I would like a show of hands: How many of you walk by a pumpkin stand/farmer's market/any place they are selling pumpkins and get one for the sole purpose of carving it as a Jack-O-Lantern?
I'm not saying this is a bad thing – in fact The Box and I have a running yearly competition for the best carved pumpkin. Who do you think wins every year? I'll give you three guesses and the first two don't count.
But resigning the pumpkin to the realm of holiday decor really limits its capabilities in the edibility department. Because it is a very capable vegetable, people. I mean, look how robust it is! How....ORANGE!
So today, we begin with dissecting the pumpkin and pilfering its edible parts. We will eventually make stuff with these parts, but today we pilfer. Let it begin!
What You Need:
1 pumpkin (I like using the small sugar pumpkins. They are cute. Plus, I'm only one girl, how much pumpkin do you want me to eat?)
Roasting pan or baking sheet
A sharp knife
A large scooping spoon
A cutting board
What To Do:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Using a large knife and cutting board and being VERY CAREFUL, cut the top off your pumpkin like so:
Scoop out the seeds and pumpkin guts.
The seeds are one of the pumpkin's edible parts. Try to separate them from the stringy guts (not so tasty), rinse them and let them dry. Find a safe place to keep them for a little while, like an air-tight container. We'll be coming back to them.
Slice your pumpkin in half and then into wedges. Place it in your roasting pan, or on a baking sheet.
Bake in the oven for 45 minutes or until the meat of the pumpkin is fork-tender (like a cooked potato).
The skin will blister a bit, and once the pumpkin has cooled, you can peel back the skin and — violá — edible pumpkin meat!
Stick it in the fridge as is, or cube it up.
Next week: Things to do with roasted, toasted pumpkin meat!