It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

Is there anyone out there that doesn’t know this saying?? I grew up on Charlie Brown. Saw all the cartoons I could and even read the book that was published in 2006 – talk about a walk down memory lane!

And I know, it’s not Halloween. But they are selling Halloween stuff – everywhere!

Besides I’m Canadian and our Thanksgiving is on October 8th – so not that long! Besides today isn’t about Thanksgiving but rather an essential ingredient to successfully celebrating that day. Pumpkins!

Yeah, I can hear you all thinking, What the *bleep* is she talking about. We get our pumpkins at Halloween. Not thanksgiving. Besides, the only pumpkin we get for then comes in a can!

LOl. Well. You’re looking at a diehard pumpkin grower, (I’d say carver but my kids have outstripped me there) and baker.

I’ve turned pumpkins into soups, stuffed them and baked them, peeled and turned them into casseroles – turned them into almost all sweet treats you can imagine. I’ve ALWAYS turned our jack-o-latterns into pumpkin pie. An event that is always greeted with great enthusiasm here. I love using sugar pumpkins when I can but I’ve used ALL kinds of pumpkins. I use what I’ve had. The big carving pumpkins are a little thinner. Sugar pumpkins are smoother, richer, and thicker. A 4lb sugar pumpkin will yield about 4 cups of purée. The big field pumpkins yield more.

When I pie, I don’t do one or two. I do one or two dozen! Yeah, what can I say. I always prefer to have a stack of uncooked pies in the freezer to pull out at a moment’s notice. I throw them into the oven either thawed or still frozen and voila – fresh pies. Of course I usually have a stack of cooked pies in the freezer as well!

But this lowly vegetable has fallen out of favor in these last decades. Sure they will also be the favorite at Halloween, but no one seems to use them for food anymore. Sure, many or you are going to scream at me saying you do. And that’s great! Honestly it is. But if you don’t know what to do with pumpkin, then most people throw them away.

I always roast the seeds in the oven, either with any seasonings like salt, garlic salt, or Tamari. And that’s just for starters. The process is simple:

  • Wash seeds in a colander (easiest if you do while fresh) lay out on a sprayed (or oiled) cookie sheet – and leave until the next day if you want. Then bake as usual.
  • Or toss the clean seeds with either margarine/butter/oil, then spread out on the cookie sheet and sprinkle with your choice of flavoring.
  • Bake for 45 minutes at 300 degrees for 45 minutes or if time is short (and the kids screaming) then bake at 325 for 25 minutes. I prefer to stir them every ten minutes or so. Keep an eye on them as you get closer to the time. They’ll go from not done to overdone quickly.
  • Cool (snort – that so doesn’t happen at my house!) and serve.

Of course the real joy of a pumpkin is the fleshy inside. I usually bake my pumpkins in huge pieces on cookie sheets, covered in tinfoil, until they are soft. Usually about 1.5 hours at 375 degrees.

You can peel the pumpkin before baking or you can scrape the soft flesh off the peel after baking. Either way, it’s easy. Once the pumpkin is cooked and peeled, you have options. I often bake, then purée the flesh and then freeze it for later. usually in measured amounts. That way I can pull out the purée and make pancakes, soups, cheesecake, muffins, scones, pies etc. Or you can immediately make pies. And that’s easy to do. I’m not even going into pastry here – hat’s for another blog. Once your pies are ready to be filled and your purée is in a bolw, then it’s a matter of adding, eggs, cream, sugar and spices.

Rather than writing down the proportions, I’m linking you to several different types of recipes.

  1. Old fashioned pumpkin pie
  2. Pumpkin Cookies
  3. Pumpkin Roll
  4. Pumpkin Pancakes
And of course, you can always use canned pumpkins in most recipes.  But if you have a spare pumpkin lying around – give it a try!
Have you ever cooked a fresh pumpkin? If yes, what did you do with it? Do you have a favourite recipe to share? 

 

About Dale Mayer

Dale Mayer writes romantic suspense, with or without paranormal elements like TUESDAY'S CHILD (2011) and now young adult books in various genres like DANGEROUS DESIGNS (2011). Writing stabilizes her in a life gone wild! The other stabilizers? Cheesecake and her four cats! Of course, she's dreaming to think she'll get a piece cheesecake once her four kids find out she's been baking!
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13 Responses to It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

  1. Edie Ramer says:

    I love pumpkin pie, but I usually do Libby’s recipe, and I use canned pumpkin. I’m going to check out these recipes and give them a try. You’ve motivated me!

  2. Misty Evans says:

    We love pumpkin everything, Dale. I make pumpkin bread year round and we always roast the seeds from our Halloween jack-o-lanterns. I’m hungry for pumpkin bars – you know the ones with cream cheese frosting – but right now, I’m making apple pie. It’s apple season here and I’m looking forward to apple jelly, applesauce and apple bread. Yum.

    I think it’s amazing what all you do with pumpkins!

  3. Amy R says:

    I didn’t know you could do all those things with pumpkin! I have only made pumpkin pie (Libby’s) and baked the seeds. May favorite type of cooking/baking is when someone else is doing it for me. So, maybe when you make all these things I need to stop by for a visit. Ha. We did start out with pumpkins in our garden for carving but we couldn’t keep up with the heat and everything died. We’ll try again next year. Thanks for the links – perhaps I should try at least one new recipe this year. :)

  4. Dale,
    I love pumpkins, pumpkin pie, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin lattes (which are back a Starbucks!) and even pumpkin ice cream :). My son brought home the ice cream recipe when he was in elementary school and we tried it — it was delicious! I need to find that sheet again…and I’ll definitely take a peek at that pumpkin cookie recipe, too — thank you for it!! Yum!

  5. Amy Atwell says:

    Great recipes, Dale. You’ve put me in the mood for Halloween. Perfect timing, as I’m heading to Maine soon for a visit with my sister. I want to see fall in all its glory!

    I love pumpkin muffins, pumpkin cookies, and bread. I loved pumpkin pie as a child, but don’t seem to care for it as much now. And oh, the memories of roasting those seeds!

  6. Dale, you are one busy lady. How do you make the time?

  7. Cynthia Eden says:

    I am so in the mood for Halloween and pumpkins now!!!
    Cynthia Eden`s last blog was …ANGEL IN CHAINS

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