Today I tried something new. I processed my own pumpkins. We raised a few pumpkins this year in the garden, just as we have in the past, but unlike the past, I'm determined to eat them this year.
I've heard it's easy to do, but I've kinda freaked out in the past over the details. Skin up or skin down? What temperature? How long? To strain or not to strain the cooked pulp?
Today I said to myself "Self, knock it off. Just try it."
My self said "OK."
See, aren't I easy to get along with?
I brought in the smallest pumpkin, washed it off, quartered it, and lined the pieces up on a greased cookie sheet. If you cut the pumpkin in quarters, you don't have to get hung up on what side goes up.
Is that cheating?
Anyway, I baked them (the pumpkin quarters, not the hens, for about an hour, until they were a bit shriveled and fork tender. I think I could have let them cook for a little longer, as they were still a bit tough and stringy right in the center. But I don't think I caused any problems by removing them for the oven too soon.
After they were cooled down a bit, I scraped off the flesh and threw it into my food processor. Whiz, whiz, whiz and it was done.
I put the pulp into a cheesecloth lined strainer, and let some of the liquid drain off. When the remaining pumpkin had the consistency of the stuff in can I decided it was done.
From one pumpkin, I was able to freeze three 16 ounce bags of pumpkin (the equivalent of a small can) and had enough left over to make a loaf of pumpkin bread for dessert tonight.
Yummy. Fun. Frugal.