And just like that, all the elderly people in China seem to be concerned about my health.
Let me explain.
It was super warm in our city before Brett and I went to Taiwan, but a cold front came through while we were away and we were surprised by the cold, crisp air and the snowy mountain peaks we could see when we arrive back home. Because of the cooler air, all of a sudden everyone seems to be concerned about the amount of clothes I do or don't wear. Occasionally I'll need to run down to the grocery store below our apartment to grab an ingredient or two and often times I'll just run down it my lounge clothes, which often consist of running shorts and a sweatshirt (I'm all about comfy clothes when I'm home). As soon as the shop workers see my bare legs they exclaim in Chinese, "It's so cold! You're knees will get sore! You should wear pants!"
At first these comments annoyed me. Don't they know I'm a grown women that can make clothing decisions on my own? But what you need to know about the Chinese culture is that it's acceptable and expected for the older generations to keep an eye out for the younger generations. When someone in China, usually an elderly person, tells you to do something or makes a blunt comment like, "You're house is too big for two people" or "you don't need to buy that" or " wear pants!", you have to hear their comments as words of concern and care. They aren't saying you're unwise. They aren't saying you're immature. They just care about you and want what's best.
So yes, now I try to only leave my house in weather appropriate clothes, even if it is for a quick trip to the supermarket.
Now to completely switch gears...let's talk Homemade Pumpkin Puree, shall we?! We all know making pumpkin puree at home is nothing new or inventive. There are tons of post on line explaining how to cook your pumpkin until soft and then blend it into a smooth and silky puree. It's easy and cheap and you can even freeze it so that you can enjoy pumpkin pancakes and muffins all year round.
The reason I'm sharing this recipe is because in the past I've never been forced to make my own Homemade Pumpkin Puree. I always like the idea of being frugal and and whipping up cups and cups of Homemade Pumpkin Puree from scratch, but when I lived in America, convenience always won and I always found myself stocking up on canned pumpkin puree from the store. But now that I live in China and don't have access to canned pumpkin or an oven even, I decided it was time to take the plunge and make some pumpkin puree from scratch.
Just like you guessed, it's super easy. Since I don't own an oven (yet), today I wanted to show you how to make Homemade Pumpkin Puree using a steamer. I talked about my rice cooker in this post and it truly is my favorite kitchen appliance at the moment, other than my Vitamix. It steams vegetables and potatoes in record time, while simultaneously cooking rice. Amazing. I never thought I'd be more thankful for a $10 kitchen appliance!
Basically, all you have to do to make Homemade Pumpkin Puree without an oven is to use a steamer basket or a rice cooker and steam your cubed pumpkin until soft. Then you just thrown the soft, mushy pumpkin into a blender and puree until smooth and silky. Done and done!
Now that I have Homemade Pumpkin Puree, I'm excited to make some warming, fall recipes including Pumpkin Oatmeal with Candied Pumpkin Seeds and Cashew Cream and also some Banana-Less Pumpkin Pie Smoothies. Get excited!
If you try out this method of making Homemade Pumpkin Puree, I'd love to hear about how it turned out for you! Leave a comment or take a picture and tag #theconscientiouseater on Instagram!
- 4-5 cups peeled and cubed pumpkin
- Place the cubed pumpkin into a steamer basket or a rice cooker with about an inch of water in the bottom. Steam the pumpkin until it is soft and breaks apart when pierced with a fork.
- Transfer the steamed pumpkin into a blender or food processor and process until smooth.
- Store in the fridge for 2-3 days or freeze for a couple months!