We used templates from the internet. Did I bookmark them for reference?
No. Sorry about that.
We live a fairly frugal life in the Coffee House. I mean, you won't find us reusing our teabags five times, or crotcheting panscrubbers out of plastic bags; but if you do meet me in the supermarket it will be in one of those discount ones with huge piles of gardening equipment or children's ski suits stacked down the middle. And even a £5 overspend on my budget at the checkout will send me into a very dark mood.
So when it came the time to spend £2 on two pumpkins, I wasn't going to pick the two smallest pumpkins, was I? Admittedly, I left the ones that I could only carry with two arms wrapped around them, but I chose the raw materials for our Halloween lanterns with the knowledge that at £1 for each pumpkin, some pumpkins were better value than others.
At home, we scooped and scooped. We scooped with an ice-cream scoop and a variety of spoons. The pile of pumpkin flesh grew; my family receded into the background as I worked my way down it. By six o'clock I had a loaf of pumpkin and ginger teabread*, the weighed amount of pumpkin for two further pumpkin and ginger teabreads because I had run out of honey, a pumpkin curry, three bags of roasted pumpkin puree, a bag of roasted salted pumpkin seeds, and a thumping headache.
What was I trying to achieve? I have barely any room in the freezer for the bags of puree or any more teabread, since the freezer is so packed with emergency post-surgery meals. If I force my family to eat extra piles of teabread made with specially-bought honey, what money am I saving?
The internet, I found, is full of smug people showing off their reinventions of the pumpkin. I did fancy these muffins, but didn't fancy traipsing off in search of fresh rosemary. In the time it took me to get to the nearest supermarket and back, my pumpkin puree might have burnt to a crisp. And who on earth has the disposable income to risk a bottle of vodka in this way? What if pumpkin vodka tastes as unappetising as it sounds? And what if, when you've found the perfect-sounding meal with which to use up chunks of pumpkin, you've already whizzed it up into a useful-sounding puree that in truth you have no idea what to do with?
Mr Coffee, soothing my pumpkin-induced irritation with a glass of wine at 8.30pm, admitted that he would have just enjoyed the lanterns and flung the leftover flesh in the compost bin. I'm beginning to think he's the genius of the household.
*This teabread is utterly delicious. And it works with custard as a hot pudding, if you have opened the oven door during the cooking time to insert yet another tray of pumpkin flesh to roast and made the teabread go soggy in the middle. Just, you know, hypothetically speaking.