Five Ways with Pumpkin – that was how Kaiapoi Community Garden advertised their latest cooking workshop.
I’ve got one way with pumpkin – hack it up and roast it. So I figured any extra ideas might come in handy – particularly as you can’t look left or right without spotting pumpkins at this time of year.
I turned up a wee bit late and Helen and Mandy (the ladies running the workshop) were already in full swing. We were all given copies of the five recipes they were making that day – spicy pumpkin muffins, pumpkin and lentil curry, pumpkin and chickpea bake, Thai pumpkin soup and pumpkin and pasta bake.
With five dishes to prepare they’d pre-chopped a lot of the necessary pumpkin, – it saved time and meant we didn’t have to watch them cutting up what must have been kilos and kilos of the stuff. They moved about the kitchen, talking through the dishes, answering questions, cooking, struggling with a slightly temperamental oven – and they did it all with the confidence and good humour of people who know how to cook.
There wasn’t a dull moment and when the final results were laid out – they looked and tasted fantastic. I was so inspired I bought a pumpkin at the roadside on the way home.
These cooking workshops are a great thing to have going on in the local community – friendly, informative and above all practical. The recipes used basic ingredients that many of us might already have in our kitchens – tins of tomatoes, onions, stock cubes, things like that – and nothing particularly expensive. you come away feeling a bit inspired and with copies of the recipes to try at home.
Considering it’s just a gold coin donation it’s fantastic value for money and actually, they’re really quite fun too – all the ladies were so friendly and there was plenty of chat and laughter.
The workshops run once a month – next month is all about soup and then in August there’s going to be one on Vietnamese street cooking. Check out the Kaiapoi Community Garden on Facebook for details nearer the time.