All Things Pumpkin

IMG_7006Yesterday, I baked two of the sweetest pumpkins I’ve ever cooked—thank you, Farmer Kev—and have enough pumpkin to make a couple of loaves of quick bread for Thanksgiving as well as a soup for our supper tonight. The bread will go in the freezer, which is too bad. However, with all the other cooking I have to do, there just won’t be time to make the bread close enough to Thanksgiving so that it will be fresh.

This year, Shannon will be hosting Thanksgiving at her home in South Portland. Along with the pumpkin bread, I’ll be bringing the gravy, a sweet potato casserole, and a green bean casserole. All these recipes are oldies but goodies in our family, and in the green bean casserole there will be no cream of mushroom soup or canned onions.  I promise.

One of the happiest recipe finds in my life has been Julia Moskin’s make ahead gravy. It is a long process, but the hands-on time is small, and it is more than worth it to have an utterly delicious gravy made ahead of the big day. This, too, goes in the freezer and comes out Thanksgiving morning.  This gravy can be made a week ahead, two weeks ahead, even a month ahead, and if you do this, there will be one big worry eliminated from your Thanksgiving list.  I post this recipe every year, for new readers and for those who might have overlooked it. The only changes I have made are to use chicken legs instead of turkey legs—chicken gravy goes just fine with turkey—and I also use more butter and flour for a thicker gravy.

Gravy is all very well and good, you might be thinking, but what about those pumpkin seeds? Never fear! They are spread on a baking sheet, where they will dry for a day or two, and after that I plan to roast them with butter, soy sauce, a little garlic powder, and kosher salt. I’ve never roasted them this way before—salt and a little oil are what I have used—but Dee has been raving about roasted pumpkin seeds and soy sauce, which she gets in New York. So this year I thought I would roast them with soy sauce and see how they turn out.

Somehow, I have a feeling that the problem will be to refrain from eating all the pumpkin seeds before Dee comes home. Therefore, I plan to put the roasted pumpkin seeds put into a jar and tuck them in a cupboard where I can’t see them.

This should do the trick. Out of sight, out of mind really does work at the little house in the big woods. Now, all I have to do is remember to bring the pumpkin seeds with me to South Portland  on Thanksgiving Day.

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