My favorite time of year has arrived...Fall! So many wonderful things happen in the fall. We have our first crackling warm fire of the year, pull out the hoodies, sleep with the windows cracked letting in the crisp, night air and start cooking with acorn squash, caramelized apples, and pumpkins. I love pumpkin in anything...pies, muffins, lattes, ice cream. It's the only flavor that is an entire season's mascot!
I decided this year, I would get some of those tiny pie pumpkins that I normally pass in the store thinking, "who actually buys these tiny things!" and cook my very own pumpkin mush. The stores ran out of pumpkin last year, so I'll be stocked up and ready for any pumpkin emergency that comes my way!
First thing was getting three nice sized pie pumpkins at Publix. The guy had to pull one off a decoration display. They got washed and my newly sharpened knife (thanks Beau!) was ready..
Wash your hands, roll up your sleeves and get to work!
Wow, it's a little difficult cutting through these little buggers. At this point, I was actually stuck. Anyway, the point is to cut them in half. Watch those fingers! (anna, you might want to read that twice)
Here they are, nicely cut in half. There were a couple of suspicious places, so those will be cut off and thrown away. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Next, scoop out the seeds and stringy stuff.
Place them skin up on a pan. Some folks mentioned covering with foil, but I left them out.
After about an hour, test with a fork and make sure the flesh is soft as butter.
The skin pulls away quite easily. They were browned and very human-like which reminded me of some slides I saw just this morning about tans-gone-bad. There was this one woman the color of a walnut dresser who should have stopped wearing a bikini twenty years ago. It was fascinating and gross all at the same time. Ok...so back to the pumpkin skins that look like old ladies in bikinis....take them off and scoop out the flesh.
Put all the pumpkin mush in a food sieve and turn and turn and turn. And turn. And turn and turn and turn. Good heavens above, no wonder the food processor was invented!
This is the end product. A plate full of pumpkin! And none of that weird gritty stuff you find in canned pumpkin. I have no inkling what that sandy stuff is. All I know is I left the sand out of this particular batch. I think I heard mocking laughter from that Libby's can about twenty minutes into the turning. One thing I noticed is the smell reminds me more of squash, so I'll have to bake a pie for the final test. That will be coming up next week!