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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Home Canned Pumpkin & Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkins are everywhere this time of year! They are one of the final crops signalling the end to a successful harvest. The pie pumpkins are quite inexpensive here at 99 cents each. I picked up three, two to put up and one for pumpkin pie to start with. I'll pick up more this week. You just can't have too much of a good thing!

Canned Pumpkin & Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Canned pumpkin can be used for pies, an ingredient or as a vegetable so is a versatile food item in the pantry. Home canned pumpkin must be prepared in cubes, not mashed. A detailed explanation for this requirement can be found here. Pumpkin must be pressure canned as it is a low acid food. Two pie pumpkins gave a yield of seven 500 ml (pint) jars with about 4 c left-over that will be used for some type of baked good. The deep orange pieces look rather pretty in the jars!

Don't throw those pumpkin seeds out! Roasted pumpkins seeds are a nice snack and oh so easy to make. After roasting leave as is or sprinkle with desired seasoning to taste. I sprinkled a little Old Bay Seasoning on this batch.

Canned Pumpkin

Choose smaller pumpkins for better flavour. Wash the outside of the pumpkin. Remove top and seeds. Reserve seeds for roasting. Cut the pumpkin half then into 1 - inch strips. Peel. Cut strips into 1 - inch cubes. Place the pumpkin in a large stock pot. Cover with water. Bring to a boil. Boil 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, pack pumpkin loosely into hot, sterilized jars* leaving 1 - inch headspace. Do not mush down. Ladle cooking water over the pumpkin leaving 1 - inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe the rim. Adjust two piece lids. Process at 10 lb press 55 minutes for 500 ml jars (pints). When processing is complete, remove jars and allow to cool. Check seals then store.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Separate the pumpkin seeds from their strings. Wash the seeds. Spread seeds on a tea towel and pat dry. Transfer onto a baking sheet. Pour about 1 tbsp olive oil over the seeds. Mix. Sprinkle a little sea salt over the seeds and mix. Bake at 300ºF until golden brown, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Remove from oven and sprinkle on seasoning of choice to taste. Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.

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