Tonight I found myself alone for dinner at the start of a seldom-experienced three-day weekend with chilly damp temperatures outside and no money to spend. Luckily I was loaded up with CSA veggies, recently rehydrated cannellini beans, and a lot of baking ingredients. I got to bust out my newly acquired vintage holiday-themed Pyrex lidded casserole dish*, and stuff it with whole cloves of garlic, carrots, onions, jalapenos and olive oil. Once sufficiently roasted, I added it to a pot with the aforementioned beans, fresh rosemary and sage from my humble container garden, and some veggie stock. I pureed it with my immersion blender and topped it with more garden-fresh parsley and fresh pepper and warmed my belly:
But wait! There’s more to this dinner. For a few weeks I’ve been imagining how good it would be to have not just cornbread, but pumpkin cornbread, and not just pumpkin cornbread, but maple-glazed pumpkin cornbread. That’s like the triumvirate of delicious fall goodness, am I right? So I played around a little with a plain cornbread recipe and stuck it in the oven and later pulled out a lovely golden-orange pan of pumpkin cornbread, brushed a piece with maple syrup, and stuck it under the broiler for a few minutes. Behold:
I ate it with greens and a beet vinaigrette (made from the juices leftover from roasting beets in olive oil and some balsamic), and the cornbread was moist and fluffy and gloriously soft, and the maple had caramelized and smelled like marshmallows when I pulled it out from the broiler. I really want to give you this recipe, but the only problem was it didn’t taste sufficiently pumpkin-y to me. I’ve already talked up this idea to people at work, so I have to remake it until I get it right in order to share it with the coworkers I managed to impress with my enthusiasm. Which means then I will get it posted here. Oh, and did I mention it is maple-sweetened and relatively low-fat? Oh yes.
And, because I can’t leave well enough alone, I had to go and use the leftover canned pumpkin in a Vita-Mix ice cream concoction. Using frozen bananas as a base, I added the pumpkin, raisins (for sweetness), vanilla, cinnamon, and ginger. I suppose I could have used some nutmeg and gone for the whole pumpkin pie experience, but it was pretty darn tasty as is.
Don’t you just love fall? Orange makes me feel so warm and comfy, which is good considering it’s about 45 degrees outside and our radiators haven’t been turned on. The weather a week ago was, believe it or not, quite warm and t-shirt and shorts-worthy. In case you thought I was totally crazy, I ate the ice cream in front of a space heater wearing a sweater and my special ladyfriend’s big comfy slippers (I have no slippers of my own, sniff).
I’m already dreaming about using the leftover pumpkin cornbread for a delicious weekend brunch bread pudding. I love it when I already have magical new uses in mind for leftovers, instead of consuming them in a (sometimes) less ideal day-old state, or letting them become science experiments because I want something new and different the next day. Hooray for foresight!
*More on this casserole dish and other delicious vintage things later in the month…