Monday, October 27, 2008

Time to Carve the Pumpkins!

Guess what my daughter and I did yesterday? ;-)
What a great time we had carving pumpkins! Sure, it gets a tiny bit tedious near the end and your hand can start to ache a little, but once a pumpkin is aglow - it's all so totally worth it, isn't it? A jack-o-lantern says 'Halloween is here!' in the best way.
A few of these were done with those patterns you get in a kit with the all-time best sawing tool. Granted, they're not might see one at another house a block or two over, but, you have to admit, they are super neat. The first three here are from patterns -my daughter did the tree and I did the skull and 'Welcome' sign. The homemade moon and stars is mine and my daughter carved the funny face after her hand stopped trobbing from an the tree sawing! Provided they don't get soft at all, these five pumpkin lanterns will greet the neighborhood trick-or-treaters to our porch on Friday night! Maybe a nice cool-down in the fridge will keep them hauntingly happy till then.
Of course, with five pumkins, comes lots of pumpkin seeds! Oh boy did the house smell delicious as they were roasting in the oven! Roasted pumpkin seeds are a fun snack and although I've never had a store-bought pumpkin seed from a package, there's no way they could top homemade. I don't have an exact recipe to share - I think most pople just wing-it on their seeds. But in case you have zero idea on how to make them, here's what I do....
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds ~
As you clean out your pumpkin, separate the seeds from the goo and place them in a bowl. Try to keep them as goo-free as you can. Once you have all the seeds from all of your pumpkins, dump them into a colander and rinse them well with water, turning through them a lot with your hands. Drain the seeds as well as you can, then pour them out onto a large kitchen towel (or towels) and pat them dry with an addtional towel. The seeds will kind of stick to the 'patting towel' so as you blot them, flick/pick them off. Once seeds are fairly dry (don't sweat it if they're not super dry...they're going on the oven anway), sluff them off the kitchen towel onto a sheet pan or into a lasagna pan (any large pan that allows them to lay in a mostly single layer). Pour approximately 6 tablespoons (like 1 tablespoon of butter per one cup of seeds) of melted butter over the seeds and use a rubber scraper to stir them well to coat. If you like, you might also like to shake a few squirts of Worcestershire sauce on them at this time too. Next, sprinkle the seeds with salt, garlic powder, onion powder - as well as a little cayenne pepper or some other spice rub seasoning if you wish. Roast the seeds in a preheated 275-degree oven. I check and stir them after every 15 minutes until they are dry and golden brown. This can take upwards of an hour. You can turn up the heat a but and they'll take less time, but you may want to check them more often as once they begin to brown, they can really take off. Once done, let them cool on a rack for about 15 minutes and serve them warm or once totally cool.
Enjoy this seasonal treat soon! Yum!

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