We've been in Dorset.
It was a bit damp but a welcome break despite the lack of Eldest. We walked, pub lunched, ate fish and chips, entertained friends for the day, went to the seaside, did a spot of gardening, looked at Daniel Craig, let Husband win at Scrabble, fought over the puzzles in The Times, and enjoyed the view from the top of the ridge.
Meanwhile I've been asked to post the recipe for Prize Pumpkin. So, in the hope that it's not too late (and pumpkins might be on offer now of course), here it is:
7cm fresh ginger, thinly sliced
Seeds extracted from 8 cardamom pods, ground
1-2 fresh green chillies finely chopped
8 skinless chicken breasts cut into 1cm slices
625-750g onions, thinly sliced
6-8 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
125g button mushrooms
50g plain flour
1 large pumpkin (3.25- 3.50kg)
Melt ¾ of the butter in a large pan, add onions and cook over a low heat until soft. Add the ginger, cardamom, chillies and garlic then stir. Add the remaining butter and then the chicken and mushrooms once it’s melted and stir to coat. Stir in the flour then gradually add the milk and season with salt. Bring to the boil, stirring all the time until very thick. Remove from the heat.
Cut a circular hole in the top of the pumpkin and scoop out the seeds and all the stringy interior leaving only the firm flesh.
Spoon the chicken mixture into the pumpkin and replace the ‘lid’. Smear the outside with sunflower oil and place in a roasting tin. Place in oven at 240°C for 25-30 minutes. Now turn it down to 180°C for about 1 ¼ hours.
To serve, scoop out the flesh of the pumpkin with the chicken mixture. Serves 8.
Josceline Dimbleby tells you to move the cooked pumpkin onto a serving dish. In my experience you need to be able to serve it in whatever you cooked it in! Also, it tends to ‘leak’ pumpkin juices so don’t use anything too shallow! Any leftovers make really flavoursome soup.