You’ve all been there. One second the pumpkin is a teeny little unobtrusive juvenile and you turn your back and he’s a wild teenager scrambling up walls, under bushes, over sidewalks, into tomato cages and under the arugula. Lordie! It’s enough to give a mother a heart attack. Ha ha ha. Hee. Actually, truth be told I don’t think there’s a thing more fun to grow. As you can see in the photo at top my one and only (who needs more than one??) has made his way over into the Child’s Corner, built primarily for fairies and any other sundry critters who are so inclined to stopover. It’s always good to build these little respites for little sprites and other-worldly creatures. I’m sure you do same. Anyway, the pumpkin was drawn that way and is charmingly entwining itself twixt the chairs, the table and the chartreuse iron sculpture I incorporated last spring. (Dontchajustloveit?) From one sole pumpkin are extending five large long arms, each in a totally different direction. Thank goodness there is room for such shenanigans! Here’s another that has wound its way into the vege bed, through the chard and around a young red hollyhock. Enchanting, you must admit…
And resting comfortably under a rosemary bush, near a volunteer nasturtium, is this plump green one promising a lush harvest in October or November! Oh, I love it!
To be honest I don’t have a clue how many pumpkins this one plant has generated. I spent weeks in a state of frustration as in spite of an abundance of big yellow flowers not a single one was turning into fruit. I resorted to googling the condition and took heart when I read of someone having same problem. It was patiently explained that the male flowers [clue-straight stems] bore no actual fruit, but that often after the arms had extended out the precious female flowers would produce actual pumpkins. Who knew? In spite of having grown many kinds of pumpkins in the past I’d never actually learned that. So my hope got stoked and sure enough eventually the flower stems starting looking rounded and, well, pregnant! Whoopee! Since then that single pumpkin has gotten so complex and wild I have literally lost track of how many I might get this season, but I’m confident there will be enough for pies and jack-o-lanterns. The important stuff. Oh, yes, and pumpkin bread, for which I am known among a select circle and in a minute I am going to share my recipe with you!
Yes, I am. Meanwhile, here’s another promising charmer…
My (Native American) electrician’s wife is Hispanic. She visited my garden recently and encouraged me to eat the male flowers, which would have made that early period much more agreeable and productive, I must say. The Hispanics steam them and eat them with cheese, I do believe. If anyone has any solid recipes, please share. I need guidance. As attractive as eating flowers always sounds my aculturation dominates my actions and I hesitate on the brink of Trying Something New. Oh, boy. I’m sure they’re delicious. Help me get there.
Yummy flower–I’m sure it is.
And now for the good stuff.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9″x5″ loaf pan. (I use butter.)
1 cup wholewheat flour
1/2 cup white flour
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg (use whole nutmeg!)
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
Combine in a cup:
1/3 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla (use the real thing)
In a large bowl, beat until creamy:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
Gradually add to the butter:
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar (or you can try 1/3 cup molasses)
Beat in two eggs.
Add and beat on low speed, just until blended:
1 cup pumpkin puree
[Note: ideally you've grown your own pumpkin which you've steamed and mashed.]
Add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the milk mixture in two parts, mixing with a wooden spoon.
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Scrape the batter into the pan and spread evenly. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about one hour. It could be a teeny bit more. Allow to cool before cutting. Use a dollop of whipped cream for special holiday treat!
Love and garden blessings,
Footnote: for exciting updates on the Scarf Initiative please scroll down!
Posted on September 12th, 2008 by Kathryn
Filed under: Plants