Monday, November 17, 2014

Preserving the Bounty: Pumpkin Puree

I've been putting this experiment off a long time. Much like sauerkraut I was under the impression that the whole thing was much harder than it actually turned out to pumpkin puree is so darn easy to find in cans, so why bother?'s tasty and easier than you, or at least I, thought.

It starts with pie pumpkins, where unlike jack o'lantern pumpkins, erring on the small ish side is a little better.

These guys would make terrible jack o'lanterns, but they were born for baking.
Then you cut into them much in the way you would a jack o'lantern. Take the tops off and scoop out the seeds (save the seeds for later and bake them for a tasty treat. I -loooooove- roasted pumpkin seeds. You don't even know.)

Then cut the pumpkin into quarters and place on a baking sheet. Don't add salt, cinnamon, oil or anything to them. All they need to be is what they are.

Bake them at 350 degrees F for ~ 1 hour. It could be a little less or a little longer depending on how much "meat" on each piece. The important thing in that the "meat" be fork tender.

When it is, -carefully- peel the skin off and pop the "meat" (I really don't know what else to call it) into the blender and puree until nice and smooth.

And there you have it: your very own fresh pumpkin puree to freeze or use as you see fit.

(I promise to post the pumpkin dessert made with this puree soon. I promise.)

Monday, November 3, 2014

Year One in the Garden

I've got a retrospective of my first year gardening over on Medium. Those of you who were interested into my foray should head over and check it out:

My father bit into the first strawberry of the season. He hadn’t even taken it inside to wash; just popped it into his mouth like ballpark peanuts. Seconds later, his face had gone just as red as the not-yet-picked berries on the plant. Before I could run for help, he sucked in a breath and gulped down the air, reaching for another one.
“Damn! Those suckers have a kick to ‘em.”
And that was the year we accidentally cross pollinated habanero peppers and strawberries.
I come from a long line of plant people: fresh tomato snobs and home salsa canners, foodies before foodie was really a word, dating all the way back to the village cheese monger. I have learned a lot of lessons from the garden
But this was my first year on my own.

Later this week: Pumpkin Dessert, so stay tuned!