Sassy Pumpkins Profile - (16458669)

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Sassy Pumpkins

Sassy Pumpkins
Home Town: Proctorsville, Vermont, USA
Living In: Inchture, Perthshire, Scotland, U.K.
Member Since: Dec. 2010
Cooking Level: Expert
Cooking Interests: Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Frying, Stir Frying, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Indian, Italian, Southern, Nouvelle, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Healthy, Vegetarian, Dessert, Kids, Quick & Easy, Gourmet
Hobbies: Scrapbooking, Quilting, Sewing, Needlepoint, Gardening, Boating, Photography, Reading Books, Music, Genealogy, Painting/Drawing, Wine Tasting, Charity Work
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About this Cook
I'm American & happily married to a British man. I've lived in Scotland for 15 years & love it here! I'm am studying for a degree in Graphic Design. I'm wheelchair bound due to a slip & fall on the ice, which damaged my spine but that does not stop me doing most things. I am lucky enough to travel all over the world & consider myself to be very blessed.
My favorite things to cook
I enjoy cooking most things but my favourite things are the hearty meals that I grew up with. I enjoy canning & have many secret family recipes. I've had to learn to create American food with a British twist as not all American ingredients are available in Scotland. I love trying new foods & learning new recipes. When we travel, we look for new dishes/recipes/foods to try & bring back those that we've enjoyed.
My favorite family cooking traditions
I love the baking & canning in the run up to Christmas to share with friends & family - seeing how excited folks get over the goodies makes the work involved worthwhile. My father was an avid veg gardener & so cooking with the fresh veg within minutes of being picked is something I still enjoy. I also carry on the family tradition of teaching children to enjoy cooking.
My cooking triumphs
I've won first prize in cooking competitions with my Mom's Apple Pie recipe & my Great Grandmother's Green Mountain Chutney recipe which the family used for the (vegetarian) mincemeat pie filling but it's great with cold meats, picnic food, bubble & squeek, etc. I also won first place with my chocolate, marscapone and raspberry torte. I've also won 2nd place for my New England Baked Beans, my Pumpkin pie & my fresh cranberry/orange relish. But the thing I'm most proud of is my spaghetti sauce, I made it for a friend one evening & let her have the left overs. My friend shared it with her Italian Mama the next day, who proclaimed it one of the best she'd ever had & insisted that I must have Italian ancestry (which I don't).
My cooking tragedies
While I hate to admit it, I've had a few cooking tragedies. I tried to make ribbon candy for Christmas one year & it was beyond a tragedy. It was so bad that I was forbidden to try it again in my Parents' house, so have never attempted to make it again =D My other major tragedy was attempting to make my Father's peanut butter fudge. It was grainy and rock hard. Thankfully I have since learned how to make it properly lol but for a few years I was afraid of the double boiler! There have also been a lot of burnt offerings where I lost track of time.
Recipe Reviews 3 reviews
Pumpkin Maple Pie Supreme
BRILLIANT Pie!!! I was born and raised in Vermont, but now live in Scotland. I had to learn how to make pumpkin pie from scratch (no canned pumpkin over here), and discovered fresh stuff is far better...and being a Vermonter, I ONLY use real Vermont Maple Syrup...This is truly a Vermont Pumpkin Pie!! Fantastic!!

7 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Dec. 9, 2010
Libby's(R) Famous Pumpkin Pie
I grew up with this recipe and was so upset to discover that in Scotland they don't sell tinned pumpkin!! It was too late for me to beg family to send some over, so decided to try and make it with fresh pumpkin. I'm so glad I did, I love it even more with the fresh pumpkin!! So I tried it 2 different ways, the first and least successful way was to boil the flesh, this made it really watery. The other, far more successful way, was to bake the flesh with the skin still on. Bake until soft, then scrape flesh from the skin into a sieve over a bowl. Using a spoon or spatula, rub the flesh through the sieve...this is VITAL, don't be tempted to process it in a food processor or by using a hand blender, as you won't like the finished pie filling's result. Do the work, it's worth it. By sieving it, you remove any fiberous bits and get a very silky pie filling. I then go on to put the sieved pumpkin into a bit of cheese cloth to drain excess liquid from the pumpkin to make it thick like the tinned pumpkin is, but this step is not vital, and can be used without draining it's liquid. Then simply follow the Libby's pie recipe...but my family and I LOVED the results from using fresh pumpkin so much that we will never go back to tinned pumpkin again. I cook extra pumpkins & freeze in measured quantities for use whenever I'm in the mood for pumpkin pie or little pumpkin tartlets.

9 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Dec. 9, 2010
Pumpkin Butter
Love this Pumpkin Butter & grew up making it from fresh pumpkin. My mother didn't believe in using tinned pumpkin as fresh is better. If you cook your pumpkin flesh first, please don't boil it as you really do lose a lot of flavour! Instead, roast the pumpkin pieces to concentrate the flavour. Simply cut your pumpkin into large hand size pieces, scrape away seeds but leave the skin on. Place pumpkin pieces, skin side down) into an oven dish, prick flesh with a fork (not sure why but Mom always did it so I do it, too) & roast/bake in moderately hot oven until flesh is tender. Leave pieces to cool & then scrape the flesh from the skin to purée down. Personally, I put the liquid that results from the baking into a bowl, then push the scraped flesh into a sieve to ensure a very silky purée, rather than using a food processor to purée it. Mix the sieved flesh with the liquid and then your ready to add your sugar & spices to cook down. For something a little different, add a wee tablespoon of whiskey to the pumpkin butter for an extra kick - it's hubby's favourite to start Christmas morning. My British neighbours LOVE my Pumpkin Butter, Rum Balls and Green Mountain Chutney that I make and give out at Christmas =)

28 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Dec. 7, 2010

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