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.