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!
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.
- 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.