12 Cups of Pumpkin

Currently in my car I have: an immersion blender, Carhart jacket, tennis racket, beach towel, Spanish lesson CD’s and half a bag of trail mix.   Up till yesterday I also was driving around with a rather large pumpkin in the back seat as well.  The pumpkin was abandoned by a tenant at a rental property our company manages.  So it came back to the office with the cleaners and I snagged it.  I figured hey, I like pumpkin… and this is free… so SWEET!

Things got a little more dicey when I got that thing home.  None of my knives would get a grip on sawing the monster in half.  Ever since the watermelon incident of 2005 which involved a serrated blade, a trip to the ER, and several stitches in my thumb, I have not been super excited about the idea of trying to saw through things in the kitchen.   But after sharpening a blade, and giving myself a quick little pep talk, I went after the behemoth.  Eventually I got it all sliced up real nice and I STILL HAVE ALL MY FINGERS!!!  YAY!!!

A couple of hours in the oven, some more handiwork with a knife and I ended up with a crazy big pile of pumpkin.

After processing our grand total came to 12 cups of pumpkin purée.  Which was at once both overwhelming and inspirational.  What could I make with all this pumpkin that would not be boring? and wouldn’t turn Saffer’s & I orange?   Well as of Sunday night here is the breakdown:

  • Approx 2 cups of roasted pumpkin went into Saffer’s kibble… cause it turns out my dog LOVES Pumpkin!
  • 6 cups got reduced down to 4 small jars of pumpkin butter
  • 2 cups pumpkin purée got included with a few other ingredients and turned into pumpkin bread
  • 10 oz of purée were reduced down to 5 oz and was included in pasta dough for pumpkin pasta… which unfortunately did not keep much of the light pumpkin flavor… so I will need to fiddle with that idea.
  • Which leaves me with about 4 cups give or take of purée that went into the freezer and will either become pasta sauce, or ravioli filling, or soup, or custard, or pie…. or… or … or…

However this also made me start thinking about how this gigantic source of FOOD was originally intended as decoration on someones front porch.  It’s hard to pinpoint the number of lbs of pumpkin that the US produces each year.  Most sources speak only in the $$$ value of the crops.  Quoting from AGMRC.org “In 2011, pumpkins were harvested from 47,300 acres from the top six states and were valued at $113 million.”  That is a WHOLE lot of pumpkin my friends!  So don’t just glue mustaches & googly eyes on these gorgeous little gourds (you know who you are), get out your baking dishes and turn them into something really wonderful and nourishing for your family!

And after you are done with all that baking… make sure you guard the cooling racks!

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