Magic pumpkins

Pumpkin seeds---possibly not magical

I had never heard of magic pumpkin seeds until this year.  I don’t think TAMU had invented them until recently.  When we went camping at Yogi-land Park near Waller, Sophia and Travis were given magic pumpkin seeds.  Most likely, there was an exchange of currency between the parents and the staff, but that was not evident to the kids.

Sophia poses with the pumpkin and Travis over-rides GE's pumpkin pick

At 11 a.m. on Saturday morning, coveys of small children with pumpkin seeds tightly grasped in the hands rushed the pumpkin patch, a hay covered space, where they carefully, delicately placed the seed on the ground and covered it with a smattering of grassy dirt.  The hard part was getting Travis to settle on a spot to plant his seed.  He kept covering, digging up, moving, and covering again. 

When we returned 3 hours later, the pumpkins covered the patch.  Magic!  The kids selected the perfect pumpkins and we took them back to the campsite.  We had the option of painting the pumpkins but Sophia had one of those pumpkin carving books with tools and wanted us to carve the pumpkins. 

Sophia instructing Dawson in the Way of the Pumpkin

I had never actually read the pumpkin carving directions.  Sophia had selected Vampire Kitty from the book and she graciously selected Two Little Ghosts for Travis.  One thing that I learned was that the pumpkin access hatch is best if made at the bottom of the pumpkin.  For all of you who know that, pooey!  It came as news to me.

The bottom access permits the candle (or flashlight) to rest on the ground and directly on the pumpkin.  It also leaves the top intact and allows the pumpkin to sit up straight and make removing the seeds easier.  The seed scooping and removal was partially made with the handy plastic scooper that came with the book.  I’ve used an ice cream scoop and that seems to do better. 

Our cheerful pumpkin scooper

Enthusiastic 5 year olds make short work of the job.  After drawing the designs on our pumpkins, GE and I had a carving contest to see which of us could finish first.  I think there are better tools than the ones that came with the kit, but those tools work if you don’t rush.

I’ve noticed that I have a tendency to bully knives and glass grinders, pushing them to chop or grind faster than they may want to go.  Invariably, I end up wounded.  Shoving glass into the grinder results in thumb cuts or slips and knuckle grinds.  Speed chopping just results in a mess or the need for Spidey band-aids. 

Vampire Kitty

Those little serrated knives that came with Sophia’s book do fine.  Just have to take it easy.  Funny how that works with most things.  Don’t ask somebody or something to do something they aren’t designed to do and the job gets done quicker. 

Two little ghosts

When we finished, Jonathan got the little flashlights and set up our handiwork.  There were lots of beautifully carved and painted pumpkins but ours looked pretty good. 

We didn’t save the seeds for toasting.  It’s early in the season and I bet both GE and I will carve more pumpkins.  But I found some helpful hints for pumpkin seed toasting in Sophia’s book, too.  Since the hole at the bottom worked so well, I’ll probably (Do you hear that?  Probably.) follow those suggestions, also.

Seeds with yuck anyone?

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds Recipes

  • One pumpkin
  • Salt
  • Olive oil

1.   Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut open the pumpkin and use an ice cream scoop to scoop out the insides. Separate the seeds from the stringy core. Rinse the seeds.

2.   In a small saucepan, add the seeds to water, about 2 cups of water to every half cup of seeds. Add a half tablespoon of salt for every cup of water (more if you like your seeds saltier). Bring to a boil. Let simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and drain.  (I had never boiled them in advance of toasting.)

3.   Spread about a tablespoon of olive oil over the bottom of a roasting pan. Spread the seeds out over the roasting pan, all in one layer. Bake on the top rack until the seeds begin to brown, 10-20 minutes. When browned to your satisfaction, remove from the oven and let the pan cool on a rack. Either crack to remove the inner seed (a lot of work and in my opinion, unnecessary) or eat whole.

About texasgaga

I am a mom, a grandmom (Gaga to my 2nd oldest grand-child), a sister, a friend, a construction estimator, a homeowner, an active member of a 12 step recovery group, an artist, a reader, a survivor, a do it yourself wannabe, a laugher
This entry was posted in Family, Food, Sober Life. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Magic pumpkins

  1. I had never heard the thing about scooping from the bottom of the pumpkin either, but now that I have it makes so much more sense! LOL

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