Friday, November 1, 2013

Pumpkin Week: What To Do With All Those Pumpkins?

I love decorating with pumpkins in October, but I have to confess that in the past when all the fun is done, I just end up throwing them out.  It has always felt like a terrible waste, so this year I thought I'd try to use them instead. Waste not - want not, right? I decided to throw a pumpkin themed dinner party!

A few months back I hosted a baby-shower to welcome a friend's baby boy into the world, and had made a burlap edged, blue chevron table runner as part of the decorations.  I loved it.  In fact, I loved it so much that I decided to make an orange one for October.

Like this?  Buy it HERE!

When it came to decorating the table, I played around with 2 different options.  One was a simple, straight line of mini-pumpkins down the center of the table:

And then I experimented with using different levels:

Still not sure which one I like better . . .

As for the pumpkins - I decided to attempt to make my own pumpkin puree, seeing as many of my favorite pumpkin recipes use puree.  Here's how you do it:

1) Cut the stem off of your pumpkin and then slice it in half:

2) Scoop out the seeds and fibres:

3) Brush the exposed pumpkin flesh with melted butter (or olive oil): 

4) Place the halves upside down on a parchment-lined baking sheet:

5) Roast in the oven at 375* until the flesh is easily pierced with a knife (about 1.5 hours).  Let it cool:

6) Scoop the pumpkin flesh into a blender or food processor and puree: 

7) Transfer puree to a colander lined with cheesecloth, cover with plastic wrap and allow to drain, refrigerated over-night.

8) Squeeze out any remaining liquid and use the puree in your favourite pumpkin recipes, or freeze for later use! 

If you have a great pumpkin recipe, I'd love to know about it!  Please leave a link in the comments!

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