Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What a difference a day makes!

Last Wednesday my pumpkin patch looked like this:
That's 8 plants in a 4x8 raised bed - grown to take over roughly 40 feet square of lawn. This is why pumpkins aren't allowed in my regular garden! There were about 40 pumpkins in there (by my seven year old daugter's count, anyway).

This is how it looked the next morning:


This was a very early first frost for us - we usually have until at least October 1st here in Northern Wisconsin, but no such luck this year. I harvested all of the ripe pumpkins on Wednesday after I saw the forecast, and also picked all of the tomatoes, etc.

Thursday morning I went out and started harvesting the green pumpkins, figuring I could cook them up for pies and pancakes and such before they got bad.

I grabbed the biggest one I saw - which turned out to be around 30 lbs! It was fun cutting that up, let me tell you! And the "guts" easily filled up the biggest kitchen bowl I have.
I just love how it makes my 7-quart crock pot look small!

I cut it in half and put each half on the biggest pans I have (and it was still too big to fit in my oven - I had to cut one half in to smaller chunks). It took an hour and a half to roast (at 350 degrees, in case you were wondering).

When it was finally done, I roughly pureed it in my Kitchen Aid (with the paddle) (a food processor would also work great for this, but I don't like putting hot food in plastic, and haven't found any food processors with glass or stainless steel bowls).

I checked in my Ball Blue Book for how to pressure can pumpkin puree - but it wasn't listed. So I looked online, and found that you're not supposed to can pumpkin puree (you can, however, process cubed pumpkin) So I simply filled up some wide-mouth pint jars and froze it instead.

Now I just have to remember to get some out to thaw when I want to make Pumpkin Pie Bars!

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