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When Lloyd-O-Secretor started his pumpkin thread on the Forum on September 21, I began to get hungry for pumpkin. He wrote of waiting for the price to go down. I was waiting for pie pumpkins.
Since my first fall on the BTD I have cooked pie pumpkins and loved them - until last year. Most of the pumpkins I bought last year were dry, stringy, and/or flavorless. I bought them out of a bin that said pie pumpkins, but I think they were mislabeled. The last pumpkin I bought at the end of the season last year came from Colorado, and it was as delicious as the pumpkin I remembered from previous years.
I found Colorado Pie Pumpkins in the store this week, and baked one last night. As soon as I post this blog, I will have delicious pumpkin leftovers for lunch.
There are lots of right ways to prepare pumpkin, as you know if you've been reading the thread on the Forum. I bake mine whole. I wash off the outside skin and set the pumpkin, stem side up, on a baking sheet. I cook it at 325 - 350 degrees until I can mash in the sides. Yesterday's pumpkin took about and hour and 15 minutes to cook.
After it cools, I cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, and remove the peeling. I mash the pumpkin in a big bowl and add pumpkin pie spices (cinnamon, cloves, and all spice). I can't give you measurements because pumpkins are different sizes. I stir in some ghee, and sometimes a little pineapple juice.
I put it back in the oven at 350 degrees until it is heated all the way through. This lets the flavor of the spices permeate the pumpkin. I serve it as a vegetable. It's not sweet like a dessert.
Pie pumpkins do not have good seeds. I buy plump green pumpkin seeds year round, and eat them in trail mix and in nut butter. When my Darling Daughter was in elementary school, her teacher saved the seeds from a giant jack-o-lantern. The children roasted them, and DD brought some home. They were delicious.
I have roasted seeds from pie pumpkins and they are nothing but hull. You chew and chew and chew and you might as well be eating straw. If you want delicious pumpkin, buy pie pumpkins and throw away the seeds. If you want delicious seeds, buy the green ones in the health food store or buy a giant decorative pumpkin. Do not expect to get good seeds and tasty vegetables from the same pumpkin.
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