Pumpkin Marmalade on They Draw and Cook (TDAC)

Don't know why I waited so long to try this, but thanks to Folio Focus and Salli from They Draw and Cook, I have my first recipe uploaded to TDAC! To celebrate the season the suggested theme was fall recipes: anything pumpkin, squash, apples, spiced drinks, Halloween! Instead of my favorite butternut squash soup I decided to experiment with an unusual recipe: pumpkin marmalade.

Cooking has always a big thing in my family. I might have learned to measure flour and sugar before I could even talk!

As a kid I remember my parents driving half and hour to a fruit and vegetable farmer stand and coming back with cases of berries, rhubarb and peaches. Then we would spend the last summer weeks making jams and pies to last for the whole winter. In those days there wasn't the global market place there is today and everything available all year long! 

Encouraged to choose recipes from our culture I turned to my Daniel Pinard cookbook. Notice how in 1994 he was way ahead of trend with the pineapple! I eyed that recipe a few times back in the days but then I would wonder "how much is a pound of pumpkin?" and "where do I get candied ginger?" and shy away from it.

Today there's no excuse. I know I can get ginger at Whole Foods and I have a scale to figure out how much pumpkin is a pound. If I'm going to illustrate a recipe I better sample it first! 

There are many ways to illustrate a recipe and for this one since it is unusual I chose to showcase what to do with it (like have it with a croissant and cafe latte!) and visually demonstrate the step by step.

Mostly I wanted to draw attention to how much is one pound, how to cut the pumpkin, and also that it needs to soak with the sugar for 24 hours. An important detail if you were planning to make and eat it the same day!

I started with a concept sketch and did most of the illustration digitally, mainly because it's easier to experiment and figure out how to layer the different textures to create the food elements. It surprised me how realistic the lemons turned out with just a few brushes. 

How to render food is an interesting question, isn't it.. realistic, stylized?

To close, here are some close ups of the final illustration. If you decide to try it let me know how it turned out!

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