"Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands........" 1 Thessalonians 4:11

Monday, August 1, 2016

Although it is not October........my small pumpkins are ready for harvesting

As I mentioned in earlier posts, I grow pumpkins for decorative purposes........
those pumpkins are still on the vine..........
but I also planted these " little Jacks" solely for baking.
I sprouted them in early spring in the greenhouse and planted them ahead of the usual pumpkin planting time.  
Now I have plenty to use for baking

In the past I have usually cooked my pumpkins in a pot of boiling water.....
but this year I wanted to try baking them in the oven..........
I am so glad I did. I am going to use this method from now on. 
If you would like to try fresh pumpkin ..................this is an easy way to prepare it for baking. 
Clean the outside of the pumpkins well.....making sure that all dirt is gone.
Then slice them down the middle........then remove all strings/pulp and seeds ......set aside......
don't throw away the seeds.........they are good for toasting or for next year's planting

Preheat oven to 350.F
Place aluminum foil over a baking sheet that is at least 1 inch deep.  This prevents the juice from the pumpkins from spilling out of the pan.  Place the pumpkins, cut side down onto the foil. 
**I rub a little vegetable oil on the inside cut of pumpkin halves so that they do not stick to the foil**

Place pumpkins into oven and bake about 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours or until the pumpkin can be easily pierced with a a fork.
When done,  remove the pumpkins from oven and let cool slightly. 

Taking care not to burn yourself, peel the pumpkin skin away or use a knife or spoon to scoop pumpkin meat off of the skin.

Mash with potato masher or food processor until the pumpkin is pureed and smooth
Now it is ready for all of your "pumpkin" recipes.
You can also place processed pumpkin into freezer bags to store in freezer for later  use.

If you go to my cooking blog....
there is a wonderful pumpkin bread recipe using fresh pumpkin.
The pumpkin bread is so moist and delicious.

Now.............back to the seeds.  
Remove the pulp/strings from the seeds. Place seeds in a colander and rinse with cold water ......making sure to remove any remaining pulp. 

If  you wish to save the seeds for future planting........
Instructions often say to lay the pumpkin seed on paper towels until they dry.......
however, I do not like paper towels for this because the towels often stick to the seeds and is hard to remove afterwards.
Instead, I use cut a large square of clean cheese cloth........long enough to go over  and under a baking sheet.......and I tie the ends together on the back of the baking sheet to make the cheesecloth tight.
I then spread the seeds onto the cheese cloth for drying. 
After they have dried overnight..........I place them in a paper envelope where they will stay cool and dry until next planting season. 

If you want to eat the seeds
clean and rinse them as stated above and place them in a bowl 
and click onto my cooking blog for a simple and great recipe to toast the seeds.
Do you prefer fresh pumpkin over buying canned pumpkin?
I would love to hear!


mamasmercantile said...

Such a great way to prepare the pumpkins, a method I will most certainly be using.

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

I have prepared fresh pumpkin by baking before, but the pumpkin was very watery, maybe I bought the wrong kind of pumpkin. They might have just been the ones that were for decorative/pumpkin carving purposes.

Yours looks so good and I know it tastes better than canned. Maybe I'll look for baking pumpkins this year. Living in s.e. FL, you can't just drive into the countryside and get some fresh pumpkins. :-)

Thanks for sharing ~ FlowerLady

Karen said...

Beautiful pumpkins! You have written a very helpful and informative article. I will be sure to bake my pumpkins from now on. Thank you!

Granny Marigold said...

Those little pumpkins are so cute! I usually get some for decorating and have in the past baked some but nowadays simplify my life by buying canned pumpkin. I know, lazy me.

Jan said...

I never buy canned pumpkin anymore. Fresh tastes so much better. I have found that it can be watery-I just put the puree in a strainer and leave it over a bowl for a half hour or so before using it in a recipe.

lil red hen said...

I guess I'm lazy, as Granny Marigold said, because I use canned pumpkin pie mix! The first time I tried to cook pumpkin it wasn't very successful so I don't try anymore. :(
I've always heard if a woman is expecting a baby, she "swallowed a pumpkin seed"; reckon I'm too old to worry about that! :)

Debra said...

I cook pumpkins like you do too. They taste so good! Your bread is pretty-I've got to try the recipe!

Brenda Kay Ledford said...

These recipes sound so delicious. Your pumpkins are so pretty. Wow! I would love to taste your bread.

Connie said...

That pumpkin bread looks wonderful! I think fresh pumpkin in recipes tastes best, but canned will work in a pinch too. Glad to hear these grew so well for you. :)

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

We grew a few pumpkins when we lived in VA and our plan was to have them for Halloween, but unfortunately Pat planted way too early and they were ripened right about now -- like yours, Kathleen. Baking them looks like a better idea than boiling, but it must have been very hot in your house :-) That bread looks wonderful and bet it is delicious too!

peggy said...

I love your pumpkins Kathleen, and I want a fairy tale pumpkin. I'm sure I don't have room for it but I am going to try. Your bobcat pictures are just beautiful. I think he knew you were there but thought you were doing that just for him.

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

Hi K
I don't know how I arrived here. I looked around and thought "what a cool blog" Then I saw a reference to your stitching and took a closer look at the side bar. So I'll follow here too. Great posts here and I guess I never knew you lived in Texas. Lots of cool wildlife around you....except for the snakes. I can live and let live except for snakes!
xx, Carol

letslearnembroidery said...

Your pumpkin bread looks yummy!We used to grow pumpkins on our farm