First I saved seed from a cool looking grey-green pumpkin I got at the Farmers Market last October, 2012. It was a squatty, heavily ridged, a “Cinderella’s coach” shaped pumpkin. Quite enchanting!
I planted the seeds in spring/summer 2013 and watched them grow. My intention was to have home grown pumpkins to put by the doorstep in the fall.
The leaves were huge & the 2 vines were about 15 feet long toward the end of the growing season. The blossoms looks like any squash blossom – large, yellow and attractive to bees. I only had two nice-sized pumpkins by October, but then I really didn’t need any more than that. It was fun to watch them grow.
I did use the pumpkins for fall decoration.
Then last week, after they’d spent time outdoors in the freezing cold, I thought I’d better take the seeds out and pitch the rest in the compost pile. But when I cut one in half, it smelled and tasted so fine, I decided to cook some. I peeled & cut it in chunks. The flesh was firm, sweet, and a beautiful orange color. I saved the seeds for the squirrels, and a few seeds to plant next year. The remainder went in the compost pile, as originally planned.
I sorta made it up as I went along, hoping for the best. I’ve heard that the puree you make at home is never like what Libby’s sells in a can, but I found that untrue. Mine turned out that thick consistency, the same color, fragrance, & taste. I pureed the chunks by cooking in a pan, atop the stove, with a bit of water, a couple tsp. of sugar, and cinnamon & nutmeg. It took a while to cook it down til it was almost a paste (like canned pumpkin). Placed it in fridge til I decided what to make with it.
Last night I scoured the internet for a good-for-you pumpkin bread recipe. Found one at FineCooking.com (olive oil pumpkin bread, using honey, whole wheat flour, and olive oil).
Bright and early this morning I whipped up the batter, using my home grown pumpkin puree. I felt like an old-fashioned country girl, and very “with it” chick, all at the same time as I pulled the recipe up on my Kindle Fire & parked it on the kitchen counter. I impulsively added finely chopped pecans and fresh blueberries, too, which was a good decision, and a tablespoon of ground flax seed (which goes in any of my baked goods). And I made a dozen muffins instead of a loaf of bread. I ate the first one, fresh and hot with melting butter (so much for healthy) – but, oh my how scrumptious!!
I have more puree in the freezer. Next time I’m going to make the recipe with dark chocolate chips, because dark chocolate is good for you!
A pumpkin adventure from start to finish, Oct 2012 til this morning. And a journey I’m glad I took. I’m only sorry that I didn’t take more pix to document the entire year. I didn’t know it was going to be a story. Maybe next year…