I haven’t had much of a chance to get into the garden with the weather recently, if it’s not raining it’s windy or just a bit too cold to have Mr C outside (he has rather a tendency to remove clothing no matter how tightly I zip him in). I did, however, force myself to do a tidy of the vegetable patch, it was getting a little out of control and the empty buckets from this years planting that I had cleaned and left in the sun to ‘bleach’ were blowing all over the place. I have now weeded and cleared all but one of the raised beds so can look out without shame.
I have made some time for cooking the squash, it has looked very pretty sitting in our living room but I wanted to make sure some at least, is used whilst in it’s prime. I am not big on soups and need to hunt online for a nice pumpkin/squash cake recipe, I feel sure there must be one, probably a loaf cake with ginger maybe? For now I settled on a squash pizza from the book Apples for Jam by Tessa Kiros. I love this book, it is chock full of beautiful photos and childhood memories, it’s ‘family’ food, largely aimed at children but ‘proper’ food if that makes sense. The layout drives me nuts from a quick cook point of view as it’s laid out in chapters by colour, but as a nice reading book with some wonderful images and recipes it’s great.
For the squash pizza, I used one of the Buttercup Squash, as you can see it was an amazing colour and tasted very sweet once cooked, almost a bit too sweet (must try a cake with the other one). Sorry there is no photo of the finished ‘pizza’ but it was dark by then, it was rather good though, the boys weren’t all that impressed but M and I happily ate it up.
You basically peel the pumpkin and remove the seeds, cut into long strips (max 2 mm thick), dip in flour and layer in a round flat dish with a drizzle of oil between layers. Season, slop on (I’m sure Tessa doesn’t ‘slop’ ) some Tomato Passata (I used some I had in the freezer made from our toms this summer) scatter with a good pinch of oregano and cook for 50 mins at 180. You then grate over cheese and pop it back in for 10 mins. Job done.
We also just found out we are home alone for Christmas, my sister is heading to her holiday cottage in Yorkshire and my Mother is staying ‘Up North’ as she has people staying directly before and after Christmas, so it’s just us. F is very excited this year (4 yrs old) and C will love it (2 yrs old) so it’ll be nice. I did think I might do a cold lunch, as I am the only person really interested in the whole Christmas dinner thing, but I just can’t as I love Christmas lunch, so instead I am preparing as much as possible ahead so there is little or nothing to do on the day. To this end I made a nice stock from a recent roast, made it up into a gravy and popped it in the freezer. Please don’t laugh, making gravy is a pain when cooking a full roast so the idea of just taking it out of the freezer and heating up appeals! I am sure I will let you know more of my pre-prep lunch as it happens (you wait with baited breath, I know) but time to put the boys to bed and think about dinner.