Do Not Throw Jack-o’-Lanterns Away

Jack-o-lanterns are cut in half and baked.

At the Palisades Farmers Market last week, one of the vegetable vendors showed a woman a small pumpkin, a sugar pumpkin. He told her that his stand would only carry them for the next two weeks and that they regularly sell out.

Sugar pumpkins are considered winter squash, which means they have harder skins, but the sweet flesh is perfect for cooking and baking.

All of your pumpkins can be used for cooking, though.

After Halloween, this editor cuts the Jack-o’-lanterns in half and places them on parchment paper on a cooking sheet.

Bake it at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour or until you can pierce the pumpkin with a fork.

Once the shell has cooled, take a spoon and scoop out the inner flesh.

Scoop the flesh out of the shell.

The larger pumpkins may have stringier flesh, but it can be mashed into a smooth texture, or some people throw the flesh into a food processor.

Once I have my pumpkin “mash,” I scoop two cups and place it in a bag. It goes into the freezer to be used when I need pumpkin.

That first night I used the cooked pumpkin to make a Thai Pumpkin Soup. Another day, I used a “bag” of pumpkin to make a pumpkin bread with chocolate chips.

I did save the “sugar” pumpkin, for the pumpkin pie, which I plan to make for Thanksgiving.

Americans throw away so much, and this is such an easy and delicious way to recycle.

Instead of picking up a can of pumpkin or a pie ready-made at a store, pick up a sugar pumpkin at the market, bake it, and see how easy it is to make your own.

Once the pumpkin is scooped and mashed, it can be frozen to be used later.

If you need a turkey for Thanksgiving–my brother and sister-in-law sent a video of a flock of wild turkeys that were strutting up and down on their driveway in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

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One Response to Do Not Throw Jack-o’-Lanterns Away

  1. Elizabeth Alford says:

    So wild Turkey awesome! Love cooking pumpkins- and roasting the seeds.

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