When Life Gives You Pumpkins…

I began a pumpkin patch in 2016, mainly because I love the look of big orange pumpkins in October. When I needed to pick them, I looked around for ways to turn them into food. Thankfully, pumpkins are very versatile, and can form the base of many delicious things; not just pie and soup.

This was last year’s crop:

There’s a few different ways of harvesting pumpkin flesh. Some recipes ask you to carve it out with a spoon. That’s all very well but you need arms like Wonder Woman to do it properly. I found it easier to peel the skin off first and then cut the flesh into chunks. Better yet was the oven method: halve the pumpkin, scoop out the middle, wrap it in foil, and bake in a medium-heat oven (140 fan) for an hour. Then you just scoop the flesh out, like ice-cream, and blend to make a puree which can be used in most recipes, and can be frozen for later. This method also makes the kitchen smell of cooked pumpkin – an earthy, exciting aroma – and wrapping something in foil and baking it will make  you will feel as if you were cooking space food in the future.Read More »

My food in Poland

Part of a series of posts about food I’ve eaten around the world. See: Iran

This year I spent a few days in Poland visiting a friend, Will Badger, who has lived in the country before and speaks the language pretty fluently.

I was looking forward to trying Polish food as I’d never experienced it before, with the notable exception of pierogi (more below). I wasn’t disappointed, and Will knew where to take me to get the best stuff!

My favourite meals were eaten in milk bars (bar mleczny): originally cafeterias for students and workers during the Communist times, still running today, serving good, wholesome, inexpensive food.

Oscypek  (smoked sheep cheese) with lingonberry jam. Salty, warm, melt-in-your-mouth, with a side of sweetness. I bought this one from a street vendor on a cool May evening in Warsaw:


Breakfast! Scrambled eggs, ham, cottage cheese, fresh bread, pancakes (nalesniki), and  coffee:

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My Food in Iran

This will be part of a series of food I have eaten around the world. Everything is delicious.

Koloocheh, a soft bready biscuit with a cinnamon filling (recipe here). This was comforting on a chilly December evening in Tehran, like eating a hug:


This was a nutty stew (probably Fesenjān) that our guide told me I, as a foreigner, wouldn’t like. I ordered it to teach him a lesson, but I did genuinely enjoy it. It had a strong, vinegary flavour, which I was fully prepared for that having eaten my Dad’s pickled walnuts which taste much the same:

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