Preparing a Pumpkin

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:

pumpkin after its bath

The first thing to do is to wash it, then cut out the stem end at the top:

cutting out the stem

Lift it out, but keep it – there’s lots of great flesh under the stem.

look how thick the flesh is

Now cut the pumpkin in half so that it is easier to scoop out the seeds.

halve the pumpkin

Time to rescue all those wonderful seeds! They can be set aside to make pepitas later.

pumpkin innards inna bowl

Make sure to scrape all the dark orange bits out of the pumpkin halves.

scrape out the dark orange bits

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:

Just a saucepan, a lid and a metal mesh strainer will do the trick.

Just a saucepan, a lid and a metal mesh strainer will do the trick.

Add about 2 inches of water to the saucepan. Place the metal strainer on the pan.

put the wire mesh strainer on the pot

Now insert the pumpkin so that the flesh faces the water as much as possible.

put the pumpkin in the wire mesh strainer

And add the lid – voila! It looks crazy, but it really works!

it looks strange but it 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:

It deepens in colour significantly.

It deepens in colour significantly.

Scrape the pumpkin flesh out of the skin and mash or blend it.

blending them into puree

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.

1 cup pureed pumpkin

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.

flat on a baking sheet

This little pumpkin gave me 16 cups of food to put in the freezer for later – wow!

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3 thoughts on “Preparing a Pumpkin

  1. I’ve done that with squash and it was good. Since I only get one pumpkin each year, I try to make it up as simply as possible so that a wider range of things can be done with it. It’s a building block of sorts…

    Liked by 1 person

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