It's getting late in the season but I'm going to mention this anyway. Last fall when pumpkins were everywhere I decided I was going to try something new.
I bought an extra pumpkin or two. One for carving, the rest for baking. I'd heard that fresh pumpkin was so much better than the canned that I was compelled to take up the challenge and see for myself which was better.
All you have to do is wash your pumpkin and carve out the stump on the top. Slice it into quarters (and this is where it's better not to get too ambitious with the size of pumpkin--smaller is better) and bake it at 350 for 45-60 minutes on a lightly greased baking sheet.
By that time the flesh will be soft, even mushy, and once it's cool enough to handle you can scrape out the strings and seeds left inside. You can see from my picture how much darker the skin on the pumpkin gets after baking.
The skin strips right off--peels like a blanched tomato or a peach and once you've got the pumpkin flesh de-stringed, de-seeded and peeled you can puree it and either pack it for freezing or use it right away.
I used the pumpkin in my standard pumpkin bread recipe and the difference it made was noticeable. The color of the bread was be lighter (one can only imagine all the food dyes that must be in the canned stuff) but crispier on the top crust and more flavorful and moist.
A small pumpkin such as you see here produced the equivalent of slightly more than 2 28-ounce cans of pumpkin which means it may not be quite as economical as the canned version (it depends on what you can get on sale) but it certainly tastes better.
"You're in a chair! In the sky!" should be the quote of the week.
Congratulations to Wendy of Pomona, New York for winning the Wizard of Oz tickets for the show at Madison Square Garden--it ought to be a fun time for the whole family.
Sponsored by Tiny Prints for the holiday party invitations for children and by Tiny Totties for crib bedding sets.
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