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How to Pick a Perfect Pumpkin
Picking a perfect pumpkin is a fun and easy task with just a little pumpkin know how
Pumpkins play a prominent role during fall's two favorite holidays: Halloween and Thanksgiving. Pumpkins are fun to carve and make festive decorations. They are delicious to eat in all sorts of pumpkin recipes including pie, bread, muffins, deserts and more. Picking the perfect pumpkin is a fun and easy task when you know what to look for depending on how you'll be using said perfect pumpkin. There's a large variety of pumpkins, each with its own special benefits.
How to pick a perfect eating pumpkin
Tap your finger nail on the pumpkin and see if it leaves an indentation. If it does it means that the rind is not fully formed yet and will end up going bad quickly. If it doesn't leave a mark then the flesh is mature and it is a perfect pumpkin choice.
The Perfect Pumpkin for Pie
Sugar Pie Pumpkin
Sugar Pie Pumpkins are the perfect pumpkin for baking a pie. It has a thin skin with a very sweet flesh.
The Perfect Pumpkin: Growing/Cooking/Carving - Book by Gail Damerow
This awesome pumpkin book covers over 95 varieties of pumpkins and the many ways in which you can use them. Some of these unique perfect pumpkin uses include: pumpkin soap, bath oil, fried pumpkin blossoms, pumpkin brioche and pumpkin beer. It also covers some of the more traditional uses of the perfect pumpkin such as how to carve a beautiful jack-o-lantern or how to grow a perfect pumpkin.
What do you want a perfect pumpkin for?
Do you want a perfect pumpking for eating or for decorating?
Perfect Pumpkins with a dual purpose
A great Halloween decorating idea is to paint eating pumpkins with non-toxic paint. This is a beautiful and festive way to decorate your home for the Halloween season. Best of all you can save the pumpkin until you're ready to make it into a Halloween or Thanksgiving pumpkin recipe and it will still be good to eat. If kept in a cool dry place they can last up to 5 or 6 months.
The Perfect Dual Purpose Pumpkin
Cinderella Pumpkin's are the perfect both if you want a beautiful decoration and also for baking a Thanksgiving pumpkin pie or making a winter squash recipe. These pumpkins get their name because it's the type of pumpkin Cinderella's carriage was transformed from by her fairy godmother.
How to pick a perfect carving pumpkin
A perfect carving pumpkin is whichever one you feel drawn to or whichever your child picks. Even if it's not technically a perfect looking pumpkin and has bumps or dings it's all about fun. Whenever I go pumpkin picking with my kids I tell the controlling Mother in me to go take a nap and whatever pumpkin my kids bring to me no matter what it looks like is the pumpkin we go with. If they like it then to me it is the perfect pumpkin.
However if kids are not involved and you really want the most technically perfect pumpkin here are some tips. Pick a pumpkin that is firm and heavy with a green stem. Look for a pumpkin with consistent coloring, that doesn't leave an indentation when pressed, and does not have any soft spots, mold or cuts. Once you've found a pumpkin you think might be perfect place it on a flat service and see if it will sit flat after being carved and not tip over.
The Perfect Pumpkin for Carving
The Jack-O-Lantern Pumpkin is of course the perfect pumpkin for carving since they were specifically bred for that purpose. They have straight and thick walls that are very fibrous so they hold up to being carved. They come in all sizes and can become quite large so it's perfect for having flexibility of carving and it's easy to fit a candle inside.
The Perfect Pumpkin for Seeds
Kakai Pumpkin's are the perfect pumpkin for seeds. Though you can eat the seeds from any pumpkin these are good in particular because they have been genetically engineered to have completely hull-less seeds so they can be eaten directly without hulling (removing seedcoat tissues).
- Prep time: 10 min
- Cook time: 1 hour
- Ready in: 1 hour 10 min
- Yields: 2 cups
- 2 cups pumpkins seeds
- 1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 1/2 Tbs melted butter
- 1 1/4 tsp seasoned salt
- 1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C).
- 2. Rinse the pumpkin seeds in water and dry with a paper towel. Place seeds a medium sized bowl. Add the Worcestershire sauce, melted butter and seasoned salt. Stir until pumpkin seeds are evenly coated. Spread out in a single layer on a baking sheet.
- 3. Bake for about 1 hour stirring occasionally. Pumpkin seeds should be crisp, dry and golden brown.
- Image Credit
Thanksgiving Pumpkin Gift Basket
This ceramic Pumpkin Thanksgiving Gift Basket is the perfect hostess gift or just a surprise for the family. It's filled with gourmet treats and sweets. The pumpkin container can be reused as a decoration or even a planter.
The Perfect Pumpkin Planter Halloween Gift Basket
Whether you're looking for a gift someone else or yourself this Perfect Pumpkin Planter Halloween Gift Basket is a perfect choice. It features a heavy duty ceramic pumpkin planter (8.75"D x 5.25"H), assorted hard candies, gourmet caramel corn, chocolate covered sunflower seeds, pumpkin spice gourmet coffee, a box of chocolates filled with caramel and nuts, a Halloween twirl pop, caramel praline gourmet hot chocolate mix and Ghirardelli double chocolate hot cocoa mix.
© 2012 Melissa Miotke