One of my soba students, Liisa Margosian, came to almost every single Common Grains event. She always saved up her appetite for soba and ordered two or three serving in one sitting. It is a pleasure to watch her eat. Sometimes she brought friends, and a couple times she brought food. Good food. There were the half a dozen fresh eggs from Dr. Stefan Magopian's biodynamic organic farm. The yolks were sunny and full. I almost cried, they were so delicious. Then there was this pumpkin that Liisa grew herself. She showed me pictures of her garden on her I-phone and promised she would give me one. But it took a long time to get the pumpkin because she had to "cure" it for a couple of months. I waited and waited, and finally in February, she brought the pumpkin to me to the event that took place at Atwater. The pumpkin was big and heavy. She apologized for the delay but it was well worth the wait. I took the pumpkin from her and put it away. I was so busy that night. I completely forgot about it.
When that ATX event was over, I realized a few days later that I had left the pumpkin at the Atwater Crossing. My staff was back there to collect our stuff, so I asked them to look for the pumpkin. Luckily, someone had put the pumpkin on the bar counter to be admired. Thank goodness noone thought of eating it.
Yesterday, I got myself in the mood of finally cooking the pumpkin. Kabocha pumpkins can be hard to split and cut, and if you are not careful, you can loose a finger. I gave my pumpkin undivided attention as I sliced and beveled each piece. The meat was orange and firm. It was a jewel of a pumpkin.
I simmered the pumpkin with a little sugar for about 10 minutes, just until I can get a toothpick through the meat.
I turned off the heat and let the pumpkin soak in the syrup overnight. This dish is called Kabocha-no-Amani. Here are various recipes of the Kabocha pumpkin dishes (1), (2)(3), (4), (5) By the way, Kabocha goes very well with soba and compliments nutritiously. Kabocha is loaded with Vitamin A. I tooked the left over Kabocha no Amani to our ranch in Tehachapi. From Malibu - Atwater - Pasadena - Tehachapi - the pumpkin has come along way. And now, it's gone!