Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Great Pumpkin

I'm getting ready to carve this great beast - along with his brother who's currently adorning my dining room table - and I expect to be elbow deep in icky pumpkin stuff any minute now. While I don't love the prep work, I do love carving, so the ends justify the means. Our windows face the street and I like to take advantage of that this time of year and offer my creations to the masses.

Needless to say, I'll be roasting the seeds ... but you can't possibly need a recipe for that, can you? What's to say? Separate the seeds from the pulp, toss the seeds with some olive oil, dust with some Kosher salt and your favorite spices and dump them onto a cookie sheet in a single layer. Bake them in the middle of a pre-heated 300 degree oven for 45 minutes or so, stirring once in a while, until they're crisp and light golden brown, serve and enjoy.

There's varying schools of thought on oven temp, baking time and whether or not one should wash the seeds prior to roasting ... I don't. I think they have more flavor when they are unwashed, but your mileage may vary, of course. And really, the baking times vary. Some years they're done in 45 minutes, sometimes its an hour. Use your best judgment.

Here's what I do know: they're delicious and the husband can't get enough of them!

As for the carving ... I've been doing the same design since I was a kid. I like big spooky eyes, some evil eyebrows and a giant fanged mouth! My pumpkins always look the same, its the husband who experiments. One year, after the Yanks had won the World Series, he carved his into the famous interlocking NY design on the Yankee caps. As soon as it went into the window we started to hear beeps and cheers from cars and passers by. What fun!

Obviously there'll be no Yankee themed pumpkin this year ... I wonder what he'll do??? Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, what are you doing to celebrate this magical holiday? Scary Diva wants to know!


Deb said...

I haven't carved a pumpkin since the kids were young. We have no windows to display one in anyway. But I do love Halloween and proudly display a small lighted one in my office at work and have a really horrid scary witch for the home.

I believe my daughter is having a party - it's her and her husband's favorite holiday and they usually have the best costumes. I'll see if I can get her to send you a copy of the famous horses' patootie costume! It's a hoot and is a true example of my family's warped sense of humor.


The Vintage Kitten said...

Hiya Diva, what a great tip roasting the seeds. Have a great Halloween.... Boo! X


Haven't carved a pumpkin in years but you can see my wonderful creation (well not really I micked the pic off the web) on SCG NOW!!
Well, along with some random mumblings about today that is!

Hmm, maybe I'm not getting too old to have pumpkins...

Scarlet xoxo

P.S. don't let the icky pumpkin guts get to you - I always thought that it felt better than it smelled to put a peg over your nose lol!


P.S. P.S.

Nice ideas about pumpkin seeds!

pixelgal said...

Pumpkin seeds should definitely not be washed first. I used to love these when I was a younger person. And as for your pumpkin recipes, by it's very nature and consistency pumpkin makes soft cookies no matter what recipe you use. Your cookie-muffins look great though. I may have to try them.
Famous halloween costumes in our house....for the child diva---witch, raggedy ann, flapper, and Indian princess (or native American if you like). For the bro--devil (3 years in a row),bum, dracula and octopus. All home made costumes mind you. A fun time for all. Enjoy!

Miss Caught Up said...

It might be a little late for me to carve a pumpkin. :( I do love pumpkin seeds though... maybe I'll find someone who's already done the job and mooch off of them! hehehe :)

The Diva on a Diet said...

Deb - your daughter's party (and costumes) sounds like a hoot! I'd love to see pics if you've got 'em. Halloween is my favorite holiday too and I'm feeling bitter that I'm not making the most of it this year. My own fault - too busy. Who said running a blog was a good idea?! LOL

Vintage Kitten - hope you're Halloween was a real treat ... no tricks, unless you wanted them. ;)

Scarlet - Love the pumpkin on your blog! Very festive indeed. I'm with you on the pumpkin smell ... ugh. Gag!

Pixelgal - the flavor of the cookie is really great - if you do them, try them as a muffin instead. Aw, love those great Halloween memories. You always made the most creative costumes! :)

MCU - who says you can't carve a pumpkin on your date tonight?! Maybe Mr. M will surprise you? LOL