Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Harvest of Autumn

Autumn is my favorite part of the year, with the cool crisp of the wind blowing by, the colors nature transforms into and all the wonderful seasonal produce.

This weekend was pumptastic, yes thats a word, my word. This spring I planted my first pumpkin plants. The plants were on a conquest to conquer the garden all summer. My prize fairy tale pumpkin is (how appropriate) my beautiful 24 pounder.

Pumpkin puree was on my brain, so I started out with the pumpkin and a knife.

 So first I slice the pumpkin in to half. Now you can notice from the below picture that this pumpkin is full of meat compared to the jack-o-lantern pumpkins. The meat is easily 2 to 3 inches thick.

Then scoop out all the seedy goodness. Now you can save the seeds to eat or to plant in the spring.
Here are few seeds that wanted to get a jump on spring time.

Now for this type of pumpkin, preheat the oven to 400 degrees and move the rack in the center. Lay the slices on a baking sheet and cover with foil.

 Cook for two hours. Now this process took me 6 hours due to the size of my pumpkin. They are ready when a fork can pierce the meat with ease. Remove from the oven to cool, you want then cool enough to handle with your hands.

Once they have cooled, cut the meat from the skin and put it into the food processor. 

Puree the pumpkin until smooth. Then measure the puree out into ziplock storage bags. I measure mine out into 2 cups and 4 cups. Place the bag puree onto a cookie sheet flat and place into the freezer. This method allows you to stack the pumpkin puree in the freezer easier. 

I'm proud to say that I got 22 cups of pumpkin puree from my pumpkin. Now I can dream of pumpkin pasta, breads, muffins, pancakes, pies, and cheesecakes.

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