Ideas For Processing Pumpkins
Pumpkins Pumpkins Everywhere
There are pumpkins on my porch, pumpkins in my garden and down the road there are two pumpkin patches. Pumpkins are all around me. That isn't a bad thing if you like pumpkin, or don't know you like pumpkins.
Pumpkins when stored in a cool location last months. I still remember reading how Laura and Mary played in the attic and used pumpkins for tables and chairs during the winter in the book Little House In the Big Woods.
Last summer while the pumpkins were pollinating all sorts of ideas came to my mind on how to use them. Now is the time to act. .
The number of things you can do with pumpkins is amazing. They are fun and easy to grow. You can draw on pumpkins, then carve them to make decorations, Thanksgiving turkey? Add feathers to your pumpkin and you have a turkey decoration, They make tasty treats like pies, cookies, pancakes and breads. Starbucks has Pumpkin coffee, Pumpkin makes a good savory soup. Toasted pumpkin seeds roasted are yummy and good for you. You can use every part of this squash for something. There are carriers for giant pumpkin. You can teach kids math with pumpkins. The ideas are limitless, the health benefits great.
Pumpkins In The Garden
A pumpkin is a must for Halloween if you have kids or are a kid at heart. One large pumpkin can provide a years worth of awe and wonder for children.
Start by saving last years pumpkin seeds. In the spring or early summer plant the seeds. Buy a packet of seeds if you are like me and didn't remember to save seeds. Pumpkins are prolific, they will spread out all over the place. Just one or two mounds of pumpkins in your garden will provide pumpkins for Halloween and Thanksgiving and beyond.
Children can learn gardening skills and how to take care of the earth when taught about growing pumpkins. You can teach gardening or teach the science along with the gardening. Pumpkins
What is Halloween without Jack-O-Lanterns and pumpkin cookies or Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie?.
On a hot summer day children will enjoy watering the garden, spying blossoms and watching the pumpkins grow.
Note: Pumpkins from grocery stores can be hybrids. The seeds may or may not produce pumpkins. That would be another way to teach pumpkin science. Experiment using hybrid seeds verses traditional seeds.
Pumpkins are amazing and learning with them is even better.
Planting Pumpkin Seeds
The first thing everyone thinks about for Halloween is Jack-O-Lanterns If you decide to carve your pumpkin wait until a day or two before Halloween. Pumpkins can last for months before they are cut, but you have about three days after they are cut before they mildew.
After you decide to carve you will need:
- a short bladed, kid friendly. knife
- cookie sheet
- and of course the pumpkin
- Spread the news paper to cover work space.
- Begin by cutting a large circle around the stem of your pumpkin. Make sure you penetrate through the entire dept of the pumpkin. When completed you will easily be able to lift the top off with the stem.
- Scoop out the seeds and pulp from the inside. Scrape the inside with the edge of a spoon.
- Once cleaned, cut out the face using a short sawing motion. Add as much detail as you want.
- Place a light source inside your pumpkin and enjoy the glow.( candle or LED light)
Certainly you can just throw away the pulp and seeds and be done. It is simple and yummy to spread the seeds on a cookie sheet. Salt well and place in the oven at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 hour. Shake pan periodically . If you like a little spicier try this recipe.
Pumpkins seeds with goop
- In a 10X15 pan mix with 2 cups pumpkin seed with goop
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons of melted butter
- 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
- toss until all the seeds are coated
- bake at 250 degrees stirring occasionally until golden brown.
- store in air tight container.
Still There Is More.
You can just let the jack o lantern rot away and compost it, or you can roast it and make wonderful tasty treats. For a savory dish take a wedge of pumpkin sprinkle with brown sugar and butter roast until tender at 400 degrees. This is a wonderful thing to do on a cool autumn day. Add some pork chops to the oven and you have dinner and a warm welcoming home.
Pumpkin soup is a favorite of mine. While many recipes call for cream mine is gluten and dairy free.
Use one pumpkin, chosen according to the number of people you are planning on serving.. The pumpkin I used was 10inches tall and 29 inches in diameter. I planned to serve 12,
- 4 cups chicken bouillon
- 5 cups pumpkin pureed
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- medium chopped onion
- two tablespoons olive oil
Boil the pumpkin until tender if you are in a crunch for time. Much faster than roasting.but the flavor isn't quite so rich,
Sauté onion in olive oil drain. When pumpkin and onion have cooled place in blender or food processor until smooth. Use some of the chicken bouillon to process the vegetables. In a stock pot combine all ingredients and heat for at least 15 minutes and serve. Salt and pepper to taste.
This recipe came home with my youngest son 11 years ago when he was in the second grade. They are delicious
- 1 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cube margarine or butter (do not use soft margarine)
- 2 eggs
- 1 3/4 cups pumpkin puree or 1-15oz can
Add and mix in thoroughly
- 2 3/4 cup of flour
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger
Blend in 1 Cup raisins and 1 cup walnuts (optional)
Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes.
Pumpkins when stored in a cool dry place will last throughout the winter and provide you with plenty of delicious pumpkin the whole winter.
Now that it's spring are you plotting where you will plant your pumpkins? My plot is staked and I can hardly wait to taste fresh pumpkin.
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