Sunday, October 30, 2011

Pumpkins . . .

I'm finally getting my Halloween post up. Our internet was down since Wednesday (and I was a few days later than I wanted to be anyway). So now I can share our kid pictures, pumpkin recipes, and costumes.

Owen and I had our system down this year and I think we did two pumpkins in the time it took us to do one last year (probably because I didn't help him at all last year, I guess I was with Abigail?). So the kids described what they wanted, I sketched, Owen scooped out, I did detail carving, viola!

I hate throwing out two whole pumpkins, so I tried to be very resourceful with the scraps.

Besides saving the seeds to roast, I cut all edible pieces out of the trash pile to cook.

The eyes, mouth, and nose all got saved (and just the thin dark orange skin peeled off); then I cut out pieces of pumpkin from inside the pumpkins where possible (made the lid thinner, hacked off pieces where it wouldn't be noticeable, thinned the rind in places) and loaded it into my crock pot.

At that point it was late enough at night that I didn't want to deal with the seeds or the flesh, so I left the seeds to dry on a tray and put the crock pot into the refrigerator.

The next morning I loaded the pumpkin into the crockpot and cooked it a good long time. Later in the day I blended it and cooked it a while longer to make pumpkin puree.

I froze some of that into one cup cubes because I was warned by Marissa from Food in Jars that you can never can pumpkin except in chunks. Then I continued cooking the rest in the crock pot with a little sugar and made one jar of pumpkin butter (we just finished that yesterday).

All in all, I found the pumpkin products very successful. We ate the seeds and pint of pumpkin butter for two weeks, and we really enjoyed them. The pumpkins looked great for Halloween and we tried a new trick we read to coat the insides of the eyes mouth and nose with Vaseline to keep them from mold. That worked until it rained really hard a few days before Halloween, then the insides got moldy. I have puree in the freezer to make pumpkin muffins later.

This is the season where I start storing up for the winter with fruits and veggies that store well. So this weekend we got some onions, potatoes, butternut squash, and cooking pumpkins.

So we should be all set in the pumpkin department. I may have to try a pumpkin flan or pie or something. :)

Happy fall!

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