Fall 2013 Newsletter
Falling leaves don’t have the monopoly on autumn imagery. No, in fact, we think the pumpkin gives them a real run for their money.
So, in honor of the fall season, we’re devoting this edition’s “Hot Dish!” to all things pumpkin, and giving you three different ways to use everyone’s favorite (well…everyone except maybe Linus, that is) over-sized, orange winter squash.
Carving a Jack-o-Lantern
Creating your own Jack-o-Lantern may seem like an easy task, but a little expert advice can go a long way in helping you pick the right pumpkin and helping said pumpkin weather the…well…weather.
Items you’ll need:
A pumpkin (large enough to carve). Choose a dry pumpkin with a hard shell, and tap on it to ensure that it’s entirely solid.
A knife or carving tools
Pen or pencil
1. Wash any dirt off the pumpkin.
2. Choose a side for carving—determine which area of the pumpkin is best suited for your Jack-o-Lantern face.
3. Using a pen or pencil, draw the features for your Jack-o-Lantern, slightly larger than you want them to be when finished. Make them as sweet or scary as you’d like.
4. Cut the top of the pumpkin off. First put a knife or carving tool all the way through the shell into the pumpkin. Then, saw a circle around the stem and lift it away.
5. Clean the pumpkin, discarding any seeds and sticky interior. Make sure the inside is free of any clinging tissue.
6. Cut the face, using a knife or carving tool, and following the
previously drawn lines. Clear away any rough edges. Voilà! Your very
Note: To prolong the life of your Jack-o-Lantern, many people recommend spraying it with a bleach solution of 1 tbsp. bleach to a quart of water.
These inhibits mold growth and helps keep your Jack-o-Lantern clean and happy (or mean!).
And finally—because this is Hot Dish, after all—we’ve included two recipes that use pumpkin in distinctly different ways, one savory and one very sweet.
Many pumpkin and squash soups tend toward the sweet side, but this savory take is perfect for an Autumn evening.
6 c. chicken stock
1 ½ tsp. salt
4 c. pumpkin puree
1 tsp. chopped fresh parsley
1 c. chopped onion
½ tsp. chopped fresh thyme
1 clove garlic, minced
½ c. heavy whipping cream
5 whole black peppercorns
1. Heat stock, salt, pumpkin, onion, thyme, garlic, and peppercorns. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes uncovered.
2. Puree the soup in small batches (1 cup at a time) using a food processor or blender.
3. Return to pan, and bring to a boil again. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for another 30 minutes, uncovered. Stir in heavy cream. Pour into soup bowls, and garnish with fresh parsley.
Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake
Pumpkin pie might be a Thanksgiving staple, but this decadent dessert brings something different to the table.
2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
½ c. white sugar
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 (9-inch) prepared graham cracker crust
½ c. pumpkin puree
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
1 pinch ground cloves
1 pinch ground nutmeg
½ c. frozen whipped topping, thawed
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
2. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Blend in eggs one at a time. Remove 1 cup of batter and spread into the bottom of the crust. Set aside.
3. Add pumpkin, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg to the remaining batter and stir gently until well blended. Carefully spread over the batter in the crust.
4. Bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until center is almost set. Allow to cool, and then refrigerated for three hours or overnight. Cover with whipped topping before serving.
Note: We recommend using canned pumpkin for the above recipes (even professional chefs use it!). If, however, you opt to use fresh pumpkin, make
sure you choose small sugar pie pumpkins. The larger kind should be saved
To make the purée, cut the pumpkin in half and bake cut-side down, covered with foil, in a 375-degree oven for about 90 minutes. Once you’ve allowed it to cool, scoop out the flesh, and purée it.
© 2013. A publication of Quintessential Quilt Media. No portion may be reproduced without the expressed written consent of Quilts, Inc.