Apparently discussing whether or not your family celebrates Halloween can become a heated issue among Christians. I'll keep my explanation simple, my family will not be celebrating Halloween this year, I certainly won't judge you or think you're any less "spiritual" if you reach a different conclusion after seeking God in prayer and the Bible.
With that being said, one of the greatest pleasures in child-hood is pulling out the guts of a pumpkin. So what is a family to do when they decide they will not be carving pumpkins this year? Deprive my sweet little child of the joy of getting her hands sticky and gooey? Of course not, we've already gutted 2 pumpkins in my kitchen this year and I have 3 more just waiting to be hacked into and cleaned out. What then are we doing with the pumpkins? Why else would you buy one, if not to carve? To roast and puree of course
Wait a minute, Kasey, you mean to tell me you can actually puree a pumpkin, it doesn't just have to come magically in a can? Yes, not only is it incredibly simple to do but you will make the best pumpkin pie, bread, rolls, pancakes, cookies or whatever you have ever tasted if you use a real fresh pumpkin, rather than the canned counterpart. The taste difference is incredible, once you've used "real" pumpkin the canned stuff will never satisfy you. Don't get me wrong, I still keep canned pumpkin on hand because I love pumpkin and roasting a pumpkin does take extra planning and time (already this year I've made pumpkin pie, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin pancakes, and pumpkin waffles) but I'd choose fresh pumpkin to canned every time for taste.
I've roasted both pie, and larger pumpkins and quite frankly the pie ones are supposed to taste better, but I can't tell the difference and they're both better than the canned pumpkin. (Sorry Libby's)
Ivy loves helping us make food, and she loved cleaning out the pumpkin, as long as none of the stringy stuff got on her hands. After the entire pumpkin was cleaned though she dumped all the seeds back in. The only way she would let us take the pumpkin from her was to let her wash dishes. (What a little homemaker)
Pumpkin Roasting Directions
To roast a pumpkin you cut it in half and pull out the seeds and threads (or the guts). After it's nice and clean you can cut it into smaller wedges if you wish, drizzle it with a little olive oil and put it in the oven on a baking sheet. I roast mine at 350 degrees anywhere from a half hour to an hour depending on the thickness. Once it's fork tender it's done. Let is cool and then puree it in your food processor or blender (or whopper-choppers as my mother calls them.) If you don't have either you can mash it well with a fork. (I wouldn't recommend this for a pie, but it would work well in a recipe that also uses flour like cookies or a cake) One cup of your puree equals about one 15 oz can of pumpkin. Voila you are ready to prepare the best pumpkin dish you've ever had!