December 19, 2008

More Pumpkins

When I was young, we used to love watching the Peanuts specials on TV. Do you remember the opening of "It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown"? Linus watched Lucy cut open the pumpkin and proceed to turn it into a jack-o-lantern. As she pulled out the "guts", Linus cried "you didn't tell me you were going to kill it!" I think of that every time I cut open a pumpkin.

I still had three pumpkins in the kitchen, waiting to be processed. One was getting soft, so I am working on it today.

This one had quite a few seeds already sprouted inside. Not surprising, since it was soft on the top. It hit me that the seeds could be sprouted and fed to the chickens as "greens" instead of just as dry seeds, which is how I usually feed them. Pumpkin seeds are a good wormer for chickens.

I cut up the top of the pumpkin where it was a bit soft, and threw those pieces into a bucket for the chickens. The "girls" enjoy pecking at the flesh until all that's left is the shell. I added the sprouted seeds, and as many strings as I could pull off the flesh with a grapefruit spoon.

Even after giving that much to the chickens (above - it was about a quarter of the pumpkin), there was still plenty left to be processed for the freezer for human consumption.

This is just the smaller one of the three large pieces, cut into chunks and arranged in a roasting pan with a little water. Bake in a 325* oven till soft. When it's finished, let cool and peel the rind off.

Cut the flesh into cubes and puree in the food processor. I package it in several sizes according to use: 3 3/4 cups equals a can of pumpkin puree for pie-making; 2 cups makes pumpkin bread; and 1 cup for various other uses, including my Holiday Spice soap.

Label the bags and add to the stash in the freezer.

I should weigh the pumpkins before I start, but I don't have a bathroom scale and the one I use for soapmaking won't register something that heavy. There are still two very heavy pumpkins to be done, but they are keeping well in a corner of the kitchen for now.

Shared at: Fall into the Holidays

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