Saturday, November 28, 2009

What to do with 853 cups of cooked pumpkin....

or 101 ways to drive yourself crazy!

Weeeell.... maybe not 101 but quite a few.

See, the subdivision behind us does a Halloween party for the kids every year. Face painting, magic shows, treats and pumpkins are available to everyone. This year though they threw it on Halloween. Who the heck wants to run home and carve ANOTHER pumpkin 3 hours before trick or treating?? Needless to say they had quite a few pumpkins left over. Me and my ingenious ideas thought "Hey! I could make actual homemade pumpkin pies!"

Sometimes I just want to slap myself.

Do you know how many cups of pumpkins you get from cooking off 11 pumpkins?

Too much! So let's make some pumpkin goodness for Thanksgiving!

First of all you need cook your pumpkins. You do need to wash the outside of the pumpkin first. To do that, cut around the stem and remove. Then clean out all the slimey stringy gunk and seeds. If you want to really torture yourself, save the seeds to roast. Just throw them in a bowl for now, we will get to that later. Cut the pumpkins in half and cut side up put on a baking sheet and cook til tender, about an hour or more, at 350.

Why is there no degree icon thingy on a keyboard?

Anyways, while those are cooking, I got a little project to entertain ya!

Pumpkin Candies!

They look really cute and are easy to make.

You'll need: Cheap saran wrap, green floral tape, a 1 cup measuring cup, scissors and packages of orange slice candies.

Take the measuring cup and tear off a piece of saran wrap. If you are like me, spend 5 minutes straightening out the wrap cause you manage to wad it into a ball ripping it off. Place it over the measuring cup and push into the cup. Next take your orange candies and arrange them inside the cup to form a ball.

See what I mean? Then gather the wrap and into the center of the ball and pull tight. Pull the ball out of the cup, twist up tight and wrap the floral tape to make a stem. Cut off the excess wrap.

Tip: Cut your piece of floral tape first cause there is nothing like trying to hold this together and cut floral tape with your toes.

By now your pumpkin should be cooked. I scraped it out of the shell and ran it through the food processor. You can cut off the shell. It's easier done about 5 minutes after it comes out though. You can also use a blender to puree it too.

So now you are probably at my mindset "What was I thinking and what am I going to do with all this freaking pumpkin?"

Pumpkin Pie

Okay, this is a given! You can make your own pie crust but since I can't make pie crust for the life of me, I use the ready made stuff.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Mix together
2 cups cooked or canned pumpkin
1-1/2 cups evaporated milk
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cloves
2 slightly beaten eggs

Pour into prepared pie shell. Bake 15 minutes at 425 then lower temp to 350 and bake 45 minutes longer or until a knife inserted comes out clean. Cool. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

(I didn't take a pic of this, I guess I forgot)

1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
5 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon sugar

3 - 8 oz packages cream cheese, room temp
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup cooked or canned pumpkin
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice

Whipped cream
Caramel sauce (the ice cream kind)

Mix crust ingredients together. Press into the bottom of a 8 inch springform pan and up the sides. Bake for 5 minutes at 350. Cool.

Mix cream cheese, sugar and vanilla til smooth. Add pumpkin, eggs and spices and mix til creamy and unlumpy. Pour into cooled crust. Bake 1 hour at 350. Top should be slightly darker. Cool and then refrigerate. Before serving, remove sides of springform pan. Dollop whipped cream around top edge of cake. Drizzle with caramel sauce and serve.

Pumpkin Muffins

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

In one large bowl sift together:
1-3/4 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons double acting baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg

In a separate bowl beat 2 eggs. Add to eggs:
3 tablespoons butter, melted
3/4 cup milk
1 cup cooked or canned pumpkin

Fold in egg mixture to flour mixture til blended. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake 20 mins. Cool.

You can also add half a bag of chocolate chips to the mix for a different taste.

Then there also is roasted pumpkin seeds. You can roast them in an oven at 300 degrees turning often. There is of course salt that you can add when roasting. Sprinkling smoked paprika over them is very yummy!

All your hard work also makes a nice hostess gift. I just covered a tinfoil pan with some pretty wrapping paper, filled it with shredded paper and added some goodies. A bow with some floral junk and a card and you are already to go!

You can also freeze the pumpkin for future use. My tribe likes the pureed pumpkin cooked with brown sugar and butter and served like mashed potatoes. No gravy though, that would be gross. I just used my seal a meal to package up the remaining 543 cups for the freezer.



Lori said...

Oh Maggie ~ you make me laugh! At least you can whip out your pumpkin at any point during the year and make some yummy muffins or pumpkin bread. I got a recipe this fall that is to-die-for! I love it. Here is the link:

Happy Saturday!

Jacqueline said...

Oh Maggie,
Not only do you make a zillion pumpkin pies and muffins, pumpkin cheesecake and roasted pumkin throw in the pumpkin candies !!!! I've said it before and I'll say it are the most industrious, hardworking, D.I.Y er that I have come across. I bow in admiration . (...and I do the same with the cling film (that's what we call saran wrap)I get in a right old state with it !!)XXXX

Dragonfly Treasure said...

OMG! I bet you about pumpkined out! But sure can't beat free pumpkin! When Dad had a veggie garden we would end up with tons of pumpkins & I did the same as you. Everything pumpkin LOL
Those candies are sooo cute. Will have to try to remember them for next year.
Happy eating...yummy!!

Beth said...

Those little pumpkins made out of orange slices are too cute!

Yvonne @ StoneGable said...

Hi Maggie- I hope you use pumpkin all year 'round! You even make leftovers funny!
I love your pumpkin muffin recipe. I'm going to try this yummy sounding recipe!
Did you have a wonderful Thanksgiving? I still have a house full. Things simmer down tomorrow and I am going to sleep all afternoon!!!!!!
Then it's time to get ready for my cookie exchange! No rest for the gluttons for punishment!
Good to hear from you.

aBohemianMarket said...

Oh Dear Maggie:
You are so wonderful. Everything is delightful. Those candies are fun and I will make them next year. Pumpkin pies and muffins sound and look delicious!!!
If I were a kid I would want to be at your home all of the time : )
peace & love

prashant said...

I got a recipe this fall that is to-die-for! I love it.

Work From Home India

Cindy said...

Girl, this post has *got* to be one of my all-time faves...Laughing hysterically down here! I'm bookmarking it to save for all the yummy recipes that I'll get around to trying in a decade or so. :)

And I *still* haven't mailed out your soap! I cannot find your address...send it to me, k????