Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thursday's Kitchen Cupboard: Pumpkins

Robin at The Gardener of Eden is hosting “Thursdays Kitchen Cupboard” where we can share how our garden harvests have been used or preserved.

It was fun to grow pumpkins this year. I grew two Sugar Pie Pumpkin plants from seed and they sprawled among other squash plants in the newly dug garden bed.

I had three Sugar Pie Pumpkins that needed tending to this past weekend. Deer had nibbled on the outer skins and the pumpkin had begun to get soft in those areas.

The pumpkins were prepared to make into puree by first carefully cutting into pieces and trimming the rotted parts out. The pulp was scraped out with a spoon reminding me of childhood jack-o-lantern. The seeds were reserved.

The pumpkin pieces were placed in a roasting pan and the pan was placed into a 350F degree oven to roast up to an hour or until tender.

In the mean time, the pumpkin seeds were rinsed well and patted dry with paper towels. The seeds were tossed in olive oil, garlic powder, and chili powder then spread out on baking sheets. After a quick sprinkling of sea salt, the baking sheets joined the pumpkin already in the oven. The seeds were baked until they began to turn golden brown. Then they were stirred and spread out again so they would toast evenly. 20 minutes later the seeds were removed from the oven and allowed to cool on the baking sheets.

The pumpkin was removed from the oven when a fork pierced the skin easily then allowed to cool. Once cooled, the pumpkin's skins slipped right off. The fruit was cut into smaller pieces and mashed with a potato masher (you could also use a blender or food processor), then divided up into freezer bags and frozen.

Two cups were reserved to make two loaves of Pumpkin Bread. I used the recipe from the very first cookbook I owned, Better Homes and Garden's New Cookbook.

Pumpkin Bread
(Makes 1 loaf)

1 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
1/3 cup butter

Preheat oven to 350˚F.

In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 cup of the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, nutmeg, and ginger. Add pumpkin, milk, eggs, and butter.

Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until blended then on high speed for 2 minutes. Add remaining flour and beat well.

Pour batter into a greased 9x5x3-inch loaf pan. Bake in a 350˚F oven for 60 to 65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Remove from pan and cool thoroughly on a wire rack.

Join others at "Thursdays Kitchen Cupboard" at The Gardener of Eden and share what you've been baking, cooking, canning, drying, or how you have used some of your preserved garden bounty.


  1. We have lots and lots of sugar pumpkins. Thanks for the post. We'll definitely put it to use this fall and winter.

  2. I particularly like the idea of flavoured pumpkin seeds. I have only ever had them with salt. I must remember when I next have pumpkin.

  3. Mmmm, I love making all things pumpkin! My boy really likes my Pumpkin Zucchini Bread! Very pretty pumpkins!

  4. I love the annual pumpkin harvest. So many yummy things to be done with it. I like pumpkin seeds made the same way. Ground cayenne pepper works well too.

    Our pumpkins are still on the vine but are needing to be brought into the greenhouse to finish ripening and curing because the fall damp and gloomy weather has slowed the ripening down to a crawl and the vines are starting to die back. It was not a good squash year for us in 2011.

  5. Hi!

    I hope you're having an awesome week! I thought you might like this infographic I helped build about the health, mental, and financial benefits of gardening (

    If you think your readers would like it too, please feel free to use it on Grafix Muse's Gardenspot blog. There's code at the bottom of our post that makes it super easy to post on your blog. It's all free (of course). If you have any questions about posting it, let me know and I'll try to help.

    I don't know where else to contact you so I just posted a comment here. :)


    ~ Janey

  6. I'm looking forward to roasting the seeds from my pumpkin. Yours look very yummy! I'll have to try that pumpkin bread recipe as well.