Friday, 28 October 2016

Oxfordshire Pumpkin Parties

Hooligan F1

There are lots of pumpkin-related activities at the moment, mainly aimed at getting people to recognise pumpkin innards as food! A pumpkin is for dinner, not just for Halloween.... The Oxford Pumpkin Festival is in full swing, with events that continue into November. This weekend (Sat 29th October) a Halloween special at Talking Shop, Sanford is offering a free fancy dress competition and homemade pumpkin soup and pumpkin pie alongside the usual produce market.

At Donnington Doorstep Family Centre they're putting on a family fun day and cooking up surplus food, and St Clement’s Family Centre are running a Halloween Ceilidh with jigs and reels, chaotic dancing and pumpkin themed baking!

Click through to the Good Food Oxford website for these and the rest of the pumpkin-related activities.

Until Monday you can join in the Great Pumpkin Hunt at Waterperry Gardens, looking for the fruit hidden in our ornamental gardens to win a special, seasonal edible prize! This is a half term activity aimed at children ;)

There's also a lot of online activity aimed at reducing pumpkin food waste this year, with loads of great resources. Hubbub have a page on how to eat your pumpkin and join the #PumpkinRescue, with some video recipes and links to events further afield. They're also reminding us that pumpkin flesh can be frozen, and they're debunking frozen food myths at the same time. So if you don't have time to deal with your pumpkin flesh whilst you're engrossed in carving, pop it in a plastic bag (or reusable container) and let it chill out in the freezer until you do.

Our friends at Cultivate Oxford have some lovely pumpkin recipes, including pumpkin carrot cake and squash pasties, which brings to mind a journey on the Hogwarts Express!

I was sent a somewhat unusual recipe involving a pumpkin and porridge and a slightly less odd one creating healthy-looking brownies, and I have a round-up of other pumpkin recipes at the end of my Halloween blog.

When we're down to the rind, the natural instinct of a Master Composter is to throw the rest into the compost heap, but if you can hold off until November 6th then the OxGrow Pumpkin Day is going to turn them into bird feeders, whilst cooking up a feast, playing games and all their usual hijinks.

I'm sure they'll all be composted, when the birds have finished with them. Happy Halloween everyone!

Squash and coconut soup

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