Thursday, October 30, 2003

I've just spent the day cooking pumpkin, which involves cutting it into small pieces, steaming the pieces for nearly an hour (thanks to high altitude), scraping the flesh from the rind, mashing the flesh, and then spooning it into Ziplocs in careful measurements before storing in the freezer. It's a time-consuming but satisfying process, particularly as the results prepare for a winter of pumpkin pie, bread, soup, and cookies, all of which are quite tasty and even more so when made with home-cooked pumpkin. Later on I'm going to bake up a double batch of cookies for the Halloween party at work tomorrow (We're supposed to dress up. I'm going to wear my pajamas.), from a recipe out of the Sunburst Farm Family Cookbook. It's one of my favorite cookbooks--well, that's not really fair, since all of my cookbooks are my favorites--partly because of its recipes but mainly because of the pure amusement I get from it.

The cookbook was produced by the Brotherhood of the Sun, a Santa Barbara commune in the 1970's, which is quite enough in itself. Each section is prefaced with a note about their growing and cooking methods, the best ingredients to use, and so on, as well as occasional philosophical notes. My favorite is the "Eight Paths of Right Cooking" at the end of the book. I've just discovered that the book is available through Popula, for $12. I'm not sure if it's worth it, but to further intrigue you, here's the recipe for Pumpkin Cloud Cookies.

1/2 c butter or margarine
1 c honey
2 eggs
1 c steamed, mashed pumpkin
2 c whole wheat flour [or 1 c wheat and 1 c white]
1 t baking soda
1 t sea salt
2 t cinnamon
1 t mace [or nutmeg]
2 c chopped walnuts

Cream butter; add honey. Add eggs and pumpkin. Mix dry ingredients together and add to the rest, including the nuts. Drop on greased cookie sheet. Bake in 350 oven for 15 minutes. Makes 30 cookies.

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