag of the purple pulp; it didn’t look particularly nice. It looked as though it belonged on a medical ward. The juice for the jelly was a wonderful claret colour, and that meant wiping down all the surfaces onto which it dripped.
Chillies and garlic also went into a chutney, and I even did an experiment. I found a recipe for piccalilli and have tried this for the first time. I think its a bit mellow and probably needs more a kick; however it awaits taste testers.
Courgettes have started to crop; no thanks to the confused weather. There are other squashes and crops starting to come through too.
The ghost rider pumpkin is starting to sprawl out with its dinner plate sized leaves. Spotted a few babies, that may or may not have been pollinated. With the scarlet emperor beans in full flower, the climbing french beans have started to form gangly pods.
Here we have it, Bruno has finally met his maker. Yesterday morning, I got up and and with Ma’s help sacrificed Bruno. Bruno the Ghostrider has been sat in the kitchen since mid summer. From green to turning orange, has just been biding his time. Time then arrived for me to actually do something with him.
This is by far the biggest pumpkin that I have grown. Topped the scale at over 6lb’s. I had planned to soup the whole thing. However, there was no way I was going to be able to roast all of that, unless I split the amounts and hogged the oven. The plan fell as thus. Some of it would be curried, the remainder would be souped.
The curried pumpkin:
Sautee some onion, ginger, cumin and carom seeds in oil til the onions are transparent. I added some fresh tomatoes as well. Add squash, add garam masala, turmeric, salt, powdered coriander, chopped chillies and cumin if you wish. Coat all the squash. The pumpkin is quite fibrous, so add some water. Cover, and cook through so that the pumpkin softens. Then, remove lid and cook away some of the water. Can leave some if you want to have a sauce.
Bruno was also souped. I used a handful of homegrown mussleberg leeks for the base, as well as a small onion, ginger and garlic. Bruno in chunks, was roasted in a tin, a gas mark 7 for 40 minutes. In the oil, i had put cumin, chilli flakes, carom seeds,dried homegrown rosemary and a couple of sweet peppers. Once roasted, this was all added into the pan with the base. I then added garam masala, turmeric, a little paprika, lots of salt. I used a lot of salt, as I have previously found that this soup doesn’t otherwise taste of anything. As well as three small red chillies. Only as I didn’t put lots of chilli flakes in the roasting tin. The whole thing was then simmered til the squash was softened and squishy. Once softened and squishy, this was blitzed with a blender. I did have to return to hob to season though. Additional garam masala was added, and salt. You will of course have to taste to test. The seeds incidently, will be saved, dried, and saved for growers next year.
As you may be aware, a few years ago I grew a ghostrider pumpkin that we called Bruno. When Bruno was harvested in 2011, I saved the seeds and sent them the length and breadth of Britain. Some of the progeny went to Liverpool, and have turned into some beautiful whopping specimens. Two of the above were donate to a harvest festival.
My own bruno is waiting on the window sill, and the seeds of bruno 2014 will then be saved. Once more, they will hopefully go to good homes.