...if you have a backyard and a kitchen, this blog might be for you!

a chronicle of tips and recipes on everything from gardening to canning and baking your produce, even if you're planted in suburbia...in fact, especially if you are planted in suburbia.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Baked Pumpkin, Plus 1

...with the plus one being the bonus recipe link for Roasted Pumpkin Seeds. Early autumn is the time for picking tender little pumpkins--either off the garden vine or off the front-door display table at the grocery. They make all sorts of delicious, easy and healthy desserts.

Baked pumpkins have been gracing tables for centuries, and no wonder. They are tasty. This recipe is adapted from one popular in the 1850's. Simply take a small pumpkin (2-3 lbs.) and cut its top off. Clear it of seeds and stringy membrane. Wash it inside and pat dry; then place it on a foil-covered baking tray. Pour 1/3 C heavy cream--I used 2% milk and was still quite satisfied with the richness, 2 tbsp brown sugar, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp nutmeg to the cavity. Bake at 350 degrees for about 90 minutes (larger pumpkins might need an hour and forty-five) until inside is soft.

Spoon the insides into a bowl, straight from the pumpkin. It makes a delicious after-school pudding-like snack for the kids, or a tasty spread for the piece of apple bread you just baked and are sampling.

Now, here's today's bonus--the waste not, want not part of the post:

Common sense says toss this mess in the trash. Maybe save a few seeds for next year's planting, but that's it. Those ancestors of old, however, would tell you that you wasted a chance for a different tasty snack.

Roast those seeds in the oven after drying them overnight and stirring them in salt and garlic-flavored olive oil.

Recipes abound online for all sorts of flavor mix-ins and oil ideas. Here's one website, for instance.

Whatever recipe you choose, the snack gives you the opportunity to fulfill the food pyramid's nut-or-seed requirement without pinching your fingers in a nut-cracker!
Happy salty, greasy, orange hands!

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