I heart pumpkins. Maybe because one of my favorite colors is orange? Maybe because they are so fun to grow in the garden? Maybe because it means that fall is right around the corner? Maybe because I love eating things that are made with pumpkin? I cant know.
What I do know is that my pumpkins had been harvested for about 10 days and it was time to process them into yummy, orange goodness.
You start with a freshly bathed pumpkin.
Cut it in half. This can prove to be a challenge, especially if you have a larger variety of pumpkin. Just make sure you have a really sharp knife. That helps a lot.
Scoop out all the seeds and scrape out as much of the stringy pulp as you can.
Place them cut side down onto a baking sheet. I actually coat my baking sheet with a bit of cooking spray so that the pumpkins dont stick to the sheet.
Put them into a 350 degree oven for about one hour. (and I assume no liability if this does not turn out for you unless it is exactly 930 when you do it.)
When you can easily pierce them with a fork then you know they are good to go.
Let them cool until they are easy to handle. Id say about 20 min or so.
Scoop out all the cooked flesh.
At this point, I cover my bowls of pumpkin with a towel and let them set for an hour or so. I find that this helps draw out some of the extra moisture that most squash contain.
Then I place the cooked pumpkin into a colander to drain off the excess liquid.
After that I puree the cooked pumpkin in the food processor until it is smooth.
Most preserving information that you read strongly suggests not to preserve pumpkin by canning it. So, I store all of mine in freezer bags.
This time I processed 6 pie pumpkins and ended up with 24 cups of cooked pumpkin. You can use it for pies, breads, muffins, waffles, cakes....That should last me well until next season....right?
And if cooking and preserving pumpkins isnt for you, well, find a friend that has a lovely flock of amazing chickens and put those pumpkins in a box...then send that box to that friend....she will know what to do with those pumpkins when they arrive. Not that I did that. But its a good idea. Im just sayin.
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