Friday, October 5, 2007


October should be giving us warm days and cool nights, but here in Eastern North Carolina, we're warm enough to still go swimming. Even with the lingering summer weather, I am still thinking fall: pumpkin and apples and all the good things that can be made with them. I love pumpkin pie -- and of all the pumpkin pies I've ever tasted, I like mine the best. The recipe will be posted as soon as I make one. But to start off, I always like to roast my own pumpkin and mix it with butternut squash. I just like the idea of using fresh squash instead of canned. So I picked up one pie pumpkin and one butternut squash, washed them, cut them and laid them cut side down onto an 11 x 17 baking pan that had been lined with tinfoil and sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. I covered them with more tinfoil and put them in a 350 degree F. oven for 2 hours. I tested them at 1 hour and they were still a little firm. For use in pies, cookies and cheesecakes, I wanted them soft. However, if I were using them for vegetable side dishes, I would have taken them out then. After two hours, they were slightly caramelized on the cut sides -- which will give good flavor to the "meat." I let them cool for about a half hour, then scooped out the roasted meat into a medium-sized bowl, where I kind of mixed them together. After I filled up the bowl, I scooped out the squash with a measuring cup (or half-cup) into a waiting plastic baggie. The yield was 3 one-cup baggies, two half-cup baggies and 1 3/4-cup baggie, for a total yield of 4-3/4 cups of mixed pumpkin and butternut squash. They are all frozen now, waiting for me to make them into something delicious. I almost forgot to take photos again, and only one pumpkin half was left to scoop out when I remembered. The pumpkin seeds are in the fridge waiting for me to decide if I want to roast them. They are supposed to be very good for you, but will I remember to eat them? Aye, that's the rub. I will be thinking on that in between selecting delectable pumpkin recipes.

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