How many Green Hours can come from one bright and happy orange pumpkin? At our house, more than you can count! The first one was of course the Sunday afternoon excursion to the local pumpkin patch a few weeks ago (in costume of course). C took his pumpkin-picking-out job very seriously, and made sure to inspect EVERY pumpkin in the patch before finally deciding on the lucky orange friend that got to come home with us.
Next came Carving Day. We decided that this would be safest as an entire family activity. We started out by drawing a face…well, I drew the face with a marker, and C colored on the pumpkin, giving him green highlights. Then C sat on Daddy’s lap to watch my brilliant knife-wielding skills (sarcasm, anyone?) without any worry of curious fingers getting too close to the action. Once the face was carved out, C was released and went to town scooping out all the seeds…and then dumping them back in, and then scooping them out, etc etc etc. Eventually I was able to gather them all together in a colander, and we rinsed them and laid them out on a cookie sheet, where they dried until morning. But that wasn’t the end of Carving Day fun by any means – we went back outside and practiced “dunking” the extra seeds in the pumpkin, took the top on and off, rolled the pumpkin around the driveway, and gave our new jack-o-lantern a hug.
The next morning we got to work in the kitchen right away. A quick toss in olive oil, a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spices and a dash of salt, and they were ready to slide into the oven. An hour later and voila – we enjoyed pepitas out on the porch!. I figured C would enjoy the pepita prep a lot more than the finished product, so when we took them outside to try them out, I put all of our seeds in an empty cashew tin to use as an impromptu drum/shaker. However, little did I know, that C is nuts about pepitas! He literally ate half of what was in the pumpkin. I’m generally not a huge pumpkin seed fan, but I will say that these were pretty good, and tasted nothing like the dark kind you can buy in the store. I was worried about choking initially, but C was really good about only taking one at a time, and the seeds actually ended up pretty brittle and were easy to chew. The pepitas won’t be lasting us much longer, but it seems as though we’ve found a yummy homemade tradition for many years to come! How do you incorporate pumpkins into Green Hours at your house?