pumpkin hour

halloween came early this weekend.

a good friend, simon, is dating a brazilian woman and  friday night they came over and she cooked a traditional brazilian dish called (i think) camaron de abobora. it was one of 2 rare occasions that i was not the one slaving in my own kitchen – highly recommended, i’d say!

the dish involves hollowing out and pre-cooking a large pumpkin. a mix of shrimp/prawns, cilantro, garlic  and some other unknown ingredients goes into the hollow and is then baked for a while in the oven. delicious!


after the meal most of the pumpkin was still left over and i was determined not to let it go to waste. we were invited to my friend crystal’s (simon’s ex’s) bon voyage party  saturday before she leaves for india , so i used my vitamix (kinda like the rolls royce of blenders and one of the best things i brought with me from l.a.) to blend most of the pumpkin (rind and all) and made a large pot of pumpkin soup which i blended with some of the fresh cilantro/basil/pine nut/garlic and olive pesto i made a few days ago. 

when i was a kid, my mom used to make pumpkin fritters and i could never get enough of them. i’ve never tried making them before, but i reserved a few cups of pumpkin mash and did a google search for a recipe. here’s what i found. 

pumpkin fritter recipe:



  1. Combine pumpkin and egg, stir in flour, cinnamon, baking powder, sugar, salt and juice.
  2. Heat oil in a shallow pan and drop spoonfuls of the mixture into the oil, fry till golden then turn and do other side, drain on paper towels and serve hot sprinkled with cinnamon sugar.
because i had 3 cups of pumpkin i needed to adjust the recipe, and though it required some tweaking, the fritters were a huge hit at the party, disappearing almost immediately  (even though we needed an ark to get there through a huge thunder-storm!). 
when the storm cleared, fritter-fortified, we repaired to the huge bonfire simon had managed to keep going despite the rain. crystal got some lakshmi powder which we took turns sprinkling in the fire while pronouncing our crys-blessings and then we hooped and spun poi and jumped around in the garden like little kids. 
i know i , for one, needed it. and i think everyone else enjoyed the impromptu spinning lesson.