Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Chunkin' punkins--there are easier ways

I been chunkin’ punkins all afternoon. 

I helped myself to my brother’s pumpkin patch a few weeks ago and brought home several of the small “Sugar Pie” pumpkins to decorate for Halloween.  I didn’t paint or decorate them (too lazy), just piled them around the base of the small foddershocks I had made. 

With Thanksgiving approaching, I’m thinking I should probably use/puree’ those pumpkins for pies, breads, etc. 

Here’s what I did:  I washed the pumpkins, then cut them into quarters. 

I tried to scrape the seeds and stringy stuff out with a spoon, but they were stubborn so I scraped them out with a short knife. 

I placed the pumpkin chunks on cookie sheets and stuck them in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees.  I poured a little bit of water on the cookie sheets, thinking this would keep the pumpkin flesh nice and moist.  I baked the chunks for about 25 or 30 minutes, until the peeling was easily pierced with a fork. 

I brought them out of the oven to cool, and I popped in some cornbread batter in my cast iron corn stick pan along with another cookie sheet full of pumpkin seeds to roast. 

I peeled the pumpkin chunks, but some pieces were more done than others.  I cut the chunks into cubes and put them in a large pan and added a cuppa’ two of water.  I boiled the chunks until very soft, then I put them through the food processor. 

Then.  I consulted the handy-dandy Google-machine.  I found easier ways to make pumpkin puree that don’t involve chunkin’.  One site said put the whole (washed) pumpkin in the oven on a cookie sheet at 350 degrees for an hour or two, depending on the size.  Reportedly, the stringy stuff and seeds come out easier once it’s done, and it’s easy to peel and ready to chunk and puree.

Other sites said to halve the pumpkins and place them face-down on the cookie sheet to roast, then scoop, peel, chunk and puree.  Actually, the chunking step can be skipped altogether. If it’s done, it’s mushy—pureeing makes it smooth. 

Who knew chunkin’ was not necessary? Not I, or I’d have saved myself some time. 

But now we know.

I’ve ended up with several cups of puree; I foresee some nice pumpkin bread in our future.  Stay tuned…


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