I carved a jack-o-lantern this year. The last few years I have skipped over this tradition. I’m not a Halloween crazed kid anymore and we do not get any trick or treaters at our apartment anyway. I wish we did but late October is not a fun time to be walking around in Seattle. The weather is very cold and very wet.
To carve my pumpkin I used a multiple puncture method that was effective. I am glad my jack-o-lantern turned out well since I have had so many frustrations involving my cheap kitchen knives and gourds this season. I think my little pumpkin looks pretty cute.
After carving the jack-o-lantern it feels like a waste to just throw away all the pumpkin guts: the seeds, flesh and strings. Ever since I was a kid I wanted to make roasted pumpkin seeds. Growing up, my friend’s mom made them every year. But, my parents told me that it is too much work and often we were just lucky to get the pumpkins carved before sun-down on Halloween night.
My parents are right; it does take a lot of time and it is a bit messy. However I found this fun Autumn activity to be worth the effort. I pulled a recipe off of Pumpkin Patches and More, but there are many ways listed on the internet to prepare the seeds. It seems like a project to experiment with varieties of preparation methods and seasonings. I stuck with the basic method.
First separate the seeds from the fleshy parts of the pumpkin. I found this to be easier done by hand.
Then I washed the seeds with cold water and removed any pumpkin bits that were left. After that I dried the seeds by laying them out in a single layer. I left them drying overnight and continued my pumpkin seed project when I had more time.
Once the seeds are dry, mix them with the seasoning you prefer. I went with “Halloweeny” flavored. For one cup of seeds mix 2 tablespoons melted butter, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice.
Next lay out the pumpkin seeds on a baking sheet so they don’t overlap. I found that a layer of aluminum foil on the pan makes for easy clean up.Roast the seeds in the oven at 275°F for 10 to 20 minutes. Stay around in the kitchen because every 5 minutes you must mix and flip the seeds to roast them evenly. Mine were done in 20 minutes but depending on your oven it could take longer. They are finished once they are golden brown.
Pumpkin seeds are a tasty snack. With the butter flavoring, I found them to be a good substitute for popcorn cravings. I have been snacking on them while reading a Stieg Larsson novel. I put them in my lunch box for work as a delicious treat.Happy Halloween!