Monday, November 22, 2010
Last week the grocery store had all their pumpkins, regardless of size on sale for $1. So, I bought 10 of them. Last night and today I have been processing them. The method I use, ensures nothing goes to waste.
First, I wash them well, and remove the stem and bottom part of the pumpkin from where the pumpkin blossom formed. Then, I cut them into chunks and scoop out the insides where the seeds and stringy stuff is. The chunks I put into a stock pot to boil until tender. After they are tender, I remove from the pot, drain (saving the water) and let cool. After cooling, scoop out the meat part from the peeling part.
The meat part is now ready for pumpkin pie, bread or any other recipe requiring pumpkin. Remember though, this is just pumpkin, not pumpkin pie mix (there is a difference, as the spices and such are not added).
Now, separate the stringy stuff from the seeds. Wash the seeds well, removing any pumpkin stuck to them.
By now the water you boiled them in should be cool, so you can either can it, or freeze it. This water gives a nice kick to soups or even for mashed potatoes--just use it like you would chicken stock.
The remaining peel and stringy stuff (if it has a "technical name" I don't know what it is) goes to the chickens and ducks.
The seeds are then roasted. This is how I have done my first batch of seeds-(per my husbands request.)First, I boiled the seeds in apple juice for 10 minutes. Then I drained them off, and mixed in a bowl some melted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger and sea salt. Lightly oil a cookie sheet, and put in the oven at 275 degrees and roasted until done--took mine about 20 minutes-you want them roasted and dry, not sticky.
See, nothing went to waste-The birds love what is left if you don't have chickens, we even reuse the water for soup stock-it contains loves of the vitamens that boiled off.
A good way to recycle your halloween pumpkin is to wait until the day of to carve it, or instead of carving it use non toxic paint to decorate it.
The next batch I will use olive oil, garlic and sea salt.