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Saturday, October 9, 2010

Spiced Pumpkin Spread

Bagels, snaps and "macaroons":

Backwards up the mossy glen
Turned and trooped the goblin men,
With their shrill repeated cry,
"Come buy, come buy."
When they reached where Laura was
They stood stock still upon the moss,
Leering at each other
One set his basket down,
One reared his plate;
One began to weave a crown
Of tendrils, leaves, and rough nuts brown
(Men sell not such in any town);
One heaved the golden weight
Of dish and fruit to offer her:
"Come buy, come buy," was still their cry.

-"Goblin Market", Christina Rossetti

I made this spread a few days ago but through the course of the weekend I just couldn't find the time to post it! Last night I came home from a tournament with just enough energy to take a relaxing yoga class instead of photographing my imposter "pumpkin macaroons". Sorry guys. As soon as I sat down this morning to blab about this sumptuous, embarrassingly simple, spread I got completely side-tracked by the aforementioned poem. It really is one of my favorites. And while there is something wonderful about those pinch-faced little goblins tramping around with platters of summer fruit: "Crab-apples, dewberries, Pine-apples, blackberries, Apricots, strawberries--", I like to imagine them with big acorn bowls of this pumpkin spread, juggling blood-red poison apples and goblets of honey-wine instead.

"Spiced Pumpkin Spread" is the perfect treat to keep on hand before the droves of candy corn and caramel take over. Sadly, I am very short-handed on kitschy plates and dishes for Halloween; it was one of the things I intended on remedying this afternoon. But, after standing in line for twenty minutes at the fabric store, in addition to thirty minutes fighting droves of children at the craft store, I came home more or less empty handed. I take that back: I am now the proud owner of a cylinder of black and orange jimmy sprinkles. I suppose the spooky, autumnal morning light will have to make up for my lack of ceramic pumpkin plates and goblin candle holders. Which reminds me... I am without even the tiniest gourd, much less a homely orange pumpkin, these days. I had better go and remedy that before the festivity police catches me empty-handed.

Notes: Although they look similar canned pumpkin is different than "Pumpkin Pie filling". This recipe calls for plain canned pumpkin. Cream cheese is great to keep on hand because it can be used in so many different recipes. Here, it allows the spread to be extremely versatile: a topping for toasty bagels, a dip for spice cookies or even the filling for "macaroon" style treats. Try sandwiching a teaspoonful of spread between two gingersnap cookies for a nice change; you can even freeze them for 30 minutes for a cool treat.

2 (8 ounce) bars of cream cheese
1 cup (8 ounces) canned pumpkin
1 box (16 ounces) powdered sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

gingersnaps (optional), to serve

1. Bring the cream cheese to room temperature. Using a hand mixer beat the cream cheese and pumpkin along with the cinnamon and nutmeg.
2. Slowly sift the powdered sugar, in thirds, into the pumpkin mixture. Blend after each addition.
3. Chill before serving. The dip will keep covered in the fridge for 3-4 days.

1 comment:

  1. Gotta love any goblin that is happy on honey-wine and bearing your pumpkin spread.