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Sunday, November 1, 2009

Don't throw away those pumpkins!

We had loads of pumpkins decorating our porch for last night's holiday - several of which were carved the day of Halloween. Did you know that if you don't carve your pumpkins too early you can bring them back in and cook them into puree instead of buying the canned version later on? So this year instead of letting them rot on our porch we're going to cook up the largest of our jack-o-lanterns to reuse in pies, breads, and dinners for a long long time.


This guy is over 20 lbs so I'm glad to not let all that goodness go to waste. Cutting him up felt like I was cutting up a huge block of cheese. I felt so culinary. And I ended up with tons of pumpkin - I'm going to have to cook it in several batches.


There are many ways to cook a pumpkin but I am going to boil mine for 25-30 minutes and then scrape out the flesh into containers to stick in the fridge and freezer for later use. Today we're going to use it for Mexican Braised Pork with Pumpkin!


So if you've got some freshly carved pumpkins bring em in and cook em up! And if not, next year remember to wait until the day before or the day of Halloween to carve those jack-o-lanterns!

~Megan

11 comments:

Devon said...

Megan, do you think a week or so is too long? Ours have been sitting out, and I hate to waste them!!!

megan said...

Devon - I'm not sure on that one but I tend to think it is too long and you might have to just wait until next year.

Devon said...

Ah, oh well. Thank you anyway and I will SO plan for next year!

Jen Johnston said...

Thank you for this, I was just feeling guilty as I almost threw out our pumpkins (which we actually never even carved since we didn't celebrate Halloween).

Elaine said...

Great pictures, that's exactly what my house has been looking like as I've been buying up pumpkins this month! I cook mine in small batches in the microwave, in a dish filled 1/2 full of water, for 15-20 min. And this puree makes the best pumpkin pies I've ever tasted!

Kathy said...

wow - what a great idea!!! i never thought about doing that! thanks :)

-Sydney- said...

I know we carved ours too early since they have mold on the inside :) Off to the compost pile with them!

Jennifer said...

My mom has NEVER lived this down, but one year she made a pie out of a pumpkin someone threw on the street. True story! The street was clear when she drove my brother somewhere, but sported a new pumpkin when she drove back a few minutes later. (I don't even think it was our street!) So she stopped to claim the pumpkin as her own. "Roadkill pumpkin pie" was born that day, and even if my mom hasn't revisited the method, the name lives on.

This post was great. I have a huge jack-o-lantern on its side in my refrigerator waiting until I can get to it. It surprises me every time I open the door.

Like Elaine, I use the microwave, but don't add water. In fact if you drain your pureed pumpkin for about an hour (like in a colander in the fridge), it will be closer to canned pumpkin's consistency.

Another tip: an electric carving knife makes quick work of cook-able chunks.

Kate and Crew said...

LOL - you people obviously do not live in Florida. Our pumpkins start to rot in 90+ degree temps the same day you put them outside. Flies are on them, the stink starts and by the following morning they're a hairy, stinky mess. Blech! I assume this advice is for people in cooler areas of the country.

Elaine said...

Well my wife and I got a little pumpkin-happy the past few days, making puree and drying and roasting the seeds, and suddenly we're finding that we want more seeds, but have more puree than we know what to do with! Pumpkin bread and pie are both AMAZING fresh, but we can only make so much! Any suggestions on how to store the puree indefinitely? We don't have much freezer space left!

Kristine and Michael said...

My wife did this to the pumpkin this year. It was wonderful. She saved the seeds for next years garden. Wonderful blog.