Friday, March 2, 2012


The humble pumpkin is grossly under-estimated in some countries where it is seen to be admirable farm fodder but good for little else. What a waste!....Do not stint your imagination as you contemplate the preparation of pumpkin. Be adventurous.The pumpkin can take it. Baked or boiled, eaten as a vegetable, baked into a sweet tart or pie, a magnificent soup, bread, scones, muffins, puddings ....those lucky farm animals never had it so good."
The raw tomato consists of about 90 per cent water yet it compresses into that compact, attractive body mass flavour of a sort which can be turned to a myriad cooking styles and dishes." 
"Jack Forsyth's : Scrumptious Tucker" : John Forsyth.
Pumpkins are a good source of Vitamin A and C, they have some potassium and calcium, are very low in salt and fat and are cholesterol-free. Our family's favourite variety of pumpkin is Buttercup which have a delicious creamy flavour. It is plentiful and a good buy at the moment here in New Zealand.
I learnt this recipe from a chief who worked onboard a boat on Milford Sound, fifteen years ago.
1. Wash the pumpkin, then cut it in half length ways. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon.
2. Rub Olive Oil all over the the two halves including over the skin and place them on a baking tray.
3. Next you can choose either of the following two options.
 ~ the quick simple option ~ grate or grind any or all of the following onto
      the two halves - black pepper, salt crystals, parmesan cheese, garlic 
                                    cloves, chopped fresh marjoram or basil.
      Bake at 180 - 200*c for about 30 minutes.

~ the longer option ~ salt and pepper the pumpkin halves, then fill the
      pumpkin cavity with any of the following or you own version.
                                  - 1 - 2 tins of tomatoes or several fresh sliced
                                     tomatoes + fresh herbs, fine sliced capsicum and
                                  - pre-cooked rice, spicy vegetables, meat or fish.
                                  - pre-cooked minced beef with herbs, tomatoes,
                                     mushrooms and capsicums.
                                  - pre-cooked spicy sausages, sliced with onion, 
                                     tomato, capsicum and mushrooms.
     Bake at 180 - 200*c for about 30 - 45 minutes. When you think the pumpkin is cooked, stick a sharp knife into it to test if it is soft.

Some people only eat tomatoes in salad along with lettuce and cucumbers. But try this quick easy hot dish which your family can  appreciated as the evenings sometimes turn chilly from here on.
Tomatoes are a great source of Vitamin A, B, and C groups. Low in calories, fat, salt and cholesterol-free. They are best stored at room temperature, but refrigerate if they are over ripe to slow them down.
1. Wash the tomatoes, cut in halves and put into a buttered baking dish.
2. Top with any of the following - salt and ground black pepper, fresh chopped herbs, lemon juice, zest of lemon, grated parmesan or edam cheese.
At this stage they look and smell delicious but resist and don't eat them yet - Bake them at 180 - 200*c for 15 - 20 minutes - THEN enjoy them.
The sweetness of the tomato increases with cooking and the taste improves especially with the other added flavours.
THISWEEKWITHTHEKIDS ~  if you have never eaten cooked tomato or pumpkin - have a go! Try to involve your children in making the dish. I hope you enjoy the experience of making the dish and eating it.

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