Sunday, September 11, 2016

'Tis the Season...for Pumpkin!

Labor Day is over, so you know what that means? No more white jeans, right? Or is that "cool" now? I don't know - fashion was never my strong point. No, no...labor day is over and now it means that the grocery stores are going to be flooded with pumpkin E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G! Pumpkin spiced Cheerios. Pumpkin bagels. Pumpkin tea. Pumpkin coffee. Pumpkin peanut butter. So much pumpkin!

I love pumpkin as much as the next fall loving girl, but I prefer to get my pumpkin from the garden. A few years ago, I fell in love with the Long Island Cheese Pumpkin. Good flavor, great yield! They are doing great in my squash jungle this year and I harvested my first one a few weeks ago. They hold well in storage, but since I was looking to start my fall baking, I decided to roast it.

Long Island Cheese Pumpkin

Roasting is simple - cut the pumpkin in half, place cut side down on a cookie sheet, add a little water and pop it in a 350 degree oven. Check on it periodically and when the skin is softened on the pumpkin, pull it out. Let it cool and then scoop the flesh into a food processor. Whiz that baby up and let it drain through some cheesecloth. Measure it out and freeze in quart bags for future use. I freeze mine flat on a cookie sheet first for better stacking in the freezer. You know, when you get a hankering for some pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. Or maybe some pumpkin bagels. I made some a few years ago...think I might have to pull out that recipe and make them again.

This pumpkin gave me 7 cups of pumpkin puree. Take that canned pumpkin! I have 5 more in the garden, so I should be able to fulfill all my pumpkin dreams this fall and winter. What about you? What's your favorite pumpkin treat?