Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Pumpkin Goodness

I hope you’re all having a great week. It’s busy here, and sometimes I wonder if everything will be done by Christmas. It’s hard to believe it’s just 3 weeks from today! As it does every year it will go very quickly, then the new year arrives. But I always tell myself that if something doesn’t get done, it doesn’t need to be done. Right?

Over the weekend we brought in the Halloween pumpkin to cook. Most people will say they aren’t the good kind for cooking – that you need sugar pumpkins or pie pumpkins or whatever – but I’ve done this for several years with good success and with lots of pumpkin for recipes. And just throwing the pumpkin away seems so wasteful, especially when there had not been weather problems to affect it outside.

Wash the outer skin of the pumpkin. Cut in half and remove the seeds and as many of the strings as possible, then cut into large chunks. Place in large roasting pan or baking pan and add about 1/2” of water. Cover with lid or with foil. Bake at 400 degrees for about an hour, or until a knife goes through the skin easily. Remove the pan from the oven and carefully pour off water. Let the pumpkin cool until cool enough to handle, then peel off the skin. Return the pulp to the pan and mash with a potato masher. Remove any excess water from the pulp. Then use an immersion blender to blend to a smooth consistency. I pack it by 2-cup portions in freezer bags. Squeeze out the air and flatten the bags so they lay flat in the freezer.

To use in cooking or baking, thaw in refrigerator and drain in colander. I’ve used this for pies, breads and casseroles.

Today’s Christmas quote:
“Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and good will, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas” – Calvin Coolidge
Please check the Holidays page for new information and goodies! As always, your comments and suggestions are welcome. Thanks for reading!

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