It was a huge undertaking, but totally worth it. Pumpkin is one of my favorite foods in the whole world, and I get so excited each fall when they come in season. I love sharing pumpkin dishes with people... so one of my dreams has always been to have a pumpkin-themed party to showcase some of the different, wonderful things you can do with this amazing fruit.
Today, I made that dream a reality! Laura's pumpkin brunch was a huge success! I cooked all day yesterday for it, and I got up early this morning and finished everything up (with the help of one friend, who graciously showed up early and made it possible for me to get everything done right on time).
This was the spread: Pumpkin muffins from VWaV (p. 52), served with the Incredible Almond Cream Cheeze from Vegan Vittles (p. 70); pumpkin pudding from Kaji's Mom; pumpkin pancakes made from adapting the Banana-Pecan Pancakes from VWaV (p. 34), served with syrup and toasted walnuts; pumpkin-filled spring rolls from Veggie Way; pumpkin seeds roasted with sea salt and nutritional yeast; and, not pictured here (it's on the stove), Pumpkin-Apple Soup from Vegetarian Soups for All Seasons (p. 32).
Here is the soup, topped with fresh parsley and a few of the toasted walnuts. I doubled this recipe; I'm glad I did because there is plenty left over for Bob and me to enjoy! I think the soup was my favorite of all the dishes--it was sweet but not too sweet, with plenty of spice. I made this yesterday and then re-heated it this morning, to give all the flavors a chance to mingle together. The recipe suggested puréeing the whole soup, but I left about half of it chunky so that it felt heartier.
Here are the spring rolls. I followed Isil's recipe generally, except instead of grating the pumpkin, I cut it up and steamed it until it was just undercooked, and then diced it very small. I also added a bit of minced fresh ginger. I searched several stores here in Athens, but could not find eggless spring roll wrappers; so, instead, I used phyllo dough like Isil did. I had never worked with the stuff before, and it was so delicate and paper-thin that I was afraid I would mess something up. But it seemed to work fine. Into the oven they went. This was my second favorite--I really like pairing pumpkin with flavors other than the typical sweet spices.
Pancakes. These were the biggest hit at the party. I basically used the VWaV recipe, substituting pumpkin purée for the mashed banana, and adding a heaping tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice and a couple tablespoons of demerara sugar. I also used walnuts in lieu of pecans (pecans are one food I've never cared for), and left them on the side in case anyone didn't want them in their food. These were very incredible, if a little on the heavy side. I doubled this recipe too, and there was only a scant amount left over.
Toasted pumpkin seeds. Just a great snack all-around. They were really good tossed in the sea salt and nutritional yeast.
Pumpkin pudding--yum! One of my favorite treats. This recipe from Kaji's Mom is a really good recipe. I just sweetened it lightly with sugar--just a spoonful or two. I wanted the pumpkin and spices to really come out. They did!
Finally, me with some of my guests. See how happy everyone is? Pumpkins make everyone smile!
Have a great weekend!