Sunday, November 15, 2015

Fall Fest!

This post has been a long time coming! It probably would have been far more timely if I had done this in October, but it's still fall round here and I am standing firm for Thanksgiving and all things fall.

The day after Halloween my sister in law and I partook (is that even a word??) in fall-ish festivities!
We roasted pumpkin seeds, make pumpkin puree and quenched our thirst with delicious apple cider sangria. It was SO much fun!

Jenn introduced me to the wonderful and very challenging world of making your own pumpkin puree! It was real serious, y'all! We used all of the parts of the pumpkin. I felt like a real pioneer!

First the seeds. So the night after we carved pumpkin, I save all the gooey goodness in a bowl. Later that evening after trick or treating shenanigans, I googled to discover the long, but totally worth it process, of cleaning the seeds. After much trial and error I think I found the best way.

So, you pour all of the seeds and stringy pumpkin goo into a huge bowl of cold water, then the seeds rise up to the top. Skim off the seeds and put them in a separate clean bowl. Then dump the good that's left over in the other bowl and repeat the process until all the pumpkin goo is gone. Then I laid the seeds out to dry over night. I laid them out on news paper and when I ran out of that, paper towel. Which in retrospect was probably not the smartest option, as the next morning when I went to check on them they were all stuck and I spent far longer than I had anticipated peeling paper off the dried seeds.

Once the seeds are dried, they can be stored in a air tight container until you are ready to roast them. This way they don't mold. I was pretty proud of myself by now!
Such a stupid idea, what was I thinking?
So next it was time to roast these bad boys! One batch I made salty and one batch I made savory. For the salty batch, I tossed the seeds with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, laid out on a baking sheet and seasoned them with Red Robin seasoned salt. I am sure any kind of seasoned salt would have done, but Jenn is kind of partial. 

Next you pop the pan in a about 275 degree oven and check them after 20 minutes. I had read some bad reviews of seeds on the internets the night before and they really emphasized not burning them. This batch came out perfect after about 25 minutes! They were delightful!

The next batch was called "drunk pumpkin seeds". My sister in law made these last year and hers came out far better than mine, but they were still pretty tasty. For this one, you boil the seeds on medium with a cup of whiskey and about a 1/4 cup of brown sugar. My husband was not thrilled with me wasting good drinks, but they came out pretty well, so I would venture to say it was worth it! 

After the alcohol burns off, throw the seeds on a greased pan and sprinkle with a little more brown sugar. These seeds took a little bit longer to cook, I'd day 30 minutes, same temp 250-275.
These also came out super yummy! It is a lot of work, but totally worth it, I am so glad we did this!
So while we roasted and massacred pumpkins we enjoyed some Apple cider sangria-- Also delish!

The hardest part of this work was cutting up the pumpkins. I have shared time and time again, my fear and unreliability with sharp things, so this was just asking for trouble! Apparently you have get the all the skin off. This is no easy task. It was really hard and super messy, but no one lost a finger (and by no one, I mean me!) and now I have tons of pumpkin puree for later!

After you peel the pumpkins, you cube them up and boil them down in a huge pot of water...
Its kind of like boiling potatoes! Once they get bright orange, and fall off a fork you drain them and let them sit for a while to let the moisture rise to the top. Then you mash it up! First we tried the electric mixed but that was SO messy. So we opted for using a potato masher and that was actually easier.
Next you let the puree sit awhile longer and then skim off any excess water before freezing!
After everything was cooled and skimmed, I measure it by cups into zip lock bags and now I have 15 cups of pumpkin goo any time I need!! 
Thank you for help, my sweet sister in law, I had a blast spending Fall Fest with you!

No comments:

Post a Comment