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When she has the kitchen all to herself, Phyllis Grant of Dash and Bella cooks beautiful iterations of what solo meals were always meant to be: exactly what you want, when and where you want them.
Today: A switched-up, better version of the roasted pumpkin seeds you grew up with -- no boiling or soaking required.
It’s day seven (out of eleven) of fall break. I have no childcare. My to-do list is so long I decide it’s best to ignore it entirely. I need a break. So I slide into the bath and tell my kids that interruptions are allowed only if there is a fire, an earthquake, or lots of blood. Twenty minutes in, there’s a knock at the bathroom door. It’s my six-year-old.
“Dash, is it an emergency?”
“No. But I did my pumpkin.”
“You did what to your pumpkin?”
“I carved an entire pumpkin by myself.”
“That mini saw thingy.”
I leap out of the bath and run into the kitchen. There it is.
“Those are the triangle eyes. And the rosy red cheeks. And a mouth. See? I did it.”
It’s beautiful. But I keep my mouth shut. We still have three pumpkins left and I’m not up for a visit to the emergency room.
“Dash. Why don’t you scoop the seeds out so I can roast them?”
“What? You eat those?”
“I do. Yes.”
“Fine. You can have them.”
“Dash. Listen to me. Please don’t carve the other pumpkins.”
“We will do them together. I want to see your technique.”
“Okay. Fine. Mom?”
“Get back in the bath. You’re dripping water all over the floor.”
Makes 2 cups
2 small sugar pumpkins (yielding about 2 cups of seeds)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar (the thicker the better)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Photos by Phyllis Grant