Tomorrow is December 1st, which means several things: 1) My rent is due. 2) It's the first night of Hanukkah and 3) It's the day when our favorite autumnal fruit (or is it a vegetable?) officially gets the heave-ho. Suddenly, we're too cool for pumpkin bisque, pumpkin pie, pumpkin muffins and pumpkin pancakes. Citrus steps into the spotlight. You start tossing clementines in your kids' lunch bags and shoving halved grapefruits under the broiler. Before you know it you're serving pomegranate margaritas on New Year's.
I spotted these good-lookin' gourds at a farmstand in late October.
And invited this pretty pumpkin to come home with me to adorn my table throughout November.
And yet, as I pulled out the ornaments and twinkly lights yesterday, I knew it was time to retire my festive fall centerpiece. I admit, I had misgivings about slicing into this guy. I imagine it's the way farmers feel about raising a turkey or chicken before it becomes their family's dinner. Or maybe I'm just sappy and melodramatic.
But ultimately, it was the right thing to do. I made a popular Afghani dish called Pumpkin Kadu Bouranee, which is a really delicious vegetarian meal. It's basically stir-fried pumpkin mixed with a sweet tomato and ginger sauce and a dollop of yogurt or sour cream on top. I served it over basmati rice with cinnamon and toasted almonds and some whole wheat naan on the side.
Pip, pip dear pumpkin. You had one helluva season.