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You'll love My Blue Tea

Pumpkins Galore

Updated: Nov 2, 2022

Are you ever curious if the "Cinderella Pumpkin" is a real pumpkin ?


It is and it's a French pumpkin called "Rouge Vif D'Etampe", and what a pretty name too!

It was in early 2020 when one of our colleagues ordered 25 different varieties of pumpkin seeds as her lockdown project. She told us about some of the pumpkins she grew. With so many pumpkins sprouting under her care, she had more than enough to share with people around, and a lot have been donated to friends and local soup kitchens and communities.


Astonishing Fact: There are over 150 types of pumpkins in the world today!

There are lots of other accompanying variations as well. Some are dark green, and some are orange. Some have flesh that is a bright orange color, and others have blue or white insides. We can't imagine our colleague, or anyone else for that matter growing 150 types of pumpkins!! OMG!

A beautiful mix of colours of different pumpkins and fruits | My Blue Tea | Pumpkins
The beautiful (and delicious) colours of nature

Pumpkins, Squashes and Zucchinis

Pumpkins, squashes and zucchinis belong to the genus Cucurbita, which is part of the Cucurbitaceae family. Other close relatives include watermelons, rockmelons, cucumbers, chokos, gourds, luffas.


The plants of this family all produce separate male and female flowers. Many species have both on the same plant. All are insect pollinated, mostly by honey bees, and different varieties within the same species will readily cross pollinate as well. You can depend on Nature to do its work most of the time, unless there is an isolation in excess of perhaps 500-800m from other plants in the same species. In this situation, hand pollination should be used to ensure seed purity.


Our colleague told us there are many varieties of pumpkins in each category and 16 of the 21 species were grouped into five clusters with the remaining five being classified separately. We are still trying to get our heads around the numbers!


The technical name for the pumpkin is Cucurbita, which is actually a number of different squashes, and a genus in the gourd family Cucurbitaceae.

  • Cucurbita Pepo - these are the cute tiny pumpkins e.g. Jack O' Lantern.

  • Cucurbita Moschata (C.moschata) - these include the “cheese” pumpkins often used for commercially canned pumpkin. The leaves often have white spots near the veins e.g. Long Island cheese pumpkin (which our colleague grew).

  • Cucurbita Maxima (C.maxima) - these are the “Monsters of the Pumpkin World.” They are usually round and have a reddish-orange skin and are usually characterized by a hard orange rind with distinctive grooves. Jarrahdale/Queensland blue/Turks Turban belong to this family.

  • Cucurbita Mixta (C. mixta) - the type of pumpkin known as Cucurbita Mixta includes the miniature variety pumpkins. These are often used in crafts or as ornamental table decorations during Fall holidays.

  • Cucurbita Ficifolia (or Figleaf/Sharksfin melon) - the only odd one out which is not really a pumpkin!

Our colleague shared her produce with the local food aid charities for the homeless, the vulnerable and those not as well off. There are a number of organisations in the area that provide aid so it was good to give to two of the larger organisations. On the left is Kerrie from the Port Anglican Soup Kitchen who does an amazing job providing three course meals with all the trimmings. One of the chefs is Bob. They also provide a grocery service in the morning so people can stock up on provisions. The other photo is of Jim, who is half of Wayne. The two provide similar services at the Freemasons building in Port Macquarie on Tuesdays. While both of them prepare meals, our colleague provided pumpkins to other organisations also, cutting them up into servings and people can also stock up on provisions. Thank you Chris and everyone!


What to do with pumpkins


What can you do with pumpkins? There is no end to the possibilities. Our colleague's favourite pumpkin dish is pumpkin rice with roast pork. See below for more ideas about pumpkin dishes!

All the beautiful food and creations what you can do with Pumpkins. From the left is Kueh Talam Blue Butterfly Pumpkin by T. Elyn, Pumpkin Cupcake and Kueh Talam Pandan Pumpkin (photo courtesy of Aneka Masakan). Last photo is Spiced Pumpkin Mochi by T.Elyn in Brisbane, a good friend (both photos Talam Pumpkin & Spiced Pumpkin Mochi are courtesy of T.Elyn).


Did you know that you can eat the young pumpkin shoots? Yes! Use it to stir-fry with our Meat curry base powder + potatoes + cumin and you'll get a lovely unusual dish!




And here's a cosy, heartwarming recipe to try if you love pumpkins!

Coconut Broth Cabbage with Pumpkin


Watch our video Cabbage in Creamy Coconut Sauce and subscribe MyBlueTea's YouTube.


You can get creative by using the same recipe as a base, add some pumpkin and use 2 packs of @my.blue.tea Coconut Milk Powder for the creaminess!


Did you know that with our Coconut Milk Powder it doesn't separate even after 5-8 hours sitting in the tub? We have tested it at the recent Sydney Food Trade Show - and the public were amazed by it!





For those who like a spicy recipe, try this one!


PUMPKIN CURRY

Ingredients:

*1/2 pumpkin (cut into cubes)

*3 chicken thighs (cut to bite size) or meat of your choice (optional)

*2-3 tbsp of Soy Sauce (min 3 hours best overnight)

*1 packet @my.blue.tea Coconut Milk Powder (dilute in some water)

*1 choko peel & diced (optional)

*1 onion chop

*Minced garlic

*Chopped ginger

*1 tomato diced

*1-2 sprigs of curry leaves

*Oil as desired


Method:

(1) In a saucepan, heat oil and saute onions, garlic, ginger and curry leaves.

(2) When the fragrant arises, add chicken meat and cook for a bit.

(3) Add tomatoes and stir for another 3 mins.

(4) Add pumpkins and chokos and stir for another 2 mins.

(5) Add water just enough to cover the chicken.

(6) Add coconut powder (diluted in some water).

(7) Cook till chokos are soft and meat is cooked.

(8 ) Serve with Pandan Nasi Lemak Premix rice or Roti. Enjoy!


What's on My Blue Tea Farm?

Check out these beautiful vegetables growing on the farm e.g. sunflowers, purple sweet potatoes and of course, our elegantly beautiful Clitoria Ternatea. We have lots of other plants and flowers so the bees and worms are kept happy and well-fed! Perhaps you may spot a kangaroo somewhere, who knows!




Halloween may be just one day in the year, but for pumpkin lovers they never tire of the sweet, warming flavour of this beautiful fruit. It's never out of fashion, and such a delicious ingredient to have in a dish. Pumpkin, anyone?

 

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