Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Pumpkin Feast

The Holidays are upon us! Can you believe it? How this year has flown by and with so little activity here on the blog. I do apologize. This baby growing gig has me plum tuckered me out. Just another two months and I will be chalking it up to a babe in arms! So with the giving season fast approaching, I have been casting about for that special present to make for folks.

With the current economy and life being what it is, I knew I was going to have to get creative. Enter the lovely pumpkin! Many of you long time readers may remember my banana score back in June. So you know what a free food scavenger I am. That combined with my need not to waste anything brought me to this years holiday gift.

After Halloween, what happens to all of those lovely pumpkins that aren't sold? Well many of them are just abandoned in their lots. Sad, forlorn, and looking for purpose! For our Harvest Festival at the Waldorf school, we gathered about 30 of these cast offs and scattered them about. They looked lovely! At the end of the fair, I piled them all up in the back of the Blue Ox and carted them home.

Some have gone to the pig and chickens. I have roasted tons of seeds, so very yummy but most of that delicious roasted pumpkin flesh is headed for my freezer. Later I will process it with the following recipe and give it out to friends and family!

Pumpkin Butter

3 1/2 cups fresh ground pumpkin or canned pumpkin purée
2 1/2 cups light brown sugar
1 lemon, juice and grated rind
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice

If using fresh pumpkin, mix with sugar, lemon, ginger, cinnamon and allspice in a large bowl. Let stand at room temperature 8 to 10 hours

Transfer to a heavy saucepan, add 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil. Simmer on low heat, stirring often, for 40 to 60 minutes, to desired consistency. (With canned pumpkin, mix ingredients in heavy saucepan; bring to a boil and simmer on low about 20 minutes, to thicken.)

Pour mixture into hot, sterile, 6-ounce canning jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Seal with sterile, 2-part lids and rings, as manufacturer directs, processing 10 minutes in boiling water bath. Cool; adjust seals.

Makes five 6-ounce jars.