A few months ago, a friend of mine came over to teach me how to cook a few Indian dishes, which we then shared with a bunch of our friends. I wrote about the Baingan Bharta that we made, back in September, but there was one more dish from the evening that I have been meaning to make again ever since. While we were cooking, I was making sure to take some notes so that I would remember the spice and flavour combinations. I wasn’t overly organized, so I scratched it down on a paper bag that I had lying around the kitchen. I have held off throwing out the paper bag for months for this chutney recipe. When she first described a cashew date tomato chutney, I had no idea what to expect. Little did I know that the sweet, slightly tangy, mildly spiced side dish would actually enhance all of the other ones. With every bite I took of the dal, the baingan bharta, the kofta, I added a bit of the chutney to the spoon and it enhanced every single one of the dishes. I don’t really know why it’s taken me so long to get my act together and re-make it but this was the week, and I was so happy that I could finally recreate it.
While I could have left this pumpkin date spread to live happily in the fridge and consumed it in all sorts of ways, I felt like it was destined for this loaf. As I stared at my leftover can of pumpkin puree, willing an idea to come to mind, I thought of the most highly and consistently recommended dessert in our household: banana bread with chocolate chunks. While I know I must have baked a bunch of things as a child, this banana bread is the first thing I started baking on a consistent basis as an adult. It’s simple, takes one bowl to make, is very forgiving and is consistently delicious. So, as I looked at the pumpkin puree, that can only be described as “mush”, I thought of the mashed, overripe bananas that make my banana bread so moist and figured that the puree could play the same role.
I am a fan of toppings. Whenever I make something that just begs for toppings (think enchiladas, oatmeal, you get the idea) I go all out. Then I get annoyed because I have to clean up a ton of bowls, but I guess it’s always worth it because I do it over and over again. This on the other hand is one of those dangerous spreads (like this chocolate-y temptress) that you keep in you fridge, think is going to last a couple of weeks, and disappears by the spoonful in a mere matter of days. It’s something that ends up slathered on everything from apple to bread to cake slices. Oh man.
My freezer contents ebb and flow. I find that because our freezer isn’t so big, I have to intermittently stop myself from making freezable goods so that we can actually make our way through what is already there. At the moment, I am definitely in an ebb stage so I am free to make some stuff to hide away for a lazy day. One of my favourite things to have in the freezer are scones that you can have on hand for a special weekend breakfast. They taste just as good from the freezer compared to when you bake them straight after making them and even though they take some time to bake, you get a delicious pastry breakfast without any work, other than turning on the oven, in the moment.