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Volume II
October 6, 2010

10 Fun Uses for Pumpkins
By Camille Rhoades

1. Make a pumpkin pie. Nothing says Thanksgiving like the smell of pumpkin spice wafting from the kitchen. Here’s a recipe:

Pumpkin Pie

3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 cups milk
3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 9-inch baked pastry shell
Cool Whip for topping

In a large saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch and spices.
Add the pumpkin and milk, stirring in gradually.
Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is thickened.
When mixture reaches boiling, allow to cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
Add a small amount of mixture to the egg yolks and return all to saucepan.
Cook 2 to 3 more minutes
Pour mixture into baked pie shell.
Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.
Place the pie on a wire rack and cool to room temperature.
Cut into slices.
Top each piece with Cool Whip.
Serve warm or cold.

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2. Carve a Jack-O-Lantern. This is the classic Halloween activityand you can do it very simply with all the tools and patterns on the market now. You can also get as creative and wild as you want to with your own designs. Enter a carving contest, or throw a carving party. A friend of mine throws a carving party in her backyard every year and then tosses all the “mess”afterwards on her garden so it can break down and fertilize.

3. Make pumpkin pancakes. Make your pancake batter as you normally do, and add pumpkin pie spices to the mix. Add ½ can of pumpkin to the mixture. You may need to thin the batter with milk to produce the proper thickness for good batter.

4. Make some muffins. Use any basic muffin recipe for the base, and add canned pumpkin and pumpkin spices to the mixture. These muffins come out light and fluffy. Many good recipes can be found online.

5. Make a spooky, bubbling jack o’ lantern. To do this, take a carved pumpkin, and put a glass jar inside. Add some liquid dish soap. Pour hot water into the glass jar. Add dry ice to this mixture, and put the lid on the pumpkin. Soap bubbles and fog will come out of the eyes, nose and mouth of the pumpkin, giving a very spooky Halloween effect. Be very careful when handling dry ice. Always wear heavy rubber gloves. If dry ice touches the skin, it can cause immediate frostbite. Always remember to use this in a well ventilated space, too, because breathing carbon dioxide, the fumes from the dry ice, can lead to asphyxiation.

6. Make pumpkin bread. Much like Roasted Pumpkin Apple Soup, it is a good way to use pumpkin removed from a jack o’ lantern. If you use canned pumpkin, the taste will be a bit stronger than pulp taken from a jack o’ lantern pumpkin. Those pumpkins are raised for durability, while the sugar pumpkin used in canned pumpkin are raised for taste. Either makes delicious bread.

7. Decoupage or paint them – this is a fun activity for little children. Instead of carving, let the kids cut pictures from magazines or wrapping paper and apply them to the pumpkin with decoupage glue. Give them colored markers and let their imagination run wild. Painting is also another great way to decorate them. From adults to children every level can put their skills to the test!

8. Make a holiday bowl from a pumpkin. Use a small, flat bottomed pumpkin and mark a circle around the widest portion of the pumpkin. Bisect the top portion so that you are removing one quarter of the shell. Scoop out the insides, scraping away the stringy portions and seeds. Coat cut edges with vegetable oil. Serve hot soup or stew in the shell.

9. Toast the seeds. Toasted pumpkin seeds are not only nutritious, but are tasty, too. Food experts advise using the seeds from the “sugar pumpkins” – the kind used for making pies. Remove the seeds from the pumpkin. Boil in salted water for ten minutes. Drain the seeds. Coat a baking sheet with a tablespoon of olive oil. Single layer the seeds and bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes. Serve cold.

Here are a couple variations for tasty seeds!

Sweet and Salty Pumpkin Seeds

2 cups fresh pumpkin seeds (from 2 medium pumpkins), rinsed and patted dry
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. Heat oven to 300° F. Spread the seeds on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until dry throughout, 50 to 60 minutes.
2. Increase oven temperature to 350° F. In a large bowl, toss the seeds with the butter, sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Return the seeds to the baking sheet and toast, tossing occasionally, until golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Serves 8.

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Sweet and Spicy Pumpkin Seeds
Makes 1 cup

1 medium pumpkin
5 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch of cayenne pepper, to taste
1 1/2 tablespoons peanut oil

1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut pumpkin open from the bottom, removing seeds with a long-handled spoon. Separate flesh from seeds, and reserve the flesh for another use. Pumpkin should yield 1 cup seeds. Spread seeds on parchment in an even layer. Bake until dry, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour. Let cool.

2. In a medium bowl combine 3 tablespoons sugar, salt, cumin, cinnamon, ginger, and cayenne. Heat peanut oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add pumpkin seeds and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Cook until sugar melts and pumpkin seeds begin to caramelize, about 45 to 60 seconds. Transfer to bowl with spices, and stir well to coat. Let cool. These may be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

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10. Use pumpkin on your face! Try this recipe to nourish your skin!

Pumpkin Face Mask

3 tablespoons of pumpkin. You may use either canned or cooked natural pumpkin.
1/4 teaspoon of jojoba oil (optional)
1/2 teaspoon of honey
1/4 teaspoon of milk if you have normal or oily skin, or buttermilk, if you dry skin.

If you have dry skin and do not breakout, you may want to add a few drops of evening primrose oil (you can just open a capsule)


Mix all the ingredients.
Clean your skin using your preferred cleanser.
Apply the mask on skin.
Leave it on for about 15 minutes.
Clean your skin with lukewarm water.
If you have rose water easily available, you may want to spray it on your face or put it on using cotton swabs.
If you wish, now you can apply your favorite moisturizer.

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