Sunday, October 19, 2008

Highlight #103: Magic with butternut squash and young pumpkin

Fall brings with it a vegetable that both my mom and I adore. This season, with my folks settled in Atlanta, I finally have the pleasure of tasting my mom's creations as well as my own. This weekend, we lunched at my parents' house and enjoyed a fantastic squash soup done the old fashion way. No blender or processor were called into service. Mom simply spent her time rendering the squash pieces into a broken down state in homemade chicken stock. Just a little mashing took place with the help of a fork, but most of the chunks were left intact for texture, just the way I like it. Simple as that, the soup was superb and extruded in abundance the sweetness of the butternut squash.

Satisfied with a seven dish lunch, mom and I went on to make one of the most adorable treats of the season. Check out these mini pumpkin mochies ready for steaming. They are as cute as can be and so easy to make. Mom mixed up some glutinous rice flour with water while I mashed a handful of cooked pumpkin chunks into a paste. The two mixtures were introduced to each other, covered in sugar, and kneaded into a slightly orange dough. While mom went on with the kneading, I whipped up a filling of red bean paste, some lard, and sugar. Then we formed some ping pong sized dough balls and filled them with slightly smaller balls of red bean paste. With a knife, we cut pumpkin folds into the balls and adore the tops with a pea for stem. Into the steamer they all went as round balls. Ten minutes later, mini pumpkins emerged a little smoother and much more orange. The exterior texture was classic mochie chewy and the red bean center was sweet and soft. Taste aside, the joy of these lie in the delight of making something so autumn-ish in honor of this beautiful season.

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