I don’t remember the first time I met Dodger, but I’ll always remember his instrumental role in my retirement from turf harvesting.
I’d stepped off the harvester to stretch my back which was suffering for having to support myself and the internal parasite that would become the Big Sister. Bearhands was reversing the harvester up the paddock to start another row when Dodge pulled up. He saw my predicament and forgetting his own plans for the morning, ordered me off the tractor. I didn’t realise it at the time, but I didn’t get back on for almost two years.
Dodge and his brother Greg are farmers. They grow watermelons, chokos and pumpkin. This season they’re growing Queensland Blue. Queensland Blue were my Poppy’s favourite pumpkins – they’re full of flavour and they hold their form when cooked which makes them perfect for roasting.
There are lots of American recipes around for pumpkin cake, but they call for pumpkin in a can, which I haven’t ever seen here. This cake uses fresh grated pumpkin. Top it with cream cheese frosting and watch it disappear.
fresh pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting
The Big Sister ate two pieces of this cake, despite her protests that she doesn’t like pumpkin. or brown foods.
Over the years Dodge has made a habit of turning up when I need him the most. Last week after I baked the cake, I phoned and asked him if he might have time to call in to collect it. I was preparing roast lamb for dinner when he arrived. I’d just opened the bag and discovered it was spoiled, when Dodge stepped through the door. In his hands was a family sized meat pie. I could have kissed my knight in shining pie tin. In fact I did!