Last Monday, we made our weekly drive to the farm to pick up our CSA share. Upon arrival, we saw a stack of envelopes amidst the produce, one bearing our name. Within it, we found a letter from our farmer, detailing that the rain had washed away the fall seed beds and that the rest of the crops suffered numerous maladies from the excessive moisture, so the CSA was over for the season. After reading the letter, my husband and I stood, somewhat numb, for a moment. We looked forward to visiting the farm each week and discovering what excellent veggies were in store for us! I am not ready for our weekly abundance to stop! Alas, we knew the growing season would end, and I have packed the freezer with surplus beans, tomatoes, herbs, kohlrabi, and peppers to give us some warm weather flavors throughout the colder months.
Sad as it was to discover we were picking up our last share, I was stoked to see that our farmer did not lose her pumpkin crop. I had never tackled a whole pumpkin before. In fact, come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve ever actually made a pumpkin pie! There’s something about this particular squash that makes me feel like a pioneer woman—No clue why, but it does. So, with somewhat nervous anticipation, I conquered the pumpkin.
- 1 pie pumpkin (not the big jack-o-lantern kind) (Heritage Farm CSA)
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- Cut the top off the pumpkin, like you would for a jack-o-lantern. This will be easiest with a large, serrated blade.
- Split the pumpkin in half, parallel with the ridges on the sides. You’ve now accomplished the hardest parts.
- Scoop out the seeds and save them for later (see below!).
- Cut the pumpkin into manageable chunks and place either cut side up or cut side down on a baking sheet with shallow sides.
- Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until pumpkin flesh is soft and skin is beginning to wrinkle.
- Peel the skin off of the flesh. It should come off very easily.
- Mash the pumpkin flesh. To make it extra smooth, pulse it in the food processor.
- You now have pumpkin purée to use in recipes! Our fridge is full right now, so I scooped my purée in 2 cup portions into freezer bags, smoothed them flat and froze it for later use.
Simple Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
- 1 pie pumpkin’s worth of seeds (Heritage Farm CSA)
- 2 T. olive oil
- sprinkling of Aw Shucks seasoning (or any southwestern seasoning blend you have on hand)
- sprinkling of dried rosemary (my garden)
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- Remove all goopy, stringing pumpkin from seeds. Rinse seeds.
- Spread seeds on baking sheet and pat dry.
- Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with seasonings.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until seeds are golden brown and crispy.
- Try not to eat them all within 3 minutes of removing from oven!