Thursday, October 15, 2009

Pumpkins (Pompoenen) [Abóboras]

Another eye candy post: loads and loads of pumpkin compositions from Dutch gardens. As you can see in the title of this post, in Portuguese we call it "abóbora". I think it has an arab origin, like many other words in Portuguese, instead of the Greek/Latin "pepon". That is why it was difficult for me during my first years in Holland to remember about the name of this vegetable in Dutch. It was always a description such as: "that round orange veggie that could become a charriot in fairy tales and you can make soup and curries with". My husband, being the technical no nonsense and down to earth person he is, just asked: "say it in English". "Abóbora, abóbora, a-abó-bo-ra, a...bó... bo... ra..." I used to reply like that cause I completed had a black out in English. He laughed and said: "pompoen".

The pumpkin above is in my backyard and cost just 1 euro.

Because you just see and cook pumpkins for a short period of the year, it is a kind of foreign word you easily forget - or mispronounce. A couple of weeks ago I just mentioned during a party in my sister-in-law's how much I liked to eat pumpkins with shrimps (a typical Brazilian dish). I said "poenpoen" instead of "pompoen" and noticed that some guests were looking diagonally at me and a bit holding a laugh. Then a woman started talking about an incredible "pompoen fair" she had visited in Schagen - or God knows where. Then everybody started talking in turns about "pompoen" this and "pompoen" that... emphasizing POMpoen. I was in a circle and could only see the guests' mouths saying POMpoen, POMpoen, POMpoen. Like in a nightmare. So I decided to change the conversation to lighter subjects such as the world economic crisis and unemployment rates in Holland. Humpf !

This arrangement above is definitely kitsch. I cannot imagine Brazilian people using veggies for garden decoration. It is seen as disrespectful, using something edible to just rotten under the sun. But yeah... here in Hooland is cool weather at this time of the year, and some pumpkins are not even edible. I sitll have to photograph the incredibly beautiful mini pumpkins I have seen in some shops (12 units being sold for 5 euros).

This one above is so huge, this kind of pumpkin variation certainly was THE source of inspiration for fairy tales about pumpkins becoming charriots.

The flower above is not pumpkin related, no... (Ach ! Dat mag ook hier, toch ?)

Another potential charriot for Cinderella (Above).

Another angle in detail from the composition pictured in the previous photo.

This is the pumpkin I used for soup yesterday. It is a Japanese race called uchiki kuri and it is cultivated in the area of Betuwe (north Holland). It is 100% bio and you can find it in most supermarkets from September to February. Mega-hyper-super hard skin. But because I am Brazilian I never give up and made the soup anyway. I started frying diced onions and garlic in oil, added carrots and one liter chicken stock. Cook for some minutes and then add pices of pumpkin. Let the vegetables cook until they get soft. Blend wel with a mixer and "klaar is Kees".There are several recipes on the net, and this one I made with a twist: I added a small amount of coconut milk and cilantro seeds. It became silky, smooth and very aromatic. I regret now I didn't salt & roast the seeds in the oven in order to enjoy them later as snacks. Next time, maybe.
Psst ! Do you find it difficult to cut a pumpkin into pieces ? Use a good knife to make some perfurations in it and place it in the microwave for a couple of minutes (maximum power). Let it rest for a while and then you can easily cut it as you wish.


InvaderStu said...

My girlfriend just got a few small pumpkins from her parents garden to display in the house. I have to admit, they look good.

thamarai said...

teehee..I had good laugh over the pompoen story today...wait was it poenpoen..?

I like your eye for such details...beautiful pictures!

angela said...

Oh, I love the fall pumpkin pictures! Isn't it lovely the way every other person there seems to have a bench.

Anita said...

Thamarai: it is poenpom ! (...or pompom ?!)Gee, I have to read the post again, dammit !

Carla Adriana said...

Êta povo criativo gente ! Abóboras no jardim ? Muito curioso , mais criativo do que curioso. O importante mesmo é o colorido que proporciona , todos os arranjos ficaram muito bacanas.Me senti assim :Ei, vc ai, aqui em casa vai rolar um camarão na moranga, venham , venham !!!!Brincadeirinha ! Mas fiquei aqui sentindo o aroma e o sabor deste caldinho da merece ! O chão tremeu...Hummmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

A Touch of Dutch said...

Great photos! You've reminded me that I must go get a pumpkin. And since it seems decent weather today in my neck of the woods, today would be an excellent day to go get a few ;-) Have a great weekend!

Mônica Angeleas said...

Anita, minha vizinha tem abobora plantanda no vaso, e é muito linda a flor!! Ah!! adorei ver produção da foto com o pano de chita!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Anita,

Do you know what sort of pumpkin is the white one with red nerves?
I want to buy seeds of this one.