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Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Step-By-Step Guide To Cooking A Pumpkin

First thing you'll need to do is pick out the most amazingly perfect pumpkin.



Next, you'll need to give your pumpkin a bath. He's been sitting out in the field for days and days-- he's a little dirty.



That stem on his head isn't good for eating, and it'll just burn in the oven, so just go ahead and yank it off.



This next step may contain graphic images...

You'll need to cut your little pumpkin man in half lengthwise.



It's sad, but it must be done.



Next you'll need to use a spoon to scoop out all his guts and put them in a bowl... kinda like the Egyptians did with their deceased. :-)



Make sure you get all the stringy stuff out.



Don't get rid of those guts. You want the seeds for later. Fill the bowl with some water and squidge the goop around a little bit. Pull out any big chunks of orange stuff.



Once you've got most of the big pieces out, the little pieces will mostly sink to the bottom. Scoop the seed out and give them one more rinse. (Easiest if you use a strainer.)



Now back to your little friend... Take the two halves of you pumpkin and place them cut-side down on a cookie sheet.



Cover your pumpkin with foil and stick him in an oven that's been preheated to 375 degrees F. Oh yeah-- the cookie sheet's gotta have sides or pumpkin juice is gonna be everywhere! Leave him in the oven for about an hour and a half, depending on how big he is... my guy is medium sized.



While your friend is in the oven, you can get those seeds ready. Lay them out on a dishtowel to dry.


Throw them in a bowl, like so:



Melt about one tablespoon of butter-- just enough to coat your seeds. One tablespoon was plenty for about one cup of seeds.



Dump the butter on the pumpkin seeds and stir 'em around.



Next, you'll want to give them some flavor. If you don't, they'll taste like... seeds. I used half a teaspoon of cajun seasoning, but you could experiment with other spices. (Or you could be boring and use salt.)



Spread the seeds out on another cookie sheet. When your pumpkin is done in the oven, turn the temperature down to 250 degrees F and put the seeds in for about one hour. They'll get all toasty and stuff.



And we're back to Mr. Pumpkin... when he's all nice and tender you can take him out and let him cool off a little bit.



Once he's cool enough to handle, you can peel his skin off. I just cut long slits and pull it off.



After you've got his skin off, you'll need to chunk him up.



For most pumpkin recipes (like pie, muffins, bread... whatever) you'll need to puree your little buddy. Food processor works like a dream. You want to get it as smooth as possible.



And VOILA! You cooked a pumpkin. A medium pumpkin will give you about four cups of puree-- that's enough for two fabulous pumpkin pies. It also freezes well, so if you're not gonna use it for Thanksgiving, put some in a freezer bag and save it for Christmas!

4 comments:

Robyn said...

Love it. How are your cards doing on Etsy?

Motif Design said...

very cute!

sharon & bob olson said...

I hate pumpkins so especially enjoyed the killing part.

Eric said...

Brilliantly done, Hannah!