Vegetable stuffed pumpkins

stuffed pumpkin 1

These baked pumpkins stuffed with mushroom, vegetables and barley are a great dish for halloween or bonfire night that are coming up this  weekend and next week. Until a year or so ago I didn’t know about bonfire night, or Guy Fawkes day as it is originally called. Here follows a short description of why Guy Fawkes night is celebrated, all though I cant promise that I get all the facts absolutely right: On November the 5th 1605 the catholic activist/terrorist Guy Fawkes was arrested trying to blow up the British parliament. As a celebration of his failure people started to light fires and make this day full of festivities. Later the tradition started including shooting fireworks (maybe as a symbol of the failed explotions?). In recent years Guy Fawkes has had a revival, becoming the symbol of the anti capitalistic movement Anonymos. I will celebrate bonfire night for the first time this year. Not so much because I am for or against Guw Fawkes, but more as an excuse to gather with friends on a dark autumn night, and because I like alternatives to Halloween. There wont be any chances of fire watching and probably no fireworks either, so I choose to focus on the important stuff; the food. Apart from these stuffed pumpkins I also plan to serve a celeriac and apple soup and some kind of sticky ginger parkin as a desert. More about that later, now lets cut the rambling and go straight to how to make these delicious pumpkins. They might not be the most typical food for Britain or for Bonfire night, but I still think they fit in quite well for the occasion, and that the flavours are typically British autumn flavours. And I am sure they will impress any dinner guests when you put it on the table!

. filled pumpkin 2

Vegetable stuffed pumpkins

(serves 4) 2 small eatable pumpkins or butternut pumpkins

2 carrots

1 parsnip

3-4 kale leafs

10 mushrooms

1 apple

2 garlic cloves

½ red onion

2 tbsp white wine

1 tsp dried thyme ‘

1 bay leaf

2 decilitre barley

1 cube vegetable stock

Salt and peppar to taste

(parmesan or other strong cheese for topping)

Turn the oven to 200 C. Boil the barley with the double amount of water and the vegetable stock, until it is soft but still has some resistance when chewing.

Split the pumpkins in half. Cut a piece at the bottom of the two half’s so that it can stand steadily. Scrape out the seeds and most of the flesh, until about one centimetre remains together with the peel. Cut the flesh of the pumpkins to small pieces. Cut the onion and the garlic finely. Fry it in oil until it starts to turn golden. Add the pumpkin flesh, grated carrots and the parsnip to the pan and fry for some minutes more. Add thyme, bay leaf and white wine. Let it fry gently while stearing.

Chop the mushrooms and the kale and add to the pan. Fry it until the vegetables starts to feel soft. Season with salt and peppar. Finaly add the cooked barley to the mixture.

Scoop the mixture in to the pumpkins, top it of with some cheese if you like and bake in the oven for about 20- 30 minutes, until you easily can pinch a fork through the pumpkins.

Serve with some ajvar (sauce from roasted red peppers) a large salad and possibly some roasted vegetables.

If you like it even more fancy, save the seeds from the pumpkins and fry them in some oil and salt and sprinkle it over the pumpkins before serving.

If yofilled pumpkin 3 Source historical facts: Wikipedia

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Blackberry Eton mess with honey and cardamom roasted oats

blackberry Eton mess 1

About a year ago I had just come home from my 3 weeks long trip to Cornwall, Devon and London, and I was completely absorbed with my new passion for British food, and for wanting to give it a better reputation. I started this blog in order to learn more about traditional English, Welsh, Scottish and northern Irish dishes, and to experiment with making them more healthy in some way. Maybe I got water over my head, for some reason or another I haven’t been as active with my posting as I wanted to. It doesn’t mean that I have stopped thinking about, or cooking British food. Some times to a higher degree, sometimes not as much. These couple of days I have been thinking a lot about my trip and how much I loved it. I have been longing for the dramatic Cornwall coastline, the green hills and just all that atmosphere that I love so much. And the blackberries. Walking in the UK countryside this time of the year basically means free access to as much blackberries you can eat. They are everywhere! In Malmö, south Sweden where I live you have to know the secret spots, get there before everyone else and be equipped with full coverage against the evil thorns. It is much more of a hustle to get your hands on blackberries here. Anyway. Since I started this blog with a recipe containing blackberries, I would like to add another now, one year later. And with that comes a hope (I wont promise) that this year there will be more activity here on the blog.

Eton mess is a typical summer desert, with meringues, cream and usually strawberries. It originates from Eton collage where it is served at the annual cricket game. In Sweden we have something similar called meringue swiss, but that has ice-cream, banana and chocolate sauce in it as well. Very scrumptious, but Eton mess feels like a lighter and less sinful version.

Blackberry Eton mess 2

This desert turned out to be one of the best I have ever eaten, if I may say so myself. It is like a mix between Eton mess and a trifle, which are booth very good things. It is not very much more healthy then the original thing, I just switched some of the cream for sour cream. It gives it a nice, slightly zingy touch that goes really well with the sweet meringue. The oats brings a bit of sweetness and some extra crunchiness, almost as if there where pieces of little, super quickly baked oat and cardamom biscuits in there. The cardamom goes really well with the juicy, somehow earthy blackberries. It is a super easy desert/pudding to make, with pre- picked or bought blackberries and already made meringues you put it together in 5 minutes while your friends digest their dinner. Just try it!

Blackberry Eton mess with honey and caramom roasted oats

Blackberries (as much as you like)

Meringue (as much as you like)

1, 5 decilitre whipped cream

0,5 decilitre sour cream

1 decilitre rolled oats

½ tsp grounded cardamom

1 tbsp honey

If the blackberries are frozen, take them out of the freezer to defrost a couple of hours before you are serving.

Roast the rolled oats lightly in a dry pan. Add the grounded cardamom. Take from heat and stir in the honey. Let cool.

Whip the cream and stir in the sour cream.

Crush the meringues and divide in 4 glasses or the bottom of a big bowl. Add the cream over the meringues. Add the blackberries and finish with the roasted oats. Serve.blackberry Eton mess 3