Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Yesterday was a busy one. We are in the process of coaxing our garden into hibernation which means plants need to be pulled and either composted or burned [if diseased], old fruit picked up, trellises put away, compost spread, over-wintering plants protected, hay laid, and tools sterilized, along with a long list of other things. Oh, and harvesting roughly 40 pumpkins. Phew! This year, more than years past, I am really looking forward to the peace and rest that winter offers. With their early evenings and late mornings, these cooler months beg you to get the sleep and "slow" your body needs. The season provides everything - the chilly air to push you deeper under the covers, the cravings for warming, savory foods which are abundant these days, and the fire crackling - perfect for a book and cup of tea.

This year I eagerly await these months because, well, here's an illustration. When I ran cross country back in the day, my coach would tell us to leave it all out there on the course - essentially meaning, save nothing for the end. He would be pretty frustrated if we still had a sprint in us when the finish line came into view. Now, common sense says adrenaline takes over and provides that burst of energy but his point was if we truly gave it our all we naturally wouldn't have anything left. If we raced this way every time, he all but guaranteed, we wouldn't finish last and might just end up near the front of the pack. I think that's how the garden has been for us this year - a race that we gave everything to. And now, in the same way cross country only lasted for a season, so does garden. I say bring on the rest.

Now, back to my pumpkins. I have a lot [1/3 of that 40 but still, that's a lot]. That being said, the next few posts will succumb fully to the pumpkin-ness that is October. Because I am the stereotypical Dutchman and cringe at the thought of anything going to waste, I being forced to get creative with these orange little [and big] beauties.

This recipe is my spin on the classic apple crisp. Whenever I think dessert somehow I always land back at crisp. I'm constantly trying to change it each time hoping it doesn't wear out its welcome [which it never seems to]. Not fully knowing what I was getting myself into I decided to put a pumpkin spin on it this time. Turns out, it's delicious!

So grab the nearest pumpkin, give a salute to fall, and start whacking for, in my opinion, the only pumpkin that works here is a fresh one.


3 apples [variety of choice], peeled and cubed
2 thick sliced of raw pumpkin, peeled and cubed
1 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and cut into very small pieces
ground cinnamon
sucanat [or brown sugar]

Toss all above ingredients in a medium size bowl. Pour into square [or small rectangle] glass baking dish and even out top.


1/2 c. non-dairy butter [like Earth Balance, soy-free] or ghee
1/2 c. rolled oats
1/2 c. gluten-free all-purpose flour*
1/2 c. sucanat [or brown sugar]
1/2 tsp. each ground nutmeg, cloves, and allspice
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

In medium saucepan, melt non-dairy butter or ghee over medium heat. Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients. Stir until well mixed.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Pour topping over filling and spread evenly across the top. Bake for 40 minutes or until filling is soft and bubbling. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Serve plain or with dairy-free vanilla ice cream.

*For an easy all-purpose flour recipe sift together 1/3 c. brown rice or millet flour, 1/3 c. tapioca flour, 1/3 c. potato or arrowroot starch, and 2 tbsp. buckwheat flour.

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