Last month the blogging and social media world in general lost a wonderful friend when fellow blogger Barbara Harris, from the blog Winos and Foodies, lost her long battle with cancer. Barbara was a stalwart in the blogasphere and such an inspiring, gentle, brave and positive person to communicate with. You never got the impression that she was struggling in any way and she always had something good and positive to say. And yet she was struggling….and fading away. I felt like I had lost a close personal friend when I heard about her death and was so saddened. Barbara ran an annual blog event called A Taste of Yellow, which she started in 2007 in support of Livestrong Day, that raised awareness about cancer, and which I have participated in previously so when I heard that the Monthly Mingle, run by Meeta from Whats For Lunch, Honey? and hosted this month by my lovely friend Jeanne from Cooksister!, was honouring Barb’s memory and painting the blog world yellow for July I decided to participate and honour this friend whom I loved but had never had the privilege of meeting.
About a week or so ago I was trawling the net, as one does sometimes, and came across a recipe for pumpkin poppers that I rather fancied. My mom used to make the most fabulous pumpkin fritters when we were kids and the memory of those had me scrambling to try out this recipe. I adapted it to suit my needs and of course seeing as it is my favourite season I added some ClemenGold and this is what I came up with. I dedicate this recipe to Barbara’s memory and A Taste of Yellow…..
BUTTERNUT OR PUMPKIN POPS
adapted by me from the original recipe found at The Craving Chronicles
250g Cake Flour
10ml Baking Powder
5ml Ground Cinnamon
2,5ml Freshly grated Nutmeg
2,5ml Ground Allspice
2,5ml Ground Ginger
80ml Coconut oil
125ml Dark Brown Sugar
1 Extra Large Free Range Egg
1/2 Vanilla Bean – slit and seeds scraped out (keep the pod for flavouring sugar in a jar)
1 ClemenGold – finely grated zest (keep the juice for cooking the butternut)
250g Cooked and pureed Butternut or Pumpkin (see below how I did mine)
For rolling in:
125ml Granulated White Sugar
15ml Ground Cinnamon
Sift dry ingredients into a bowl (not the sugar)
In the bowl of your mixer whisk oil, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, pumpkin, and milk together. Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Set aside
Heat up some cooking oil in a deep saucepan until moderately hot then drop small teaspoonfuls of the batter into the oil and deep fry, flip them over almost immediately and they will puff up into little rounds. Fry until brown all over and cooked in the middle. (the oil must not be too hot otherwise the middles don’t cook)
Remove to a plate lined with thick paper towel to drain off the oil.
Once cooled slightly you can roll them in the sugar and cinnamon mixture
We loved these. I chose to deep fry them because the pumpkin fritters my mom made were fried but I also don’t have a mini muffin pan. I will try them baked one day as per the original recipe.
To cook the butternut or pumpkin:
1 large butternut or half a pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cut into cubes
1 ClemenGold plus juice from a second one
1 Cinnamon stick
2 Cardamom pods bashed slightly
Salt to taste
Drizzle of honey
Finely grate off the zest from the Clemengold and squeeze out the juice.
Place all ingredients into a saucepan with about 60ml water and bring to the boil over moderate heat, lower heat, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes until butternut or pumpkin is soft. Allow to cool, remove cinnamon stick and cardamom pods then puree with a stick blender or potato masher. Reserve 250ml for the recipe above. You can freeze the rest if you like.
RIP beautiful Barbara and my deepest condolences to her husband and family! May the memories of this amazing woman comfort and strengthen them.