Monday, September 6, 2010

Prepping Pumpkins

Have you noticed that there hasn't been a can of Libby's or Stokely's pumpkin on the shelves of your favorite market since last Christmas?  Usually nobody notices, unless you love eating pumpkin goodies throughout the year like me.  Originally I thought it was a regional issue and asked a Walmart stock person and he told me due to last year's growing season not being up to par, the pumpkin crop was diminished and they ran out during the end of the Holiday season.  I even asked a Walmart stock person in a huge city and they said the same thing.  I looked online and I found cans costing upwards to $10!  Wow! 

How thrilled I was when we stopped at a farm stand near Columbus, Ohio to see cooking pumpkins stacked in a large box.  No jack-a-laterns, just small cooking pumpkins.  Evidently they ripen earlier at that farm or were planted earlier for the fall season.  I bought three just to try it out.  They were $2.75 per pumpkin.  I also found a cute little recipe booklet which offered printed directions as to how to prep these orange beauties.  A no brainer, really, just wanted to be sure...


There are two ways to cook them.  Boil or bake.  I choose bake since I didn't want to fool with tough skins or lose precious vitamins to boiling water.  So, I cut one pumpkin in two, removed the stem, and put the halves face down in a pan.  The directions say to cook for 40 minutes, but it took about an hour before mine were evenly done. 



I scrapped off the fiberous flesh and made sure I didn't go through the soft skin and get any tough pieces.  I put mine in a large blender, turned the indicator on high and let it work for about a minute. 




It tastes and looks squashy as does organic pumpkin  in the can.  Not as dark orange as the Libby's nor as dense and contains a bit more water, but SO healthy with no preservatives, no chemicals from the can (the white interiors of cans contain that BPH that leaches into foods and can be found in our bodies) and it costs a little less.  I got almost 4 cups!


I froze my pumpkin and will thaw it out to see how it tastes in November.  The next processed pumpkin I will use immediately for maybe a pie, a loaf of bread or some cookies!   Oh, and I saved the seeds.  Hopefully I will be successful unlike this year at growing pumpkins.  I didn't notice many honey bees on our farm this year which really worries me.  We have a new cell tower nearby which I learned 'confuses' the bees.   One can self pollinate and I may have to try that next year.  I got several blooms this year and one tiny fruit that died.  Anyway, I am a happy girl now that I have my pumpkins! 

18 comments:

lisa said...

A friend of mine went down south to see her sister and she tooks lots of canned pumpkin down because they couldn't get any down there!

Verde Farm said...

Beatiful post! The pumpkin looks scrumptious. I would love some pumpking goodies!
Amy at Verde Farm

Kritter Keeper said...

lisa, so i am gathering that new england is plentiful but the midatlantic states and the south is hurting...very interesting! amy, i would like some too, so start baking! lol!

Flat Creek Farm said...

What a nice pumpkin-y post! I love pumpkin, and when I heard the news about a year ago or so regarding the pumpkin shortages... I stocked up. But now my stock is running low. If I find some good, fresh pumpkin buys... I'll follow your wonderful directions! I only harvested tiny pumpkins this year.. cute, but not much to eat! Thanks for the great instruction. -Tammy

Angela said...

I hadn't ever noticed that you couldn't buy canned pumpkin in the stores until the holiday season. I'll look the next time I'm at the store to see if my store has it or not and let you know. How do you tell the difference between the ones you eat and the carving ones? I'm thinking I could get those at the Half Way Market in Milton, WV if they have them.

Have a Great Day!
Angela

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

I'd heard last year about the pumpkin shortage and do have some stashed away--Even a pie in my freezer, but you have made it look so easy to make my own! THANKS for posting this, just in case! :-)

Linda said...

You make it look easy. I had pumpkin soup and pumpkin cheesecake last year--both were yummy.

Feral Female said...

What a seasonal post! We have a ton of pumpkins ourselves and maybe I`ll try my hand at cooking some up!

Monica said...

I always notice canned pumpkin in the stores - I buy it and feed it to my Corgis with a small amount of kibble when they need a 'diet' now and then. Your post was very interesting, and would be a great way to have pumpkin for several months any time it's needed!

Maura @ Lilac Lane Cottage said...

Hello! Thank you for stopping by my blog today...it was nice to 'meet' you. What a wonderful farm you have and it's very obvious that you love animals. I can't believe how tame the deer are on your land but then you've been spending time feeding them and talking to them so I guess that explains it. Your horses are beautiful...I used to have horses years ago and loved riding and just spending time with them. Every spring and fall I really start missing them as it was my favorite time of year to ride. My favorite was Keefer a registered 7/8th Arab (Saddlebred) who had personality plus and had been raised by two teenage sisters. He thought he was a human! My pumpkins and squash got beetles which did them in before I realized how bad they were...next year I'll be ready for them. So like you I will have to purchase some pumpkins and freeze it and save the seeds for next year. I hope you have a wonderful day...thank you for sharing your farm with us! Take care...Maura :)

AJ-OAKS said...

Gosh I hadn't even noticed the missing pumpkin cans on the store shelves. 10.00 a can! Now that is plain and simple highway robbery!
Glad you have some pumpkin for the holidays.
Hmmm, I wonder how the pumpkins will be around here for Halloween. The donkeys love pumpkins and they will be devastated if there are no pumpkins to be had.

Angela said...

Just stopping by to tell you that I went to the Half Way Market in Milton today. They do have the cooking pumpkins there and they are $2 each. I bought lots of other goodies too! I love it when they have fresh green beans! That is the only way to pick them! lol Especially since our garden didn't produce any AGAIN this year. I'm giving up on beans in the garden!

Have a Great Day!
Angela

Kritter Keeper said...

thanks angela, will pop over in case u aren't following these comments by email...

Ali said...

I heard about the pumpkin shortage, but I have some cans in the cabinet from Aldi, 100% pumpkin, nothing added (though it is still in a can, I try to avoid cans for the reason you stated too!) so I haven't thought much about it. That's great you found some cooking pumpkins! Looks pretty easy, I may have to do that too in the future. We have some (regular) pumpkins growing in front of my compost pile, I saw them and told Jim not to mow them and now there are a bunch of pumpkins that I can use to decorate this fall! Its fun to grow your own, can't wait to take Jimmy to pick them =)

Rural Rambler said...

Great orange fall-ish post Kritter Keeper! No shortage of canned pumpkin here in MissouREE, at least in my pantry. I hadn't even thought to look on the shelves when I shop. I have to shop this week and I am going to be looking. I like your fresh pumpkin!

eddieross said...

Yum!! We love anything pumpkin!

E+J

baystatebrumby said...

Hey! This is my kind of blog! I love it! no, I LOVE IT!!

Dog Trot Farm said...

Thank you so much for this post. I have been unable to find canned pumpkin in my area since last fall and even then there was a known shortage. I admit I could have purchased organic pumpkin however, the cost was close to five dollars per can. Just to steep for me. Your step by step directions offered me the inspiration I needed to can my own. Thank you.