Some pumpkin tomfoolery

The kids and I spent a happy evening digging out the guts from two pumpkins and a large zucchini and I thought you’d enjoy seeing the pictures. It was particularly nice to have my all-grown-up boy Timothy (who works full-time now and is gone a lot in the evenings, alas) home and involved in the process. He helped little Mack with carving, and laughed just as hard as the rest of us at the expressions on our carved faces, once our jack-o-lanterns were lit.

When I wrote a post a few weeks ago about all the uses for overgrown zucchinis, I didn’t mention this: you can carve them like pumpkins, and use them for your holiday decor, too! The kids will giggle and ask you where you ever got such a crazy idea.

My good friend William Chaney, a professional chef who just recently moved to his retirement home in Mexico, posted an excellent post about pumpkins–their nutrients ought to punch them up into the superfood category, I think. Of course for eating, you want to find the smaller “pie pumpkins” or “sugar pumpkins” not the big ones that are grown just for decor. Or for attaching with explosives and shooting at Thanksgiving time. (Yes some people do this . . . ducking head. . . . I believe in many parts such people are referred to as “rednecks.”)

Here Timothy and little Mack admire their handiwork. The proof is always in the lighting the candle inside.

Here Timothy and little Mack admire their handiwork. The proof is always in the lighting the candle inside.

Moving along . . . I love this idea of his for how to cook pumpkin a different way than perhaps you’ve cooked it before: check out his post and his blog for more excellent pumpkin ideas.

For a real different twist, and a very pretty presentation, scoop out the flesh from several small pumpkins, chop up and add to your choice of meat, vegetables, rice or bread cubes, and seasonings. Then stuff the pumpkin shells with the mixture and bake to make an entrée that your guests won’t soon forget. ( I suggest a good sausage, veggies of choice and file0001506946865brown rice plus seasonings of your choice ) – See more at: http://www.healthyfoodanddiet.com/it-is-pumpkin-time/#comment-1785
For a real different twist, and a very pretty presentation, scoop out the flesh from several small pumpkins, chop up and add to your choice of meat, vegetables, rice or bread cubes, and seasonings. Then stuff the pumpkin shells with the mixture and bake to make an entrée that your guests won’t soon forget. ( I suggest a good sausage, veggies of choice and file0001506946865brown rice plus seasonings of your choice ) – See more at: http://www.healthyfoodanddiet.com/it-is-pumpkin-time/#comment-1785
For a real different twist, and a very pretty presentation, scoop out the flesh from several small pumpkins, chop up and add to your choice of meat, vegetables, rice or bread cubes, and seasonings. Then stuff the pumpkin shells with the mixture and bake to make an entrée that your guests won’t soon forget. ( I suggest a good sausage, veggies of choice and file0001506946865brown rice plus seasonings of your choice ) – See more at: http://www.healthyfoodanddiet.com/it-is-pumpkin-time/#comment-1785
Here are our first two, finished.

Here are our first two jack-o-lanterns, finished and lit. Success!

Amalia was the last one to finish her design. She fussed over it for a long time, while I worked on making toasted pumpkin seeds. I love making these every year, and I found a great post that explains exactly how to do it.

Honestly, the only hard thing about this process is getting all the stringy stuff off the seeds. But if you have somebody interesting to talk with as you’re standing at the sink rinsing and rinsing and pulling and squeezing the seeds, it’s not so bad.

This website has tons of great pumpkin recipes, like this one for a Creamy Pumpkin Pie Smoothie for Two and also a nifty tutorial for how to cook a sugar pumpkin for use in your recipes. Your cooked pumpkin will be so much tastier, of course, than commercially canned pumpkin, though that will do for many recipes.

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We all must have been rather tired, because we laughed inordinately over the expressions on our jack-o-lantern faces: Sneak-pants, Guileless Joe, and DimWit.

Do you indulge in some pumpkin dishes every fall when pumpkins are fresh and plentiful? My friend Anita-Clare posted a really tantalizing recipe on her blog this week, for Pumpkin Soup with Pancetta and Chestnuts. yum!!

What’s your favorite way to prepare pumpkin? Pumpkins are popular all-around at our place. I’m hoping to foil that sneak-pants pest, the Squash Borer (which kills so many of my pumpkin and squash plants every year) next year and grow lots of pumpkins. It’s fun to have big ones for fall decoration, the chickens are ecstatic to eat the expired jack-o-lanterns, and I have lots of pumpkin recipes for the sugar pumpkins.

But that’s next year. Can you believe that I’m dreaming about next year’s garden already, before my tomato cages are even torn down? (Some people!)

Have a great day, Gentle Reader, and I hope you enjoy some pumpkin this week, too!

I’ll be sharing this post with the fun folks over at The Prairie Homestead and also at Frugally Sustainable, in their weekly Blog Hops. Hop on over and learn something new!

 

10 thoughts on “Some pumpkin tomfoolery

  1. Chef William

    Thanks for a new use for the extra large zucchini’s Never thought of that as I am sure many others have not as well. Thanks for the mention, I am honored. As you know, we make pumpkin candy which is sold all year in Mexican stores around the world. I did post a recipe about it some time back but for those that didn’t see it, all they need to do is change the ginger to pumpkin in your ginger recipe and they can make Pumpkin candy. They should peel the pumpkin and cut into about 3 inch squares of course, but your ginger recipe will do the trick. Now if they are brave they might just make candied ginger and candied pumpkin at the same time and perhaps a little ginger flavor will mix with the pumpkin for a special treat.

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Chef,
      That does sound really good! I want to try making the candied pumpkin, before it’s hard to find pumpkins in the store!

  2. Francene Stanley

    In the early 70s, I ran a craft shop and tearooms. Pumpkin soup was always a hit. I used to run around the garden and pick fresh ingredients to go with the pumpkin every morning. Those were the days of sharing and caring. Each aspect of our life has a place. And some ingredients–namely pumpkin.

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Roy, I know it’s a lot of trouble, but I have a hard time just throwing those seeds with all their goodness to the chooks . . .

  3. Alana (@RamblinGarden)

    Someone I know bought some homemade pumpkin cookies at a bake sale on Wednesday, and gave several of them to me. How lucky could I get, even on Weight Watchers? (sorry, haven’t done too well this week.) They were made with pumpkin puree and were spiced with cinnamon and cloves – with a cream cheese topping. Double yum! By the way, some here in upstate NY compete in “punkin chunkin” i..e shooting pumpkins into the air with a kind of trebuchet – you compete to see which one travels the furthest.

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      That “punkin’ chunkin'” sounds like fun to me, Alana! And I know of which cookies you speak, and I love them. Really, the combination of pumpkin and frosting = yum!

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