pumpkin, pumpkin carving, pumpkin goodness, pumpkin seeds

Happy Halloween

We were a little bit behind the holiday this year. Normally the pumpkins would have been carved weeks ago and the toasty, roasty seeds would be a distant memory. But, with work, school and other general distractions, we didn’t find our selves stabbing out stenciled patterns until last night.

My pattern this year was a nod to one of my favorite Pixar movies, Monsters Inc., which happens to have a sequel coming out next year. And the name, Mike Wazowski, is just fun to say.
The Missus, however, went a little more political with her pumpkin this year and chose the Guy Fawkes/Anonymous stencil. Her pumpkin came out very nice and had me declaring that we were going to Occupy Halloween. Maybe when the holiday is done I’ll leave the pumpkin on the steps of Bank of America for shits and giggles.

Happy Halloween, kids.

carving, pumpkin seeds, roasting

Tis the Season

Last night a group of seven friends gathered on the West End for a good ole timey pumpkin carving. I’m more of a kid around Halloween than Christmas, so I get really into pumpkin carving as you can see from of my past ones:




2009–so far–i still have 2 to carve

I think it’s funny that I can do this–albeit not freehand–but I can’t muster more than a stick figure when I try to draw.

Now, because this is serious business to me, I brought several knives and a tupperware container to take home the guts for seed roasting. Because, let’s be honest… when you spend almost two hours meticulously sawing at the flesh of a large gourd, you better get something more out of the deal then the rotting shell.

So, on this bitter gray morning, I’ve started roasting up those seeds. Normally, I’m a straight olive oil/kosher salt girl. However, this year I’ve decided to break tradition and am doing a trio of pumpkin seeds using this recipe posted on Epicurious.com::

I tried a recipe for toasted pumpkin seeds based on one for toasted butternut squash seeds with outstanding results. Boil fresh pumpkin seeds in salted water for about 5 minutes. Drain seeds; salt damp seeds generously with popcorn salt (superfine). Spread out on nonstick cookie sheet and bake 20-30 minutes at 325 degrees until seeds are dried out and some very slightly browned.

The seasonings are: Maple syrup w/Denny Mike’s Cowbell Hell; Olive Oil and Pink Hawaiian Sea Salt; Olive Oil and Bacon Salt.

The Bacon Salt one was ok. Faint hints of smoke came through, kind of like a nice bbq sauce, but was neither very salty nor bacony. Next batch gets twice as much and perhaps instead of oil, I’ll use some rendered bacon fat that I have on hand.

The Hawaiian Sea Salt ones rocked. The texture of the very coarse salted offered a fuller crunch to the seeds which were perfectly crunchy in their own right.

The Cowbell Maple seeds were just about perfect–sweet, smokey and very spicy.

When we carve our other pumpkins on Sunday, I’ll try some other blends and am definitely open to suggestions..