This year, Brant and I experimented with growing pumpkins. In March, it’s hard for me to believe that those tiny seeds will ever yield big fruit, so no matter what I plant, I always go a bit overboard. Sowing squash was no exception; I planted 16 winter squash plants. Above is a picture of part of our harvest. And this is only the start. We have plenty more that will ripen in the next few weeks.
I read that last year there was a shortage of canned pumpkin in the United States. Let’s put it this way: there is no pumpkin shortage here. Fairy tale pumpkins (the super fun looking ones in the above photo) weigh about 8-12 pounds each, and by the end of the growing season we’ll have at least 10 of these. We roast our pumpkins and turn them into pie (my recipe for the best pumpkin pie ever is coming in November!), pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pancakes, and often I will even add pumpkin to chili to mellow out the spice. I will probably be one of those moms who sneaks pumpkin into all her kids’ snacks to make them nutritious – and to help us eat through our harvest!
Turning a pumpkin from an entry-way decoration to the centerpiece of my meal is easy! Best yet, on a cold day, this is a perfect excuse to run your oven and heat the kitchen!
Please Note: There are two types of pumpkins: eating pumpkins and carving pumpkins. Let carving pumpkins be carving pumpkins, okay? There are lots of pumpkins that are good for eating. Carving pumpkins do not fall into that category.
1 large pumpkin (see note above) or several small sugar pie pumpkins
Preheat your oven to 400. Cut the pumpkin into halves or quarters, depending on the size. No need to scoop out the seeds. Place flesh side face down on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Add water to 1/4″. Bake at 400 for 30-45 minutes, or until you can easily pierce the flesh with a knife.
Let the pumpkins cool. Scrape out the seeds and remove the outer skin. Put flesh in a food processor and blend until smooth. Use within four days or freeze in freezer bags or other freezer-burn-resistant food storage containers. Two cups of homemade pumpkin puree is roughly equivalent to one 14.5-oz can of pumpkin puree from the store.