Cucurbitaceae

What a beautiful and impressive plant family, the cucurbitaceae are! Pumpkins, squashes, melons, cucmbers, cahiuas – such a varied, delicious and highly productive bunch. The hügelbeet is camouflaged by them these days, along with corn, sunflowers and a bunch of salad greens trying to defend their spot in the corner farthest from all the vines.

Ten kilos of pumpkin is a lot of food. We had pumpkin for days, in many ways, and all worth cooking up again, so for those of you who have bountiful pumpkin patches, here are some recipes we like, in more or  less detail:

Pumpkin soup

Put chunks of peeled and de-seeded pumpkin in a pot.
Add a few cms of water and boil until the pumpkin is tender.
Blend smooth and return to the pot.
Season to taste with lemon juice, finely grated lemon rind, finely grated fresh ginger, salt and finely chopped chili.
Bring to a boil and stir in a few spoonfuls whole cream.
Serve with sour cream or cottage cheese in the middle and a sprinkle of chopped bronze fennel or parsley.

Pumpkin lasagna

500 g.  sliced fresh mushrooms
2 large chopped onions
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon good quality vegetable oil
6 dl. grated pumpkin
2 dl. reduced fat cream
2 tablespoons sage leaves
pepper to taste
½ package lasagna noodles
5 dl.   cottage cheese
2,5 dl.   mozzarella cheese
2 dl.   grated parmesan cheese

Saute the mushrooms, onions and half of the salt in the oil until tender and set aside.
In a bowl, combine the pumpkin,cream, sage, pepper, and remaining salt.
Spread a thin layer of pumpkin sauce in a pan.
Cover with a layer of noodles.
Spread a thin layer of pumpkin sauce over the noodles.
Spread another thin layer of the mushrom mixture, cottage cheese,  mozzarella and a sprinkle parmesan cheese.
Repeat layers, ending with pumpkin sauce.
Cover and bake at 175° for 30 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with mozzarella. Bake for another 15 minutes.

Pumpkin chutney

700 g. peeled, de-seeded and diced pumpkin
500 g. peeled, cored and diced cooking apples
2 large chopped onions
100 g. dried apricots or cranberries
100 g. raisins
2 teaspoons salt
60 g.  finely grated fresh ginger
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons ground allspice
2 tablespoons  mustard seeds
1-2 finely chopped red chillies (to taste)
6 crushed garlic cloves
6 dl. apple vinegar
200 g. sugar
250 g. brown sugar

Mix all the ingredients except the sugar in a large pan.
Simmer for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the sugar and stir until dissolved.
Continue to simmer uncovered for about 1 – 1 ½ hours until the chutney is thick.
Pour into sterilized jars and seal.
Goes well with pumpkin lasagna, among many things!

Baked pumpkin

1 kg. pumpkin
½ dl. olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon salt
pinch of  pepper

Mix all the ingredients except pumpkin in a bowl.
Cut the peeled and de-seeded pumpkin into large chunks, and add to the bowl.
Spread the pumpkin in a baking pan and bake at 180° for 45 minutes.

Pumpkin cake

500 g. sugar
3 eggs
500 g. flour
3 teaspoons vanilla sugar
250 g margarine
½ liter grated pumpkin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3 teaspoons cinnamon

Mix all ingredients.
Pour into a greased and flour-dusted baking pan.
Bake in a pre-heated oven for 40 minutes at 175°.

Pumpkin smoothie (surprisingly good!)

In a blender, combine:
Peeled and de-seeded pumpkin in chunks
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
1 tablespoon honey
Apple juice to desired consistency.
Optional: ice cubes, if your blender can handle it, otherwise add them after blending.

Blend, pour, enjoy!

Vitaminer til jorden

Affald smider man væk. Men hvad gør man når “væk” er blevet væk? Når man indser at alt hvad der bliver smidt ud fra ens husholdning ender på middagsbordet, i badevandet, i drikkevandet, i luften, i isbjørnene? Når der samtidig udvindes stadig større mængder råstoffer og fremstilles alverdens produkter til at tilfredstille vores forbrug? Så bliver det vigtigt at sortere og genbruge. Reduce, reuse, recycle. Og når jorden samtidig mangler næring og struktur der gør den frugtbar, så er kompostering en del af løsningen. Jeg startede med at ønske mig en lukket kompostbeholder til den smule grønt affald jeg mente at have, og vennerne stillede straks op med en i fødeselsdagsgave inklusiv en bøtte kompostorme Eisenia foetida! Inden sommeren var omme var den blevet for lille og jeg udvidede med yderligere tre åbne kompostrum på ca. en m hver, bygget af engangspaller. På kort tid var de også fyldt, og har sommeren over været hjem for græskarplanter af Green Hubbard og grøn Hokkaido. Mums! Men det er en anden historie. Og komposten, den ligger nu i bedene og krukkerne med hindbær, blåbær, stikkelsbær, solbær, æble, minikiwi, rabarber, ramsløg, grønkål, rødkål, porrer, persille, jordbær, rucola, feldsalat, løvstikke, timian, merian, mynther, rosmarin, purløg, brøndkarse, peberrod…