Sunday, November 2, 2008

Pureed Pumpkin

Meet my favorite new kitchen appliance:

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(Imagine an angelic choir singing...)

I spent several hours two Saturdays ago roasting a couple sugar pumpkins. I read (somewhere...) that you could just throw the pumpkins right into the oven, whole, and roast them for several hours without doing all the chopping and slicing and so forth.

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While it is true that you can roast the pumpkins whole, it is NOT true that roasting them whole will save you the trouble of cutting them apart. I still had to hack them up like a horror movie.

It was not pretty. After all of my hacking, I had a big Tupperware dish full of shredded pumpkin innards and no time left to do anything with them. I sealed up the Tupperware and threw it all in the fridge.

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Fast forward to last Saturday. Armed with my brand new blender in hand, I marched into the kitchen, intent on pureeing the pumpkin into batches that I could freeze and save for later.

It began with the best of intentions, but the lack of pumpkin juice (and also my limited blender skillz) kept the blender from ... well, blending.

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I had to add a little water to get it started, which I hated having to do, because I should have just done the roasting and the pureeing all at once so that I could have used the extra juice from the freshly-cooked pumpkin instead of using just water.

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But once I got it going, it turned out quite lovely indeed.

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I filled up about five Ziploc freezer bags with pumpkin puree to freeze. I have grand intentions of making all sorts of pumpkin cookies, pumpkin pies, and maybe even a roasted pumpkin soup.

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Maybe this roasted pumpkin soup, perhaps.

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I got all excited about my little pumpkin experiment and decided I wanted to use the whole pumpkin -- seeds and all. (And also, the recipe above calls for spicy toasted pumpkin seeds, and I am not one to disobey a recipe by any means.)

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So I dutifully washed my pumpkin seeds and laid them out carefully on a baking sheet. I doused them in the requisite spices (cumin, chili powder, etc.) And after such a good pureed pumpkin experience, I thought toasted pumpkin seeds would be the perfect culmination to my festive day of seasonal Fall cooking.

Suffice to say, I was getting a little cocky.

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And, as the universe inevitably seeks balance, I should not have pressed my luck.

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The actual edible pumpkin seed is inside those little white shells that I cooked. And now they are completely and utterly impossible to get out of there without cracking them in your teeth and making an enormous mess.

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Awesome. I read later (after toasting all of my pumpkin seeds) that you can boil the uncooked seeds in salted water before roasting them, which will make the shells more crunchy and easier to eat whole. I did not do that, so my shells were kind of gummy and chewy and generally just icky.

I threw the whole lot of them out. And we are going to forget they ever happened. But hey! Be distracted by my lovely pumpkin puree reserves in my freezer!

PS - all you pumpkin carvers -- anybody got any extra pumpkin seeds I could try to roast correctly this time?

1 comment:

Erica said...

Isn't pureed food kind of neat? I love the colors you get with pureed food. When you have children, you will use that blender to death. And you will be the world's leading expert on how to make any solid food into a puree. And you will freeze the puree into a zillion little ice cubes. Your entire freezer will be full of ziploc baggies with little ice cubes of sweet potato puree, beef stew puree, green bean puree. See - you've already got a leg up.