Pumpkin season is upon us once again – an annual occurrence that is an reliable as the rising of the sun in the east, thanks to those stalwart farmers who have developed an expertise in their profession. Piles of pumpkins greet us at the grocery store entrance (about a week ago hubby and I saw a store employee stacking the hay bales in preparation for their arrival). Ads for you to come to a pumpkin farm and pick your own seem to be everywhere, and quite an experience it is (I’d rather select mine from that grocery store display). And recipes for foods and beverages with actual pumpkin or some flavoring meant to mimic it are equally numerous. So a few options for adding your own touch of pumpkin are in order here with the hope that they will spark more ideas of your own.
Pumpkin Teas and Treats
Some of us go truly “pumpkin crazy” at this time of year while others exercise restraint. You can go as wild or tame as you prefer. It’s sort of like those who add a few dashes of Tabasco sauce to their food and those who go for just a pinch of salt or even a little chili powder. On the mild end you can have a nice cuppa English Breakfast tea in a pumpkin shaped teacup; on the wilder end of the scale you can serve up pumpkin flavored tea (steeped in a pumpkin orange teapot) in that pumpkin shaped teacup, bake some pumpkin cranberry scones, cover the scones with pumpkin butter, and top it all off with treats from a pumpkin-themed gift basket. I chose the middle-of-the-road approach: pumpkin tea, pumpkin bread, and sausage patties for a nice pumpkin-themed breakfast (plus we were out of scone mix).
Pumpkin Teacups and Teapots
The humble pumpkin has been an inspiration for talented potters for many centuries. A quick online search pops up hundreds and even thousands of examples of their handiwork in teacups and teapots. They range from garish to rustic to refined. Pumpkins are popular for Chinese Yixing (unglazed clay) teapots – The pumpkin (nangua 南 瓜) symbolizes a wish for sons – the pronunciation of the word sounds like “boy” (nan 男). The one shown here (#1) is a true work of art. Even 2, 3, and 4 would lend that Autumn air to your tea table. The hard part is choosing which to use!
And let us not forget the potential of these teapots to be transformed into a golden carriage to take us to the ball at the palace!
© 2015 A.C. Cargill photos and text