Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Peter Peter Pumpkin (Stew) Eater

As I was preparing this pumpkin stew, baked in a pumpkin, that children's nursery rhyme popped in my head and–maybe for the first time ever–I wondered what the heck it means.

McDougall's Festive Pumpkin Stew

If you look, you'll see there's some discussion about it, but no consensus.  From the Wikipedia entry: 

Freshly roasted pumpkin seeds
Peter, Peter pumpkin eater,
Had a wife but couldn't keep her;
He put her in a pumpkin shell
And there he kept her very well.
Peter, Peter pumpkin eater,
Had another and didn't love her;
Peter learned to read and spell,
And then he loved her very well.

It's a terrible photo–aside from the kernels of corn, which you can see, there's also sweet and white potatoes, carrots, onions and peppers in the stew, from the McDougall recipe for Festive Pumpkin Stew at the top of a newsletter on this page.  I used fresh jalapeño instead of canned green chiles and didn't have seitan, didn't want to go out in the cold to get some, wasn't sure I wanted to add gluten (which I mostly avoid) anyway, left it out and didn't miss it.   I made a half-recipe (4 servings) and baked a little less than half of it in a very small pie pumpkin.

After my experience last year with the Veggie Turducken, I was wary of baking anything inside a vegetable like that again, but I would make this pumpkin stew cooked in a pumpkin again, make it for a crowd and serve it in a large pumpkin tureen.  Next time I'll take a better photo :-)

I reheated the left-overs, adding black beans, chopped kale and cumin.  Even without the pretty pumpkin presentation, I liked it.

Another first for me, I saved and roasted the seeds–that little pumpkin was chock full of them.  I used this process and they really did come out perfect.


floribunda said...

I remember (years ago) making a beef stew that was baked inside a pumpkin. When I lifted it out of the oven (silly me didn't think to have a pan under it) -- the pumpkin collapsed! I've been wary of stuff like that ever since, but I might just have to try your recipe...

I love your dishes, by the way!

Terri said...

Love your placemat.
In Medieval times women died in child birth so often... I'm thinking Mrs. Pumpkineater died. (Divorce was almost nonexistent then.) When he married again he didn't love Mrs.II, but learning to read gave him a new insight to life. Sound plausible? Anyway, twas fun to think about.

Anonymous said...

That looks like an excellent way to cook and flavor your stew. Very attractive photo, in my opinion.

CathyC said...

LOL I never knew the whole rhyme :)
looks yummy, even for someone who is not that keen on pumpkin :)

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