While canned pumpkin is fine in a fix, the few simple steps to creating your own are worth the effort and add greatly to the depth of flavour.
(yields approximately 2 cups/500 mL purée)
2 lbs (1 kg) fresh pumpkin flesh
2 Tbsp (30 mL) brown sugar
1 Tbsp (15 mL) fresh rosemary
2 Tbsp (30 mL) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup (125 mL) organic apple juice, unfiltered
Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C). Cut pumpkin flesh into 4 equal pieces and place on small baking sheet. Divide all remaining ingredients, except apple juice, over each pumpkin piece. Pour apple juice around pumpkin pieces. Cover baking sheet with aluminum foil and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until pumpkin flesh is very tender (overcooked). Remove from oven. Uncover and allow to cool.
When pumpkin is cool enough to handle, scrape flesh off skin, place flesh as well as liquid from the baking sheet in food processor, and purée until smooth. Discard skin.
2 cups (500 mL) pumpkin purée
2 cups (500 mL) skim milk
2 tsp (10 mL) fresh organic lavender florets (or 2 in  cinnamon stick)
8 large egg yolks
1/2 cup (125 mL) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (125 mL) maple syrup
1 oz (30 mL) brandy (substitute cognac, rye, or rum)
Whisk together pumpkin purée and skim milk in medium saucepan until smooth. Add lavender florets (or cinnamon stick). Place mixture over medium heat to scald (5 to 7 minutes or until it reaches a simmer).
Meanwhile, place egg yolks, sugar, and maple syrup in medium metal bowl. Whisk over a double boiler until thick and light in colour. Remove from heat.
Slowly ladle in scalded milk and pumpkin mixture through a strainer to remove lavender florets (or cinnamon), whisking all the while. Then, return bowl to double boiler and cook, stirring constantly until steaming and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and whisk from time to time while mixture cools. (If mixture begins to curdle, immediately pour into a blender and blend until smooth.)
When pumpkin mixture is cool, stir in brandy. Freeze according to your ice cream machine manufacturers directions. Serves 6
source: "Sooke Harbour House", alive #311, September 2008
In this plant-based stuffing, fresh herbs and dried fruit replace the depth of flavour usually infused by chicken juices, so use fresh thyme and rosemary if possible to maximize the flavour return. By baking the stuffing in a shallow dish, the bottom stays wonderfully soft and moist while the top becomes addictively crunchy, as opposed to an in-bird stuffing that ends up monotonously mushy. Sweet and not-too-salty For a more exotic flavour, skip garlic and add small pieces of dark chocolate. To keep sodium levels down, be careful that you don’t add too much salt. If your bread already contains a decent amount of sodium, you might not need to add extra, but taste stuffing before baking to make sure it won’t be bland. And err on the side of under-seasoned if you plan to eat it with a salty gravy or sauce.
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Spooned over hearty fall greens such as kale or chard, this delicious side dish can also double as a main meal; its flavours absolutely pop with our zesty herb topping. The beets are packed with amazing nutrients, plus they’re delicious served hot, at room temperature, or cold. Add some crunch This dish is a meal in itself. Scatter toasted pine nuts or pecans overtop for some added crunch.