Savory Pumpkin Appetizer

This week, I’ll start with the background information since asides can be difficult to the flow of an article. My wife and I have a sort of tradition surrounding pumpkin that many of our friends are aware of (and benefit from): we buy about fifteen pounds worth of pumpkin each fall and make purée for use during the pumpkin-less months (namely, winter). Even before we went vegetarian, we always enjoyed pumpkin in all sorts of things, but the transition to being vegetarian only solidified our love for the squash because of its versatility. If you get nothing else from this paragraph, understand that pumpkin can be used in almost any dish and can be more than just pie filling.

As we enter the football playoff season, I decided to try something new. We were joining some friends for one of the games the weekend before last. Everyone was bringing something to share and there seemed to be an overabundance of desserts on the menu, so we decided to make an appetizer using our favorite ingredient. When looking for savory pumpkin ideas, I came across this recipe, which was for what is basically a pumpkin quiche. As I have stated before, I don’t really follow recipes, so I changed the original based on two factors: I wanted food in appetizer form and I didn’t have every other ingredient, exactly.

In our personal crab rangoon recipe that we make often, we use cupcake tins and wonton wrappers; we thought we could do the same thing here, making what amounts to mini pies. The result was a hit at the party and we would definitely make them again.

Savory Pumpkin Tart with Smoked Cheddar

Yield: 12 Servings, Total time: Approximately 45 minutes

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare wonton wrappers in cupcake trays, lightly greasing the bottom of each cup.

  2. To make filling, sauté onions in butter in small skillet about 3 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat.

  3. Combine pumpkin, half and half, eggs, chiles, seasonings and sautéed onion in large bowl, mixing well. Stir in cheese.

  4. Pour filling into prepared wonton wrappers. Bake 25-30 minutes or until wonton is browned at edges and inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let sit 5 minutes before serving.

Recipe Notes

Experiment and enjoy!


  1. Almost always, when using canned pumpkin, it is the sweetness of pie pumpkin because canned pumpkin is so often used specifically for pumpkin pie. That sweetness is often artificial since only smaller pumpkins contain such sweetness naturally. Larger pumpkin flavors are closer to sweet squash, although the sweetness is much less pronounced and much more subtle, as discussed above. 


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The Challenges of 2020

TL;DR: Follow this link.

One of the craziest things about Christianity during the protests of the last few weeks is the fact that there are churches out there not discussing the issues honestly, not taking the time to have the hard conversations, not devoting their Sunday services to betterment of the world and people around them. If you’re church isn’t talking about racism right now, if they don’t mention that black lives matter, instead focusing on platitudes that equate to the all lives matter” sentiment, it is time to start looking for a new church.

My wife and I meet with my home” church virtually via Zoom since the pandemic is still a thing. Kimball Avenue United Church of Christ & La Iglesia Episcopal de Nuestra Señora de las Américas (KANSA, together) combined in a collaborative way to create a single denomination focused on the needs of their community. They follow Christ together toward the vision of love, reconciliation, peace and justice. The justice looks like the demolition and rehabilitation of an old church building and its grounds into a community garden and labyrinth open to all who seek peace through contemplation.

I give this elevator speech to mention that COVID has not been kind to faith communities in general. Budgets have been slashed, funding and grants have been cut, and congregations in need are also working to serve those in need, who are less likely to be able to financially support their church in these times. KANSA in one of the good ones. They speak truth, they have the difficult conversations, they preach in a loud voice every Sunday that black lives matter, that racism has no place in the church, that the LGBTQ community deserves respect and support, and that Jesus was a social justice warrior, who fought for the least of these no matter who they were, where they were from, what they looked like.

In fact, Jesus was most harsh to those who had the means to help and decided not to answer the call.

These systems of oppression we are protesting have been around a long time; they have screwed up a lot of lives, they have been the reason for revolution and the downfall of entire civilizations, they don’t work. We need to find a better way to live by supporting each other. And support has to come in systemic, social, financial, and political ways, both national and local.

I am not local to KANSA anymore, but I support their mission, the way that mission manifests in the world, and the simple fact that they follow Jesus no matter how ostracizing that position can be at times. Which brings me to the point:

Thanks to a $10,000 matching gift’ from an anonymous donor, the challenge has become an opportunity. Over the next two months, we plan to raise at least $10,000 to meet the challenge. Through August 31, 2020, every donation we receive toward our 2020 Challenge” no matter how small or how large will be doubled by the matching gift.

KANSA is hurting financially and needs support, they do good work and are unabashedly progressive in their approach to our world. Donate now and see your contribution matched to keep one of the good ones fighting the good fight.

Thank you for your consideration.