Thursday, November 20, 2008


is all around us.  For those in the Northeast, where I used to live, the leaves have left the trees and cooler weather is here.  Here in Texas there are some winter changes, they are just different.  Cooler weather means an extended summer with 50 degree mornings shifting into perfect 70 degree days and sunshine.  Sweeping and raking is as bad as it ever was except that instead of leaves it's pine needles.  And the squirrels are just as busy digging holes in the lawn here as they ever were in New England. 

pumpkins | photo: David R. Tribble
With the change in seasons comes a change in food.  Squashes are appearing in the market, root vegetables, crisp tasting apples and pears.  These are wonderful foods.  Their rich colors and intense flavors inspire us to make delicious meals, the deep colors providing lots of nutrients to sustain us through the winter.  One of my favorites is pumpkin.  I often think about how sad it is that pumpkins are mostly sold for carving and throwing away.  There are so many tasty ways to eat pumpkin.  Pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin soup, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin chutney, pumpkin butter...I'm beginning to sound like Bubba from 'Forrest Gump' but I really do love pumpkin.

At this time of year I love to make this curried pumpkin soup, a thick, flavorful soup, perfect for a quiet evening dinner.  Served with my favorite fresh ground cornbread it's the simple kind of meal we like after a busy day.  

Here's the recipe for the cornbread.  Steve likes it because it's not too "corny" tasting.  I like it because it's moist and keeps well for breakfast the next morning. 

Whole Wheat Cornbread

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup cornmeal
1/3 cup sucanat
4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/4 cup olive oil

preheat the oven to 425 degrees F
mix the dry ingredients together
mix the wet ingredients together
mix the wet into the dry until just moistened
pour into a greased 9 x 9 pan
bake 20 minutes
let cool 5 minutes on a rack before inverting and removing from the pan

And in case you think you misread that above statement, you didn't.  Cornbread for breakfast can be a wonderful thing.  Lightly toasted with some butter alongside an egg and a fresh clementine, it's a great way to start your day.

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