...even if it may not look it to you.
You see, I finally got hold of these bad boys:
Canned pumpkin - oh yes!
The UK doesn't really do pumpkin, except fairly recently at halloween (and, it seems, only at halloween). When I was little you couldn't get a pumpkin for love nor money, so we all used turnips instead for jack o'lanterns. Which are not only almost impossible to hollow out and carve, but look a bit rubbish too. See here if you want to see a carved turnip, and especially if you want to be laughing at the lameness of it for at least half an hour.
The UK also doesn't do pumpkin as a foodstuff, with maybe the exception of soup, but only in large cosmopolitan cities. If you live in a town or village, then you can forget about finding pumpkin soup in a restaurant or supermarket - if you ask for some people will stare at you with widen eyes and open mouths, and scratch their head in confusion.
The UK especially doesn't do canned pumpkin, even though it bizarrely does do canned fried onions. The mind boggles over what you might do with some canned fried onions, or more to the point, what they might taste like. But after extensive searching, I finally tracked some canned pumpkin down to Peckhams (a Scottish delicatessen chain)*, which I was most excited about, especially as they have a branch really close to my work. I may have even done a little happy dance on the spot in the store!
And to add further excitement, I was gifted these little ladies recently:
Matryoshka measuring cups
What's so special about these measuring cups is that they measure in the American 'cup' system. No longer will I be baffled by American recipes that call for half a cup of this, and a quarter of a cup of that, nor will I be cursing every American under the sun, living and dead, for not adopting the metric (or even imperial) measuring system every time I try to bake using an American recipe and get the measurements all wrong. The only thing these magical lady cups don't do is guide me through the 'stick' method of measuring butter, but I'll save that rant for another day!
You're probably a bit confused now as to why I'm celebrating canned pumpkin and my magical lady cups, but you see, at autumn time everyone seemed to be sharing their favourite pumpkin recipes, which all called for canned pumpkin. And all canned pumpkin recipes follow the cup measuring system which got the better of me for so long. But now that I'm armed with the requisite key ingredient and tools I can now belatedly make some lovely lovely pumpkin goodness!
So, before I get baking - what I want to know is what is your favourite pumpkin recipe (savoury or sweet)?
* while I was excited to find canned pumpkin in Peckhams, they I was saddened to find they don't do chocolate covered pretzels. Chocolate covered pretzels are a massive love of both me and boyfriend. You could buy them in Scotland once, maybe about 12 years ago, for about 6 months, then they took them all off the shelves, never to be seen again. Boyfriend and I often have long conversations that go along the lines of "do you remember when you used to be able to get chocolate covered pretzels.....?". What can I say, we like our food, and especially our treats!