We can’t help but get smitten with all things pumpkin at this time of year.
We make no secret, either, of tending to veer to the sweet side, with pumpkin cookies, pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin pie, and even pumpkin lattes (which, of course, has no pumpkin in it at all).
However, the savory flip side shouldn’t be relegated to second fiddle.
Not when it means indulging in something savory and sweet, plus spiced and spicy like “Pumpkin Curry.”
This hearty, warming dish is from “Plant-Based Himalaya” (Red Lightning Books), of which I received a review copy, a new cookbook showcasing vegan recipes from Nepal.
I joke that my husband likes to put together elaborate charts. Of his weekly workouts. Of his grilling exploits. Of, well, you name it.
Of course, he’ll then promptly misplace them, making them an exercise in futility in the end.
So, it comes as no surprise that in the early days of shelter-in-place, when everyone was growing green onions in a glass of water and attempting their first misshapen sourdough loaves, all panicked that it might very well be the only food they could lay their hands on, my husband suggested making an elaborate chart listing everything in our pantry in case we had to start rationing.
I just rolled my eyes.
Because I knew that with just the bags of dried beans and grains on our shelves alone, we had ample food — and good food — for months on end.
After all, that’s one of the greatest things about grains such as barley, farro, corn, quinoa, and oats. They are high in fiber, making them very satiating even in modest servings. Plus, they are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
On top of that, they’re a breeze to cook, and can fit into any meal or snack, no matter what time of day or year.
It’s the first one that spotlights a recipe that wasn’t tested by me — but instead by my husband.
Because “Pork Curry From the Box” has special meaning for him.
Like so many of us of ethnic heritages, he grew up doing his darndest to disavow his. Wanting to “fit in” and be more “American” as a kid, he turned his back on the traditional Japanese foods his mother would cook. For a spell, he simply wouldn’t eat much of it. Not surprisingly, he never learned to cook any of it, either.
But now, like so many of us, he has deep regrets about that. He misses the aromas and tastes of home-cooked Japanese food. He longs for certain dishes his Mom would make, especially now that she’s no longer alive to cook them. Older and wiser, he now appreciates them in a way that he couldn’t before.