All too briefly for a few days. I’ve flown from Geneva to Gatwick, two airports guaranteed to make me go grrrrrr. But maybe that’s because they are airports, that frankly could be anywhere in the world that need to sort out their coffee.
Or maybe it’s because I’m in the air for an hour, maybe and hour 20 minutes maximum and that entails getting to the airport beyond ahead of time to queue up, to then take my belt, shoes, jewellery off for the pleasure of a woman with a beepy machine only to confirm that you are wearing an underwired bra.
I’m actually pleased to be home for a few days – I get to catch up with a couple of friends over coffee, sleep in my own bed, see the sea, hear the seagulls on the rooftops squabbling with each other. Oh, and pop up to the allotment 🙂
A bit of damage has been wrought over winter. Some hefty storms have blown in, but I knew that already – the windows on the back of the house (which face seawards) are smeared in salty stormy gouk.
Aaah, a cup of tea and sitting down at the kitchen table, making a to-do list, the fire in the sitting room is lit. I’ll ignore the pile of envelopes to open till later, but I can’t put it off for ever.
Surveying the house and contents, what do I check first? The pumpkins of course! Anyway, I know what’s on the menu tonight, one of the Australian Butter Squashes has started to go off. The base has started to go mouldy in patches and I was greeted with some yellow ooze. It’s the first time I’ve grown and stored these, and they haven’t appreciated the windowsill as much as I thought they would.
The windowsill test is my test. I grow the squash, pick them in mid autumn, give them a clean up and then put them on windowsills around the house. A double whammy of decoration and edible ticks my boxes.
But storing them on windowsills isn’t the recommended method. You are meant to place them in darkened rooms, that don’t get too cold or too warm. But space is limited here in this corner of the south-east. I don’t have a handy basement, garage etc. only a former outside loo and now a shed (but it get’s too cold). So it’s need’s must.
Show and tell picture of mouldy oozy gouky pumpkin
And what to do with a pumpkin that’s going off?
Option 1 – is to invite ALL your friends and family round for a pumpkin fest, and cook the whole thing in one sitting and make Sri Lankan Pumpkin Curry.
Option 2 – if you are not feeling that sociable, slice away the bad bits. Cut up a few slices and roast them with some olive oil and rosemary/sage to have with your dinner.
Option 3 – includes option 2 but includes peeling and chopping it all into large chunks and freeze it bagged up but uncooked. It will freeze ok, not brilliantly like eating fresh but good for stews and soups.
Option 4 – cook it all, i.e. roast or mash it and then freeze it in separate portions for use as is, or in soups and stews.
Option 5 – canning it, if I knew how.
And then there is Option 6 – Halve the pumpkin, steam 1/4 of it and mash it, roast 1/4 and then divide the other section and give to friends to cook and eat 🙂
It seemed the only sensible option considering that this bonny baby weighed in at over 6 lbs!