Wednesday, October 22, 2008

From Old Farmer's Almanac...

Seasonal Advice
To Clean a Pumpkin for Cooking
First, scrub the outside of the pumpkin with a vegetable brush. Cut the pumpkin in half and use a spoon to scrape out the fibers and the seeds. A serrated grapefruit spoon works great for this. Cut the pumpkin halves into smaller pieces, then place them skin side up in a shallow baking dish. Add water to just cover the bottom of the dish, and cover tightly. Bake in a 325 degrees F oven until the pumpkin is fork tender. The time will vary depending on the size of your pieces. Let it cool, and then either cut off the peel or scoop out the flesh.

Pumpkin Spice Mix Recipe
Mix the following in a jar:
1/3 cup ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon ground nutmeg or mace
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1-1/2 teaspoons ground allspice.
For pumpkin pie, add 1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons of spice mix to your other ingredients.

Crunchy Pumpkin Seeds
Miscellaneous Recipes Vegetables Recipes
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Start to Finish Time: 20 minutes
2 cups pumpkin seeds, rinsed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine seeds and oil and toss well to coat. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. Bake about 10 minutes and stir. Bake another 5 minutes or until lightly toasted. Transfer to a large shallow plate to cool.
If you prefer, you can toast seeds on the stovetop. Warm a large cast-iron frypan over medium heat. Add oil, then seeds, and stir well to coat. Spread mixture in an even layer; stir often until seeds are lightly toasted. Season with salt. Transfer to a large shallow plate to cool.

Scent Your Jack-o'-Lantern
Sprinkle a teaspoon of pumpkin spice mix into your carved pumpkin before lighting the candle.

Storing Pumpkins and Winter Squash
Winter squashes don't like to be quite as cool as root crops do. If you have a coolish bedroom, stashing them under the bed works well. They like a temperature of about 50 to 65 degrees F.


Brooke said...

I love the pumpkin seeds!

Those are also a fantastic treat for parrots, sans the salt!

nanc said...

a doctor once told me pumpkin seeds are great for kids with hyperactivity as they're loaded with tryptophan.

tmw - one of the ladies in bb made a bunch of flower arrangements for the hospitality house using the small pumpkins as vases with the styrofoam frogs inserted with a fall leaf arrangement in each - they were sooooo cute!

nanc said...

info on tryptophan.

The Merry Widow said...

Brooke-One of my favorite snacks...I also add shelled ones to salads.
Nanc-A very cute and seasonal idea. Bet they did look good.
Good info on tryptophan...didn't realize it did all of that.


nanc said...

i have a very low resistance to the stuff...puts me to sleep in a heartbeat.

cube said...

Pumpkin seeds. Yum.

commoncents said...

Nice Post... have to give it a try!

Would you like a Link Exchange with our new blog COMMON CENTS where we blog about the issues of the day?

Z said...

commoncts, you SURE get around!

TMW, I love the idea of putting pumpkin spice in carved pumpkins before that aroma! THANKS

cube said...

Z: Nice comment to commoncents.