Happy Hallow’s Eve! Well, I guess by the time you read this, it’ll be Halloween. Ooops! This is what I get for going to bed at a reasonable hour.
This year, we waited until the very last minute to get pumpkins because we wanted them to still be relatively fresh for Halloween. Because of this, unfortunately, one of the pumpkins we picked had already started to rot. Not an awesome scent, just in case you were wondering. Michael is a trooper, so he let me have the good pumpkin and he took the icky one. It’s not mushy at all, but the seeds and innards were definitely going bad. At least the other one was pretty big and had plenty of seeds to roast up!
They’re one of my favorite things about this time of year, aside from pumpkin spice all the things, so of course I had to come up with a way to perfectly roast them. This recipe will get them nice and crunchy and super easy to bite through.
So go on, go ahead and start cleanin’ them punkins!
This part completely grosses me out. Textures are weird and give me goosebumps, so this part was less than awesome for me, but not too bad! I’d recommend using a large slotted spoon with a sharp-ish edge. That way, you can scrape the sides and get a clean wall. When we moved in, Michael’s grandparents still had some utensils in the drawers, so we found a few metal spoons. Made things SO MUCH EASIER. Anywho. Scoop the seeds and pumpkin guts into a bowl or large measuring cup/bowl/thing and add some water. This’ll mush everything up and make it separate easier.
Just keep in mind that it’ll take some time to get the seeds fully cleaned off – pumpkin guts get everywhere. Pretty sure I had some in my hair at one point.
I left them in there while I cleaned up the counter and everything – had to find a larger bowl, too. Go ahead and grab one and dump the seeds in there. This time, I added hot water to help break things up and picked out the larger pieces of pumpkin strings. Because I’m a little squirrely with things, this is where we took a break to eat some dinner and watch Paranormal Activity (definitely cheesy, but one of my favorite movies ever!)
That photo was after about 90 minutes of soaking, so you can see that most of the seeds and pumpkin strings separated. So nice. Just go through and pick the seeds out – I placed them in the pot that I used to boil them (that’s the next step!)
Check that dated stovetop, yo! Totally adds to the character of the house! Here’s where you’ll boil them – you just need enough water to cover the seeds and a little salt. Get these to a low rolling boil – I initially turned the burner to medium-high heat. Once they were boiling, I turned it down to low-medium to keep them going. You’ll need to let them boil for about ten minutes. This is what gets the outside perfect and crunchy when they roast!
After they’re done boiling, drain the water and plop them out on a paper towel. I started to pat mine dry with another paper towel – they’ll stick, but you can pluck them right off. They don’t need to be super dry, either. You just want to get the main sticky residue off. Grab a baking sheet and line it with foil. I wound up drizzling about 1/4 of a teaspoon of olive oil on there and spreading it out, to coat the underside of the seeds.
Spread the seeds onto the foil, and drizzle another 1/4 tsp of olive oil on them, rubbing it into the seeds. You’ll want to make sure that they’re spread out into one layer on there, so they don’t overlap and under cook. Sprinkle some salt on there (we like them a bit saltier than we probably should!) and they’re ready to go into the oven at 325 degrees (F). Please note that if your oven is dated, or even newer, your cooking temp and time may vary!
The first round in the oven should be about 10 minutes – you should start to see them slightly brown (not much at all at this point) and you’ll need to stir them up a bit. It’ll give the underside a chance to cook as well! Pop them back in the oven for another 15 or so minutes. Toward the end, keep checking on them. Taste a few by cracking them open. The inside should be golden, not brown by any means. If they’re brown, they’re starting to burn.
Please pardon my messy oven. My inner domestic goddess has not gotten around to cleaning it yet. I sat impatiently in front of my oven waiting for my precious seeds to cook. The whole house smelled like seedy popcorn yummyness.
Let them cool, and in about five minutes, they should be good to go! Nom away, my friends!
The final, and probably the most important step is to hide them when you’re done. If your significant other (or family!) enjoys them as much as you do, you’ll need to hide them away. Well, unless you’re willing to share. I may… If they last until Michael gets home.
Instead of going to bed like I should have, I stayed up and carved my pumpkin because I couldn’t wait. Michael fell sleep, so his hasn’t been carved yet, but that’s okay. Mine’s awesome enough to make up for the both of them. Nightmare Before Christmas, anyone?
Skeleton Jack might catch you in the back
And scream like a banshee
Make you jump out of your skin
This is Halloween, everyone scream
Won’t you please make way for a very special guy
Our man Jack is King of the pumpkin patch
Everyone hail to the Pumpkin King
I appreciate y’all reading this! I’m sorry about my hiatus – I hope I can get back into a posting schedule soon. I know it’s over-used, but life is crazy, and it got in the way of everything for a bit.