Tuesday, December 22, 2009

It's autumn in my kitchen Part... the rest of the parts.

So, I realize that I totally flaked on turning my fall foods experiment into multiple posts during fall... considering it's three days before Christmas and I'm just now getting back to y'all. But I've been busy! I'd love to turn this blog post into an update on me and my exciting life, but let's be honest. Food will always be more important.

Especially this food.

Now, I'll warn you. I had delusions of grandeur that my sweet potato fries, as mentioned in September during my trip to Gracie's in Salt Lake City, would taste like they do in restaurants. They didn't. I baked and fried them, and they both really turned into soggy messes. So, after this wedding business has passed, maybe I can save up enough pennies to buy myself this, and then I will revisit. For now, I'm deleting them from memory.

However, I did make two things that were quite successful: pumpkin puree and pepitas. Instead of pepitas, I could say pumpkin seeds, but the word pepitas is so much cooler. English is lame.

I started off with two pie pumpkins. Aren't they ador?

Take off the top of the pumpkins with a sharp knife. Or a chainsaw. Because they are solid little guys. Good thing I'm armed... with guns.

My mom thinks I'm funny.

Once the tops are off, you'll want to cut them in half. I realize that this photo does not depict half, and that I do math stuff so I should know what half looks like.

Dear 7th Grade Students, this is not what half is. This is what happens when you are really frustrated after lopping off the top of a pumpkin and instead of it being easy and smooth like on TV, you exert all human energy and just hafta stab something.

Just me?

After you take out your anger on squash, which is a total sign of mental stability, you'll get this:

Gutsy, right?

Man, I can hardly stop myself.

Now is the time to gut the little guys. Ina Garten probably would be polite and use a spoon or a knife, or have some fancy gadget do it, but here in 'Merica, we get our hands dirty.

Except during Swine Flu season, then the entire country knows how to cough into their elbows and not touch anything ever.

I digress. Gut the pumpkin.

Put guts, seeds, and everything into a separate bowl (throw them away and risk serious, serious consequences from me). Cut the halves in half (any math whizzes want to tell me what they are now?), and use a knife to cut the rest of the pulp away from the pumpkin flesh.

Line 'em up on the biggest baking sheet you have, and toss them in the oven (I say about 350) until they are golden and the sides start to pucker.

Meanwhile... remember the goo that came out of the pumpkin?

"Goo" being a scientific word, of course.

Give them a really good rinse, and line them up on a cookie sheet too. Do your best to get an even layer, then generously salt. Or don't. I don't want to be bossy.

You can pop these into the oven right along with the pumpkin, just don't let them burn. Then, in a little while, your pumpkin will be done! I don't know how long of a while. Just a while, alright?

(Note: I would have wanted these to be more done, so leave them in for a few extra minutes!)

This is what you're looking for. Puckering, golden sides. But more puckering and golden than this.

When the pepitas smell done, take them out and put them in a dish. And try not to make your next five meals out of them. I said try.

Pumpkin's done. You'll want to let it cool slightly until it's ok to handle, and then peel off the skin. If I would have roasted my pumpkin for a little longer, it would have been easier to peel off the skin.

Place all your pumpkin pieces in a food processor and give it a whirl. You may have to add water or you may not, depending on how watery the pumpkin is. See that logic? I'm wise, I'm just wise.

Up next: pumpkin puree!!

I measured the pumpkin into 2-cup increments, put them into Ziploc bags, and froze 'em. Come Christmas, there's going to be some pumpkin everything, because you know how many bags I got out of those two measly pumpkins?


Nine bags. Eighteen cups. (Again with the math. #1 on my To-Do list for 2010: get a life.) That's a lot of flipping pumpkin, but it's sooooo much better than the canned stuff. So do it!! Today!! Two days before Christmas Eve!! Come on, you know you've got time.

And, just because it's me, every dish in the house was dirty and the entire kitchen needed a deep clean. Nobody's perfect.

Merry Christmas y'all!! See you in 2010!!