It’s the official start to the holiday season with Halloween weekend in progress. How about incorporating more pumpkin into your life – every day and for parties? A few ideas from pumpkin-loving companies:
From Chicago-based Urban Accents comes the idea of gourmet pre-made pumpkin sauces to simmer chicken or vegetables in. These are so good, we wanted to lick the plate clean afterwards. Each version incorporates lots of herbs and spices that you might not keep on hand, probably because you’d hardly ever use them – ginger, turmeric, coriander, cardamom – along with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, curry and others in subtle combinations that totally enhance the already-rich-and-complex flavor of pumpkin.
Pick a sauce, any sauce. They’re all subtle enough that you might not even realize that’s pumpkin in there. Good with vegetables – zucchini, mushrooms, etc. – and grand with chicken. A lovely way to make a delicious stew without all the work. Pick some up at Jewel in Chicago. And they’ve got lots of other cool products like chili mix, pizza sauces and more – 20% off everything on the website through Monday, October 31 Halloween!
Sharable punches are great for gatherings so you don’t have to spend your time mixing drinks instead of enjoying your company. Plus, when served in a gorgeous vintage glass punch bowl, these beverages makeTha a lovely centerpiece. Thanks to the folks at Punch Bowl Social Schaumburg, here’s a delicious fall pumpkin punch recipe.
Pumpkin Spiced Libation
- 12 ounce Bourbon (Bulliet, Knob Creek, Old Forester, etc)
- 2 oz St Elizabeth’s All Spice Dram
- 6 oz Pumpkin Juice
- 4 oz Apple Juice
- 4 oz Simple Syrup (I part sugar to 1 part water)
- 2 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
Build all ingredients in two shaker tins and shake. Strain into a large punch bowl and add ice. Garnish with sage.
*For the pumpkin juice you will need 4 or 5 large pumpkins (the white skinned if you can find them as they produce a brighter juice). Slice the pumpkin into pieces that will fit into the juicer. Juice away and strain through mesh strainer.
If you love craft beer and are into pumpkin, the recent release of Saint Arnold Pumpkinator is considered the official start of the holiday season in Texas. An award-winning pumpkinized imperial stout from the oldest craft brewery in the state, the 2016 edition of the brew features 1,500 pounds of pumpkin. Too bad it’s only available on tap and in bottles in Texas and Louisiana.
Maybe they’ll get to Chicago soon. Learn more about Saint Arnold Pumpkinator at http://www.saintarnold.com/seasonal-beers/.