We have noticed the local farmer’s garden is getting a bit low on pumpkins and guess that people are beginning to make Halloween lanterns, which begs the question, On 1st November, do you just throw the flesh away, or use it for something else?
As a family do not observe this ‘festival’, but like to keep our human busy with making tummy trouble remedies. Yes, you can buy tinned pumpkin puree in shops, but why would you, when you can make your own at a fraction of the cost? It make sense, especially in hard times.
Direct from our kitchen here is the process.
Preparing the workspace:
Get yourself a pumpkin or two small ones work a treat. If supply outstrips demand, you can often get them cheaper after Halloween night but don’t bank on it. A couple of weeks ago we got two at 59p each from the supermarket. What an investment!
Clear plenty of space on worktop or table, and use a plastic covering, if you have one, to avoid damaging your fixed kitchen assets.
Preparing the pumpkin:
You will need to get your human to do this next bit without your presence, as it is highly dangerous and we don’t want cut paws. With a good strong kitchen knife cut each pumpkin in half, top to bottom or through the middle.
For this next step an audience is vital, preferably dogs sitting around the human’s feet for both security and deep cleaning purposes. Pumpkin flesh or seeds may fall at any time so be alert, clean up and admit to nothing!
Your human must now scoop out the seed and membrane from the pumpkin and reserve in a safe place to dry out. Again rich seed rewards fall from the sky!
Place a baking sheet in the bottom of the oven. Bake the upturned pumpkin halves for 40-50 mins at 180℃.
With a knife or fork, test the pumpkin flesh and remove from the oven with great care, as they can fall apart if over-cooked.
Now scoop out the flesh and reserve for blitzing when it has cooled a little. If really well cooked, you may be able to just peel the skin away.
Pile the flesh into your blender and blitz to a pulp. For two pumpkins, we had to do this four times.
Now your human must transfer the puree into containers, ice cube trays, bun trays etc. Stand back to avoid being splattered by flying pumpkin ‘mush’. However, if you have siblings they will love licking you clean.
Transfer the filled containers into the freezer and open freeze, before bagging up the finished product ready for when it is required.
Dry the saved seeds, which can be sown at the appropriate time to grow next year’s crop. Alternatively, they can be stored for toasting later.
Throw away the skin, the only waste from this process.
Stand tall and be proud of making your own pumpkin puree. Reward your human with extra cuddles and kisses for all their hard work .
Footnote: Information has reached us that a particular human, with flagrant disregard for the purposes of this article, plans to steal some of the finished product to make soup!
24th October 2020.