Pumpkin (Cucurbita) is a sprinter among vegetables. You can almost watch it grow providing the conditions are favourable. It is constantly hungry and thirsty but very grateful for the care it gets: it becomes totally edible (I have not eaten its roots yet, though).
The most exciting way to get acquainted with this wonderful garden wanderer is taste pumpkin flowers right after they open early in the morning. There are two kinds of them, both tasty: male and female flowers. The former are more numerous and produce pollen. The latter transform into the gigantic fruit which can weigh as much as... 450 kg (1000 pounds). Incredible! I advise that you eat only the male individuals and save the female ones in order to secure impressive harvest in the fall.
Before any death of pumpkin flowers occurs lets enjoy the exquisite taste of their fresh petals fried in tempura batter.
For the tempura batter you need: 1 egg, 100 ml (3,5 fl oz) of water, 100 ml (3,5 fl oz) of skimmed milk (you can substitute milk with beer), 120 g (4 oz) plain flour, a pinch of cinnamon or other spices. For those who have a sweet tooth a little sugar might be appreciated. Mix all the ingredients and set aside for 1 hour. Dip the freshly picked pumpkin flowers (cut off with a long stalk which helps manoeuvre the process of frying) into the batter, than place them on a frying pan with oil heated up to 190 C (370 F). After 2-3 minute turn the flowers and continue frying for another 2-3 minutes until light golden. Scatter with salt and serve hot with either fruit jelly or a glass of cold beer.