Sunday, November 01, 2009

Jack O Lantern = FOOD!

I come from a long line of frugal folks... and I learned from my mother that a perfectly good pumpkin should never go to waste! So, our family tradition is to quickly convert yesterday's seasonal decor into tomorrow's dinner.

First, thank your special friend, your dear creation, for their loving service in adding to the holiday cheer of Halloween.

Then, go to work! Cut your friend into big wedges...

... until all that remains of your loving Jack O Lantern is a big pile of pumpkin chunks.

Next up: steam your pumpkin. I use the pressure cooker, cuz it's super quick. I cook the pumpkin for 9 minutes at high pressure, and then let the pressure come down naturally. Before I had a pressure cooker, I used old fashioned steaming, and just kept an eye on it until the pumpkin was ready.

The pumpkin flesh should be down-right tender when it's ready.

And the skin should come off super easily.

After you've removed the skins, put your peeled chunks into a strainer, and pick up big handfuls of pumpkin moosh. Begin squeezing out almost all of the moisture. A LOT of moisture comes out. You don't want it dry, but you don't want it soupy either. It's always easy to add more moisture, and harder to get rid of it.

Then, put all your pumpkin into a container, label it, and pop it in the freezer! Then, next time you want to make pumpkin waffles or pumpkin curry soup or pumpkin pie... you can feel very industrious, and break out your old halloween buddy in his reincarnated form.

p.s. You can also save all that great liquid you've squeezed out of the pumpkin - it's a great base for veggie broth or pumpkin soup. But do it all soon - before your pumpkin gets old and rotten!

Happy Day After Halloween!

13 comments:

  1. I particularly like the pumpkin-cide photo. That dagger into the innocent smiling face has a cheap-horror-flick quality to it.

    An alternate way to cook the pumpkin is, of course, to roast it, and then puree it in a cuisinart or ricer.

    The pumpkin spirit lives on ...

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  2. Wow nice games thanks a lot
    Really good job
    Regards,

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  3. Great advice! I didn't actually carve a pumpkin, but I enjoyed this nice photo tutorial anyway.

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  4. Next time, I'm making pumpkin puree I am going to steam it, too. Gread tip, thank you.

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  5. ARrghgh! You butchered your friend!!! Hahaa, this was a GREAT post, frugal, creative and hilarious.

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  6. Hahaha! Love the dagger... :o)

    I do the same with ours, but I usually bake it cut side down.

    I also freeze it, but I put it in plastic freezer bags flattened very thin, so I can break off hunks and not have to defrost the entire thing.

    BTW... how's your face?

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  7. You're so smart. I threw my (four) pumpkins into the woods behind my house. It was fun to watch them smash, but not at all frugal. Oh well, I'm sure the woodland creatures were thrilled to find them...

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  8. Great idea! I also love to save the pumpkin seeds to roast with salt and garlic powder.

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  9. Great blog on not wasting that pumpkin. Poor Jack o'lantern. hee hee

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  10. I've had a poor pumpkin sitting on my counter for two weeks because I haven't had the time to roast him! I'm pretty sure he's destined for pumpkin butter, muffins and oat bran if I can stretch him that far.

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  11. Anonymous11:31 AM

    yay for frugality and for pumpkin! I am so excited to try the pressure cooker method. I never thought of this - I always roaster or steamed traditionally, but have never liked how the the stove/oven needs to be on for these methods.

    Hope your face is getting better! Somehow I have escaped poison oak so far, but Joe has had some bad cases in the past. I know how miserable it makes you feel.

    jen e.

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