Cooking Across 4 Generations

Using recipes collected from 4 generations of one family


April 2016

Boys And Girls

Until this year I did not realise that pumpkins had two types of flowers. yes I knew their cousin zucchini had 2 types but it never crossed my mind that pumpkins would too. This is my second year with pumpkins growing, last year I didn’t take a close look at the flowers, but this year I did.

I also planted Gramma which is another relative of pumpkin, mainly used for Gramma Pie. My other pumpkin vine is a butternut and one of those is almost ripe.

The first flowers I saw on my pumpkin were tall and upright on thin stems so I got excited and thought I would soon have pumpkins. I waited and waited and nothing happened, they just wilted and died.

Baby male flower, long thin stem, this one is about 5 cm in height
Male flower nearly ready to open up, this one is about 20cm high
Male flower opened

Then after about 5 weeks and the vines getting longer I noticed a flower low down with a swelling on the base and the flower closed. Pumpkin!! I promptly took a photo. The next day I went out to check it again and it had dropped off. But I found another one. So I scurried in to consult Aunty Google and discovered that the males always show up first. The females show up when the vine hits a certain length (about 3meters) the first one or two may abort. There are always more males than females and if you want to breed true to type only have one kind growing with in 2 km. Much like chillies they cross breed very easily.

IMG_2430 (2)
My very first Female, sadly no bees visited her and she died

I have to hand pollinate as bees are practically non existent in my neighbourhood. Over summer I think I may have seen about 5. I use a cotton swab and pretend like a bee, visit the boy then visit the girl.

Baby female flower not ready to open yet
Female flower opened
Larger female after hand pollination and closed, keeping an eye on her as I think she may be Gramma

I hope that the one in the photo above is a Gramma as it has been too long between Gramma pies. If I do have success with it I will do a post about Gramma Pie but it looks like it may be a little way off. The flower part has dropped off today and it looks a little bigger.


My first butternut probably has another three or four weeks of ripening to do before it will be ready to pick. Full size has been reached and the skin has started to change colour.

Almost there, it is about 22cm long and 13cm across

I have to thank one of my high school classmates, Julianne Turner, for supplying me with the Gramma Seeds.

Will post more from my garden in the future and will let you know how my pumpkins/gramma are going.

Thanks for dropping by!!


Who doesn’t love the knock on the door from a delivery man. Today I received my new teapot that I ordered from Analogue Life, along with a sencha cup(tea cup for green tea) that I ordered as well.

Looky here a parcel
Looky here a parcel

This is a replacement one as the first one went to a new home.

Opening up
Opening up
Two smaller parcels
Two smaller packages inside
Almost open
Almost open
There it is
There it is

I like this one as it has a square shaped knob on the lid which gives a bit more character.

The teapot is by Hisao Iwashimizu of Kukan Chuzo and is called Egg teapot. Obviously the name indicates that it has a slight egg shape. It is made of cast iron with an enamel interior and holds 300ml of green tea. It also features a delightful roughened surface that looks almost like the surface of the moon. It also has a removable mesh strainer which makes disposing of pesky tea leaves much easier.

Up close and personal
Up close and personal

Some of the best cast iron ware comes from Iwate Prefecture in Japan. I discovered Hisao Iwashimizu’s pieces on a show called The Mark of Beauty which airs on NHK World. It was a half hour episode about NambuTetsubin.

Not having much awareness about Japanese cast iron it was a fascinating show to watch. It primarily dealt with Nambu Tetsubin,which is the Japanese name for cast iron kettles. The kettles featured in the show are quite amazing, especially when you see the antique pieces.

The difference between cast iron kettles and  teapots is that the kettles are not enameled on the interior where as the teapots are. The kettles are used for bringing the water to temperature and are able to withstand direct heat, and the teapots are purely for brewing the tea in.

Below is a link to a site that has some more information and videos:

My little sencha cup is by a brand called Sfera.

If you like Japanese homewares, kitchen utensils, ceramics etc I recommend Analogue Life. Service has been great and delivery very fast and reasonable.

Some time in the future I will buy a full size Nambu Tetsubin and a brazier for heating the water.

Thanks for dropping by!!

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