It was a great Halloween despite the cold and the rain that cooperated by quitting just before four o’clock in the afternoon. We didn’t have quite as many trick-or-treaters as last year, when we had better weather, but still had enough to dispose of most of the candy I’d laid in.
After Halloween, I have another ritual. I call it recycling the pumpkin. No, not on the compost heap. I cut it up, cook it, mash it, and turn it into pumpkin bread and muffins.
It’s surprisingly easy to do. I wash the pumpkin, cut it into chunks, microwave them for 8 to 10 minutes (until you can poke a fork into it easily), strip off the hard outer skin, and use an immersion blender to mash the pulp until it’s smooth.
I usually get 5-6 cups of cooked pumpkin and I’ll freeze any of it I’m not going to use right away in one cup measures. You can use this in pretty much any recipe that calls for canned pumpkin.
This is my favorite pumpkin bread recipe:
3 cups self-rising flour (or 3 cup plain flour + 4-5 tsp. baking powder and 1 tsp. salt)
3 tsp cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
2 cups sugar
4 eggs, beaten
2 cups cooked, mashed pumpkin
1 cup melted butter
Sift dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl.
Form a well in the center and eggs, pumpkin, and butter.
Stir until moistened.
Pour into 2 well-greased loaf pans
Bake at 350 degrees, 45 – 50 minutes.