I was fortunate this week to procure a Dutch Fork pumpkin from Bradford Family Farm located upstate in Sumter, South Carolina. Fall season for me, marks a significant shift in local crops as we head into a cooler growing season. The summer heat & humidity is behind us for now, and my inner Chef clock starts to shift from grilling and light bright flavors, to roasting and braising and deeper more complex flavor and dishes. This pumpkin weighed in at 26 pounds, and was 13” in diameter when split in half. I decided to roast both halves in the oven at 350 degrees, flesh side down, for about an hour and a half. After letting it cool down to a manageable temperature, I scooped out the seeds using a serving spoon, then proceeded to scoop out the flesh and transfer to a bowl. Once all the flesh was collected, I began to work it in batches in my food processor until all of it was puréed. It was then transferred to containers and put into the refrigerator to cool. All in all, the yield was about two and a half gallons! Now, I get to decide what goodies and new recipes I will create from it! At the moment, I am poaching roasted chicken thighs in a mixture of pumpkin and coconut milk. Taking a Southeast Asian approach. Stay tuned for the result! In the meantime, you can click the link below for a little more info on the source of these beautiful pumpkins.