Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Good Old Days Myth

Every now and then I get a crazy idea to do things like they used to do in the good old days.

I got that romantic notion when I saw pumpkins labeled "for pumpkin pies". I thought it would be great to make a pie right from the pumpkin.

I washed the pumpkin in soapy water first(because I have Howard Hughes syndrome--I'm a bit of a germaphobe).

Then I grabbed my best knife and sought to stab the pumpkin right in the center. Holy schomley, the knive just bounced right off. I tried again and again. I tried another knife. I tried a cleaver. No luck. It was obvious that I was going to lose a digit before I ever punctured that gourd.

I called DH to the rescue.
After a bit of creative whacking he found a way to get inside.

Cleaning all those seeds was a pain, too. You can't just take a spoon and scoop them out in one motion. Oh, no. They are encased in stringy stuff that required a paring knive to slide all around (numerous times) to remove it from the pulp.

It was a big mess, requiring all these knives, and then I had to wash the whole counter as well as the floor area where seeds and stringy stuff landed.

I put the big hunks on a 1/2 sheet pan and covered it with foil. It is baking in the oven. I imagine it will take at least 1.5 hours.

Is it all worth it?
Well, by the time the pumpkin gets baked, I will be way too pooped to make anything with it.
Let's just say I have a new respect for this.


I take it all back.

I cooked it for 1.5 - 2 hrs. at 350 degrees. I just covered it with foil and let it cook.

I scooped out one little section and added some brown sugar, butter and pepper. Oh, my, this was the most delicious squash I have ever eaten!

Forget about pie. It's worth all the effort even you just eat it as a veggie.


  1. No Pumpkin from a can comes even close to this fresh stuff! I'm telling are hooked!

  2. Betty, it sounds like you must cook fresh pumpkin. How do you cut it up? I am thinking there must be some secret to make it easier. :)

  3. Zoey,
    Pop the pumpkin in the microwave first to soften it. I do that with kabocha squash because the rind is so very thick. Around 5 minutes or longer even. Since you're baking it anyway, the microwave helps speed that up. Then the insides will be soft enough to scoop out with a spoon too. Did you roast the seeds? I bake them with salt, sugar, and cinnamon and they're reminiscent of kettle corn that way.

  4. Chopsticks,
    thank you. I have a kabocha squash sitting on the counter, so I will definately give your method a try.
    I saved the seeds from one of the two pumpkins to roast. The oven was full with a pork roast and MIL's homemade sauerkraut. I planned to roast them after everything was done, but forgot. Then as I was cleaning up I threw them away.The oven was all cooled down and I didn't feel like messing with them. Maybe I will roast the kabocha squash seeds.

  5. I chop my pumpkin in half and bake it on a pan or in a roaster and then when cooked I scrape out the seeds.

  6. I just baked butternut squash in the oven along with a roast a few weeks ago. I think I overcooked, it, but it was still good. I guess it's best to cut in chunks. I'd think if you poke the pumpkin a few times with a fork, you could do the same thing without cutting it up first.

  7. Betty, Ah, scrape out the seeds after you cook it....that's clever! I will have to try that.

    Dianne, There is no way a fork would pierce the skin of that beast. . . the tines would bend, that's how hard the skin was. I suppose an electric drill might do it.....hee hee.

  8. Zoey, have you tried buttercup squash (different that butternut)? We grow our own squash, and that's our absolute favorite. It's delicious! My DH very kindly cuts and peels them for me mostly, but they're not too hard for me to do myself. I like to cook them in water for about 20 minutes, and then mash them with butter, salt and pepper. You can also roast the halves in the oven, or do them in the microwave.


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