Tag Archives: Pumpkin

Good Eatin’: A Dinner of Scallops

List Item: Try 500 of the 1001 Foods You Must Try Before You Die

One of the better things to come out of a online grocery shop substitution is that I am able to make a visit to a supermarket in person to see if there are any fresh meat or fish that I can use. I was in luck today.

Food item: Cox’s Orange Pippin

Before I get to that I had a bit of an afternoon snack in the form of a list apple.I remember being younger and these apples being very easy to find alongside Red & Golden Delicious apples. Now the supermarket is so saturated with Pink Lady apples (I still do not see the popularity here) that I have not seen Cox apples for a long time. These are sweet, crisp and refreshing… not too sweet like Pink Lady apples are.

Food item: Pumpkin, Celeriac, Grains of Paradise, Oyster Mushrooms, Diver King Scallops, Lemon Myrtle

Okay so six list items in one meal is a bit much but… I don’t actually mind spending an hour in the kitchen. Anyway, two of these are flavourings so it doesn’t add that much in terms of preparation.

Firstly, there was the pumpkin. I roasted this with some oil and some cumin which took longer than the 40 minutes that was on the recipe page. I like roast pumpkin, so it annoys me how it is hard to find in supermarkets as many just refuse to sell it after Halloween, in many ways it resembles a slightly sweet butternut squash when roasted.

The celeriac was chopped and roasted with some ground up grains of paradise mixed with butter. This gave the celeriac (which tasted like parsnip mixed with celery) an earthy, peppery kick which worked remarkably well.

Oyster mushrooms are not exactly a good side dish by themselves to be honest. They are far too delicate with their faint woody flavouring. If anything they are good to eat because of their texture and because of their flavour absorbing abilities.

Finally, we have the king scallops that I paired with the lemon myrtle I bought from Seasoned Pioneers when I got the filé powder. The scallops came with the roe which I tasted after their 3 minute searing and… I can not say that I was a fan of the intense fishy flavour. I did, however enjoy the meaty texture of these rather thick scallops which were lovely with the intense citrus notes from the lemon myrtle.

The meal may not be too much to look at (minus the pack of Grains of Paradise I included as proof of use) but there was a large variety of flavour that made for an interesting meal. The best of the plate? The grains of paradise coated celeriac.

I am very much aware that I am one away from hitting the half-way point. It really needs to be something special.

Progress: 249/500

Something Kirby This Way Comes

List item: Carve a cool pumpkin
Status: Completed

Okay, so I know publishing a post on Christmas Eve about carving a Halloween pumpkin is a little unorthadox but that is just what comes from taking a month’s break for NaNoWriMo and generally just working a little bit ahead.

Complete honesty: I am writing this about a month after the fact and this pumpkin has long since rotted, in fact I only had three days of Kirby goodness until it collapsed in on itself and I had to throw it out.

So firstly I got a reasonably sized pumpkin and created a template of Kirby to be carved into it. I know we could have gone for something more traditional (especially since it has been around 15 years since I last carved a pumpkin) but, in the words of Cate Blanchett, “if you know you are going to fail, then fail gloriously”. I figured this would not turn out well but at least I tried.

I got my partner to hollow out the pumpkin whilst I made sure dinner was on, in retrospect I should have saved the seeds for a snack or something. In fact, the whole pumpkin going to waste (other than providing 3 days of decoration) feels just a little bit decadent.

We took it in turns to do the whole carving out of pieces and at this point it was already starting to look like Kirby, the thing is that with the light behind it… it was a bit hard to make out some bits, so I did something I had never done before: partial carving.

I may have wrestled the knife from my partner’s hands, (I felt bad about this since this was his first pumpkin carve),but I couldn’t get two and I really wanted this one to work… and if it didn’t it would be my fault. So I did the shaving/partial carving. I went a bit over the top and accidentally did the waving arm at the top when I wasn’t meant to, but actually I think it made it look a lot more recognisably Kirby than just an amorphous pumpkin blob.

I know he’s a little rough around the edges but we were only armed with a £3 pumpkin carving set from Morrison’s so I am so very happy with how this turned out. I would never have thought of doing the partial carving to get shade differences, but think that made all the difference in capturing Kirby’s arm, feet and cheeks.