When I was little, my Dad called me Pumpkin Eater. That’s the only food I really wanted and somehow I never outgrew that liking. Every fall I get a little excited because I know I’ll get to pick one and bring it home. Since only one pumpkin comes home with me each year, it is prepared with care and if I can help it, not a drop is wasted.
Here’s this year’s beauty:
The first thing to do is to wash it, then cut out the stem end at the top:
Lift it out, but keep it – there’s lots of great flesh under the stem.
Now cut the pumpkin in half so that it is easier to scoop out the seeds.
Time to rescue all those wonderful seeds! They can be set aside to make pepitas later.
Make sure to scrape all the dark orange bits out of the pumpkin halves.
The pumpkin is now ready to be steamed. Cut the pumpkin halves into manageable sizes that will fit your steamer nicely. I don’t have a steamer, so I make do:
Add about 2 inches of water to the saucepan. Place the metal strainer on the pan.
Now insert the pumpkin so that the flesh faces the water as much as possible.
And add the lid – voila! It looks crazy, but it really works!
Set the temperature to medium-high and let the water steam the pumpkin pieces for 45 minutes to an hour. Once it looks like this, it is ready to leave the sauna:
Scrape the pumpkin flesh out of the skin and mash or blend it.
Since pumpkin recipes usually ask for 1 or more cups, I decided to be as versatile as possible and put 1 cup of pumpkin in each bag.
It is good to lay the pumpkin bag on the counter and flatten it out so that it is easily stackable in the freezer and ensure a quick thaw when you are ready to use it.
This little pumpkin gave me 16 cups of food to put in the freezer for later – wow!