More Pumpkins

October 30, 2007

We picked up a variety of gourds and whatnot over the weekend. Some for carving. Others for drying into birdhouses. These are edible.

They’re about the same size as the carvin’ pumpkins, but are a more subtle, delicate color. Admire them for a moment, because the way you prepare pumpkin puree is to whack them in two and oven roast them until they collapse in on themselves. This took about an hour and a half at 350 – we set the halves cut side down into roasting pans, added a little water and waited. When they looked done (and this was mostly guesswork), we pulled them out and let them cool a little. I turned them over so they’d cool faster.
 

Look at that. JUST LOOK AT IT.

When they cool completely, the pulp scoops away pretty easily from the rind. We noticed that they continued to weep water for awhile, so I dropped it all into a collander and gently mushed it around with my hands which not only squeezed more water out, but also let me find bits of rind that I’d missed. We measured them out into baggies, 2 cups of pumpkin per, then chucked the lot into the freezer. The halves above are still cooling, but our first go-round yielded 6 cups of beautiful pumpkin puree. At 3 for $10, we figured that it’s a better price than canned. But really, the time required more or less prevents us from doing this a whole lot. For the recipes we make, it’s not at all unusual to go through a can or two of pumpkin in a week. We eat a lot of pumpkin here.

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3 Responses to “More Pumpkins”

  1. PeregrinJoe Says:

    I love the idea of drying them out to make birdhouses. How do you go about doing that? I think it’s something my family would enjoy?

  2. fosco Says:

    As it happens, there is actually a Birdhouse Gourd (sometimes called a Bottle Gourd). They grow in all sorts of freaky shapes, most of them sort of pear- or bottle-shaped. After the vine dies in the fall, the gourds are collected and dried, a process which apparently takes 3, 6, or 12 months depending on who you ask. After they’re thoroughly dried, you punch some holes in it (one for entry, several on the bottom to drain and another up top to hang it by), spray it with some sealer and you’re done.

    Check out

    http://birding.about.com/library/weekly/aa040401a.htm
    http://www.gourdsbyjeanie.com/growing.htm

    and

    http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/1000/1630.html

    …for more. I’m going to save some of the seeds and try our luck with them next spring, along with the pumpkin seeds we’ve saved.

  3. PeregrinJoe Says:

    Wonderful. Thanks so much. I think I will pick up some to turn into birdhouses and feeders and some seeds to do my own next year. This seems like fun!


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