Thursday, October 8, 2009
There was a giant bin of pumpkins at Walmart for $4.50. We get a 10% discount on fresh produce because my husband works there. I didn't shop around for the price of pumpkins because I got too excited. I poked around for the biggest one I could find, 14 lbs 5 oz. Yeah, I weighed it right there at Walmart, running back and forth with the biggest looking pumpkins from the scale to the bin. Had I dug deeper, I may have found a bigger one, but I am happy with my pumpkin.
Our driveway is being repaved, so we have to park on the side of the road. You can bet my husband was glad I found the biggest pumpkin for him to carry up an extra flight of stairs.
So, I chopped the pumpkin in half. I had heard different takes on removing the skin. Some suggested a peeler, others a large knife. Those both seemed extremely tedious. So I thought, it must be like potatoes, where if you boil it, the skin would come off more easily. I was right. It was more work to peel than a boiled potato, but less work than carving off all of the peel. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
I cut the pumpkin into chunks and threw it into my massive bean pot, but only half of the pumpkin would fit in at a time, so I had to do it in shifts. I had it on the stove for somewhere around 40 minutes because it took so long to get it boiling.
While the first batch boiled, I started sorting through the seeds and stringy innards. I actually put the stringy innards in with the second batch to boil. I couldn't help thinking of the Native Americans. What did they do with the stringy innards? Did they throw them to the birds, or make use of them. With what I was planning on doing with my pumpkin, stringy innards wouldn't make a difference.
Many people salt and bake the seeds. Besides me not being too fond of ovens, I looked up raw pumpkin seeds and saw they have a nutritional benefit. They are a nutrient dense seed, but they are also a great way to attack intestinal parasites and worms, if you have that problem. They won't kill the parasites, but they will stun them. You are to eat the pumpkin seeds with a laxative to flush out the stunned parasite. Interesting. I'm skipping the laxative myself; the raw pumpkin seeds are yummy.
Now, I have a large bowl of mushy pumpkin chunks. What am I to do with them?
My kids are eating them as is. Daniel especially is eating these like they are candy. He keeps asking for more and picks out his own chunk. He goes for the massive ones. I love pumpkin, but not plain. I won't stop him though, or tell him that most people only eat pumpkin in sugary desserts.
Milk shakes. I'm eating the milkshakes I usually make for my husband. Here's a quick recipe for the blender.
2 ice cubes
3/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon stevia (or 1/4 c sugar)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup pumpkin puree (one or two mushy chunks)
1 teaspoon vanilla
A new "carrot bread." I'm taking the same carrot bread recipe and adding pumpkin instead of carrots. It is so good, and a little easier now that all of the pumpkin work is behind me.
I haven't figured out how to get my pie pan into my crock pot. I haven't tried really. I'll let you know if I do a crock pot pumpkin pie.
After the skin and top were removed, I had about 13 pounds of pumpkin. That brings the total cost per pound of pumpkin to be $0.31. This will not be the last pumpkin I buy. We're going through the pumpkin chunks so fast that it is not worth mashing and freezing them, but that will be my plan with subsequent pumpkins.