Winter has started its migration north leaving us with that bitter-sweet feeling of time passing but brighter golden days ahead. With New Zealand officially declaring the start of Spring tomorrow, 1 September, I’m sure that the country’s mood will lift to a lighter note. I’m all for the warmer longer days but can’t help but feel that despite the flash in the pan snow episodes winter has been a bit of a fraud this year. Sure it’s had we’ve had our moment of meteorological misery but on balance it’s been more that bearable than others we’ve had.
This winter season I’ve been much more rigorous as far as food seasonality goes. We’ve reaped a sturdy winter harvest of vegetables from the kitchen garden although I didn’t quite grow enough carrots, parsnips and potatoes to last us. We have however had no shortage of bright golden pumpkins and squashes which we’ve eaten in more variations that to be honest I didn’t even know existed until this year. We’ve had pumpkin with all semblance of home made pastas, roasted au natural, spiced on pizzas, in winter salads (with chorizo, fennel and blue cheese) and this weekend for the culinary finale we had a pumpkin cake.
This wasn’t any old pumpkin loaf though it was crowned in confection that is normally reserved for cakes of a finer class. A rich butterscotch icing and candied pumpkin seeds. It’s a culinary celebration of winter’s finest vegetable.