Tag Archive | Pumpkin recipes

Things To Do In The Kitchen Garden In November & Pumpkin Week

When I first started to grow vegetables I really needed information to be in one place, so I could look it up easily. However, I found I had to search for lots of little bits of information, scattered between internet sites and books. It used to take me a long time to find the information I needed.

I thought it would be useful to have this information altogether in one place. So for the benefit of the UK gardeners, I write a list of things to be done each month and any useful information I can think of.

It is worth remembering that different parts of the UK have different weather conditions e.g. the last frost is expected earlier in the south than the north. Therefore, this is a general guide.

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November:

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Vegetables and salads to harvest:

Kale, celeriac, parsnips (parsnips taste sweeter after a good hard frost though), swede, carrots, red and white cabbages, Brussels tops, Jerusalem artichokes, winter spinach, kohl rabi’s, oriental salads (if they have been given protection), cauliflowers, turnips, Swiss chard, celery, leeks, radish, land cress, corn salad, rocket.

Fruit to harvest:

Autumn raspberries may still be producing if there haven’t been any hard frosts. There may still be time to pick the last of your late season apples too.

Vegetables and salads to sow:

Over wintering broad beans e.g. Aquadulce.

Things to plant:

Garlic. Rhubarb, bare-rooted fruit trees and fruit bushes before the ground becomes too wet.

Jobs to do:

Remove old plant debris and weeds and dig in compost, manure or leaf mould if your ground needs it.  If you operate a ‘no-dig’ system, just spread it over the top so the worms will do the work for you.

Cover late crops with cloches, i.e. oriental leaves.

Add lime to your soil if it needs it, before the ground becomes too wet (to increase the PH of your soil).  Don’t add lime at the same time as your manure, as they will chemically react with each other.

Add all the old plant debris to your compost heap as long as it’s not diseased.

Cover areas that have been cleared if you can, to stop the rain from leaching the nutrients out of your soil over the winter.

Mulch celeriac and globe artichokes with straw to stop any frost damage.

Bend a few leaves over on your cauliflowers to protect them from frost.

Weed around your fruit trees and bushes and remove fruit cages so the birds can pick off any insects or eggs on them.

As the fruit trees and fruit bushes become dormant, it is time to start to prune them (except cherries and plums).  Remove any dead or diseased branches first.

Catch up with jobs that you didn’t get time to do in the summer e.g. painting your shed, making a new compost heap etc.

Collect leaves to make leaf mould.

Continue to fill a trench with all your old peelings, where you will be planting runner beans next year.  This will help retain the moisture in those long hot summers  (the ones we dream of).

Plant remaining daffodil bulbs and start to plant tulip bulbs.

Plan what you will be growing next year and enjoy reading through seed catalogues and ordering your seeds.

November pests and diseases:

Remove yellow leaves from brassica’s as this can encourage grey mould.

Whitefly can still be a problem on brassica’s, so either squash them between your fingers or spray them.

Pigeons get hungry at this time of year, so make sure you net your brassica’s.

Watch out for mice as they like to eat your newly planted broad bean seeds, garlic and over wintering onion sets.

Check your stored produce for rot, so it doesn’t spread.

Remove rotten fruit that may still be hanging on your fruit trees.

Fit grease bands or paint on fruit tree grease, if you didn’t do it last month, to stop the winter moth climbing up and laying its eggs.

I hope this information has been helpful.

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It’s the last day of my ‘Pumpkin week’ and today is the last of my recipes to use up the pumpkin that you scooped out of your halloween lanterns:

Pumpkin, Raisin and Orange Muffins

600g self-raising flour

220g soft brown sugar

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

300g raisins

2 eggs

400g pumpkin puree

150ml sunflower oil

The zest of 3 oranges

200ml of orange juice

A sprinkling of muscovado sugar for the top of each muffin

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Preheat your oven Gas mark 5 / 375F / 190C

Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and sugar into large bowl and stir in the raisins.

In a separate bowl beat the eggs and then mix in the pumpkin, oil, orange zest and juice.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir just until there is no flour visible. There will be still lots of lumps left (this is the secret of good sized muffins.

 

Half fill muffin cases with the mixture and sprinkle each muffin with a little muscavado sugar.

 

Bake for 25 minutes until the cakes are firm to the touch and golden brown.

 

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Thank you for reading my blog today.

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How We Celebrated Halloween and Pumpkin Week Continued

I’m really pleased as the BBC has published my recipes on their website.  The recipes are the ones I cooked in their kitchen, live on air, on Tuesday.

You can read them here  (below the picture of Jim Davis).

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Yesterday (Halloween), I spent the whole day preparing for the evening.

I decorated our front room and hallway and put our pumpkin on the doorstep ready for later.

I also made one hundred cupcakes ready for the children that would come ‘Trick or Treating’.

I managed to get some cheap Halloween cake cases and I made fairy cakes and decorated them with icing that had food colouring mixed in.  I used sprinkles and plastic spiders, etc to decorate them.

We all dressed up for the evening and used our face paints to paint our faces.

I bought these face paints when the girls were toddlers and they have lasted all these years and they are still good.

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We had a lovely Halloween meal of Pumpkin lasagne, salad and potato wedges.

I then followed this with Pumpkin and Orange muffins (the recipe will be on my blog tomorrow), Halloween cup cakes,

And finally ‘Witches Fingers’ Jelly.

The children that knocked at our door, all seemed impressed with the cakes.  However, we were absolutely amazed, as all of the one hundred cakes went in just one hour!  I just can’t believe how many children knocked at our door in such a short time.  They were all polite and grateful for them though.

After this, we brought our pumpkin in and switched off the lights at the front of the house, to let people know not to knock.

My youngest daughter had prepared a Halloween quiz for us and some Halloween games for us to play.  One of which was bobbing apples.

Just in case some readers from abroad haven’t heard of bobbing apples, this is where you have to pick up an apple from a bowl of water using just your mouth.  We had fun doing this.

We finished off the evening with a ‘spooky story’ that I had downloaded from the internet for free.

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Pumpkin Week Continued:

To continue with our ‘Pumpkin Week’, below I’ve written another recipe to use up the pumpkin that you have scooped out of your Halloween pumpkin.

Don’t forget that your pumpkin can be frozen to use later on in the year.

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Pumpkin Lasagne Recipe

Spaghetti Bolognaise sauce (you can find the recipe here)

6-8 sheets of lasagne

600 grams raw pumpkin

Half a pint of white sauce (make the same sauce as here, but omit the parsley)

Enough cheese to sprinkle on top.

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Preheat the oven Gas 6 / 204C / 400F

Pre-cook the lasagne in boiling water for 10 minutes.

Cook the pumpkin for a few minutes until soft and drain all the water.  Gently press some of the water out with a fork.

Make a white sauce.

Put half of the pre-made spaghetti bolognaise sauce in the bottom of a dish.

Put half the pumpkin over the bolognaise sauce.

Layer half of the lasagne sheets over the pumpkin and then cover with half of the white sauce.

Repeat the above three steps.

Sprinkle with cheese.

Cook in the oven for 25 minutes.

Enjoy!

Thank you for reading my blog.

Cooking On Radio Leicester And Pumpkin Recipe Week

Today was a big day for me, as I went into Radio Leicester to cook live on air in their kitchen.  It’s not the first time I have been into their kitchen to cook, but I was still very nervous.

You can listen to the program here.  I was cooking from the start of the program for the first hour.

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A couple of weeks ago, a lady called Kimberley had asked Radio Leicester if they would help her to learn to cook from scratch, on a family budget.  They asked three ‘Experts’ to help her out (which made me laugh as I’m just little ‘me’ with no training whatsoever).  I was very humbled to be one of them.

They also invited a lady from Derby, who said she came from a family that has always cooked from scratch and she was trained in catering and hospitality at Southfields College and another lady who teaches cookery on behalf of Leicester City Council and writes for the ‘Love Food Hate Waste’ website that you can find here.

I couldn’t ‘boil peas’ when I left home and my friends used to call me the ‘packet mix queen’, so knowing this I tried very hard to make sure that the recipes that I made were easy and quick to cook and were in my usual ‘Notjustgreenfingers’ style, of ‘cheap to make’.  I used ‘value’ ingredients to prove that good food can be made cheaply, so you can live well on less.

I started by showing Kimberley how to cook a Thick And Creamy Vegetable Soup, that I wrote about a few weeks ago.  I did have a problem with their Electric hob as it took 45 minutes to heat up and then in the end it went on ‘super hot’ mode instead.

Thick And Creamy Vegetable Soup

You can find the recipe here.

I worked out that each bowl cost me approximately 40p to make.

This soup freezes well too.

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Then I showed her how to cook Fish in a Parsley Sauce:

Fish In Parsley Sauce

You can find the recipe for the parsley sauce here.

I worked out that the fish in parsley sauce costs just 82p per portion.

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I then followed this with a quick and easy Microwaved Jam Sponge, which is so quick and easy to make.  It’s great to make when you have unexpected guests for dinner.

I have worked out that each portion costs an amazing 9p to make.

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Microwaved Jam Sponge Recipe

100g margarine, plus some for greasing the bowl

100g granulated sugar

2 eggs beaten

100g self-raising flour

2-3 tablespoons of milk

2 tablespoons of jam

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Beat the margarine and sugar together.

Add the beaten egg.

Fold in the flour and add enough milk to achieve dropping consistency.

Grease a microwave bowl with margarine.

Drop the jam in the bottom of the bowl and put the mixture on top.

Cover the bowl with a small plate or Microwave Clingfilm, leaving a small gap for the steam to escape.

Microwave on ‘high’ for 8 minutes (based on an 800W microwave).

Leave to stand for a couple of minutes before turning it out.

Serve with custard or ice-cream.

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Just to finish off I showed Kimberley how to make a multipurpose ‘Old fashioned cleaner’ out of white distilled vinegar and a few drops of Tea Tree essential oil.

White vinegar is a great mulitipurpose cleaner and if you add a few drops of Tea Tree oil it then becomes a multipurpose antibacterial cleaner.

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I hope people enjoyed listening to the show.

 

Pumpkin Recipe Week:

Yesterday, I started my Pumpkin Recipe week.

  All of this week I will be looking at ways to use pumpkins, so they are not wasted after the Halloween pumpkin has been carved.

  Today’s recipe is great to serve at Halloween parties.

It’s a variation to the jam sponge recipe above:

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Microwaved Pumpkin Scary Syrup Sponge Recipe

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100 grams Margarine, plus some for greasing

100 grams Sugar

2 Eggs beaten

100 grams Self-raising flour

200 grams raw pumpkin

2 tablespoons of golden syrup

1 teaspoon baking powder

A few drops of food colouring (you can use any colour that you have, I used orange)

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Cook the pumpkin in a pan of boiling water until it is soft.  Drain the pumpkin and mash it a little bit

Beat the margarine and sugar together.

Mix in the beaten egg and food colouring.

Fold in the flour, baking powder and the pumpkin.

Grease a microwave bowl with margarine. 

Drop the golden syrup in to the bottom of the bowl and put the mixture on top.

Cover the bowl with a small plate or Microwave Clingfilm, leaving a small gap for the steam to escape.

Microwave on ‘high’ for 8 minutes (based on an 800W microwave).

Leave to stand for a couple of minutes before turning it out.

Decorate with scary things.

Serve with custard with a few drops of food colouring in for effect. 

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Thank you for reading my blog today.