We're kicking off a three part post on pumpkin dishes here at MED to celebrate the upcoming Halloween. I have very many fond memories of Halloween, starting with the Halloween Carnival my elementary school used to put up as THE biggest event of the year for students. It was an evening of fun fund-raising with games hosted by each of the classes from kindergarten to 12th grade. It really was a big event with costume contests, invited guest students from other schools (a big deal since the dating pool at my school often felt incestuous), and kids of all ages running around all night long. It was in one these events that I ate my first caramel apple (to which I lost a baby tooth long after I lost the last one, leading to traumatic moments of 'holy, moly, this treat made me lose my adult tooth!')
More recently, a bunch of my best buddies from graduate school dressed up as ninjyas and caused raucous on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill. The next day, when I went to judo practice, my fellow ninjya came up to me and said, "Oh, man, it was SO funny when you kicked that guy in the stomach!" and proceeded to recount to me a play-by-play of an 'exchange' I had with some big frat boy. Me? I had NO recollection of it after one too many...
These days, I've tamed my ways and have been a lot less excited about Halloween, but this weekend, when I saw this gorgeous pumpkin cheesecake at the party on Saturday, it made me stop to think - I need to get in touch with my inner child and let the Halloween spirit come out!
To those lucky ones who can read Japanese, Chris has a recipe on her blog. This cheesecake, in typical Japanese fashion (that I happen to appreciate very much), was neither super sweet nor super rich. Chris knew there was going to be a whole lot of drinking at this party, so she made this cake with the intent of pairing with wine. And copious amounts of wine. The Japanese call it, 'tsumami', which literally means 'things to pick on', and this tsumami-style cheesecake definitely did the job. Light enough with delicate, controlled sweetness, the pumpkin flavor really came out without competition from the cheesecake. All the drunkards really loved it, as well as those of us staying sober (for one reason or another - mine was that I was simply too hungover to imbibe).
Kudos to Chris for a new pumpkin recipe and inspiring me to start a pumpkin-themed week!