Pumpkin is favorite ingredient in many dishes

Posted: Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Whatever your food plans may be for Thanksgiving, it is probably safe to assume that those plans will include pumpkin. Pumpkin's rich color and smooth texture makes it a favorite ingredient in many holiday dishes and moves with ease from one course to the next. The same pured pumpkin used for making Thanksgiving pies, also loves the Christmas table in the form of side dishes and soups.

Photo By Sue Ade
Photo By Sue Ade
This time of the year, pumpkin is the "it" ingredient served in many desserts, such as cheesecake. Cheesecakes freeze well, making them an ideal make-ahead dessert. Pumpkin cheesecakes are good topped with whipped cream, or a pecan praline topping.

Recently, I received a copy of Jasper J. Mirabile Jr.'s "Jasper's Kitchen Cookbook: Italian Recipes and Memories from Kansas City's Legendary Restaurant," and was particularly inspired by Mirabile's "Pumpkin Soup en Cappuccino." I'm planning to serve it, as Mirabile suggests, as an "aperitif," before Christmas dinner. Although Mirabile's recipe calls for canned pumpkin, I think I will use leftover mashed fresh pumpkin from the cheesecake and pies that I am planning to bake now, freeze and serve later.

Of course, if my plan stands a chance, I'll have to continue to make some room in the freezer, a chore that should have been completed weeks ago. But, it's been hard giving up the last stash of fresh blueberries and strawberries for the pumpkin pies. So hard, in fact, that I'm thinking of asking Santa to bring me another freezer - one just for the berries and the other for the pies.

Sue Ade is a syndicated food writer with broad experience and interest in the culinary arts. She has worked and resided in the Lowcountry of South Carolina since 1985 and may be reached at kitchnade@yahoo.com .

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