Pumpkin Success and Other Small Triumphs

October 30, 2012

This is our self-awarded prize-winning pumpkin. She’s the only one we grew, no thanks to the Backyard Terrorists. After 2 weeks of being proudly displayed on the porch, I decided it was time to put our gourd to the test and make some tasty treats. No use in having our one pumpkin get thrown in the street by kids on Halloween, or get all moldy… 
The thing that everyone except myself probably realizes first thing about baking with fresh pumpkin is that you have to turn this squash into a usable food substance. Most commonly, and for my purposes, puree. Unfortunately, not as easy as throwing this baby in the blender.
Step one: cut in half. 
Step two: carve out seeds and stringy pumpkin guts.
Chicken brain: “She brought us a treat! What is it?” 2 seconds later… “gross.” Waddle away in disinterest.
Step three: Bake at 450 degrees for 90 minutes. (I had to do one half at a time, because it was so large).
Step four: Scoop out baked flesh, spin in food processer.
Step five: Store in freezer if not using immediately.
Baked pumpkin, pumpkin puree, and the end result: about 12 cups of pumpkin puree.
This was an all day process, but now I have fresh, homegrown pumpkin puree. Immediately I made gluten free chocolate chip pumpkin muffins. (Recipe? Click Here. Add 1/2 cup chocolate chips.) They were delicious, and I forgot to take a picture of them. When I remembered 2 days later, they were gone.
The next day I made pumpkin soup, courtesy of Ree, The Pioneer Woman. Far from low fat/low cal. Click here for this recipe. It’s super simple, but I was still proud of my soup, because it’s from my pumpkin.
Exciting soup picture, no?
And then my most recent adventure: REAL pumpkin pie. No cheating. Real crust, real whipped cream, real pumpkin puree. I have to say, I really liked the way it turned out, although I might alter the spices a touch next time. But the pumpkin flavor was great. Scott doesn’t like pumpkin pie (totally bizarre, I know) but even he had a few slices.
We had a few friends over to enjoy pie, so there’s only one piece left for the taking:
Made in grandma’s pie dish, of course.
 So that’s the adventures of my prized pumpkin, so far. Theres at least 6 more cups of puree in the freezer though, so we’ll see it happens.
In the meantime I’ve been madly job hunting in our preferred places in New Zealand. I have such great feelings about the whole thing, I can just feel it starting to come together. There’s a few leads and some potentially exciting news, but I’ll share when I really know more. What I do know, is that everything is falling into place.
Like this!!!!!!!!!!:
Its official!
And yesterday evening we had two different couples (potential tenants) walk through the house. And they both loved it. Nothing is for-sure yet, but it’s looking like that December 1 move out date is right on target.
Terrifying? Not anymore.
Exciting!!!

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