Pumpkin Carving and CurryPosted by rachel on October 10 at 07:09 pm
As I mentioned before, autumn is definitely my favorite season. The weather allows for sweaters and layered clothing, the leaves transform the landscape with their fiery hues, and there’s Halloween fun to be had!
I suppose then, that you have figured out Halloween is my favorite holiday! I love the kitschy spookiness: the ghost stories, the decorations, and the costumes, especially. I always take time to dress up in a costume at least once per year, maybe more if I should be so lucky. Another great thing about Halloween is the carving of the Jack-o-Lantern. I never miss an opportunity to carve a pumpkin! Better still are the tasty roasted seeds you get to eat when all the artistry is through. There is a recipe for curried pumpkin seeds at the bottom – they are tasty, so be sure to check it out!
Riki, our newest Lima team member, and I decided to get our hands dirty and carve up some squash. We got the pumpkins from a local flower and produce store that has been in business for ages. Luckily, Riki and her roommate have a huge porch at their apartment so we didn’t have to worry about the inevitable mess of pumpkin slime. We spread out some newspaper and got down to business. Riki decided to try one of the patterns that come with the carving set. That seemed a bit too regimented for me, so I set out to make a creepy little face on my own. After the tops came off, we carefully got all of the precious seeds set aside in a bowl for later; our stomachs were growling!
We sawed feverishly for a few minutes, eager to see results, until we realized that our carving tools were not made the old-fashioned way. We were going to have to be a bit gentler if they were going to last through two pumpkins! See photo of failed carving tool.
As simple as our designs were, it takes a remarkable amount of time to carve through two inches of pumpkin with a flimsy little saw. By the time we finished, we were more than anxious to roast the seeds. We wanted to make a few different flavors, but it seems like you never have enough seeds (Note to self: ask lots of people to carve pumpkins together next time and harvest all the seeds!)
So, we settled on a batch of plain and a batch of curried. I have made the curried type for a few years running and they never disappoint. However, halfway through the roasting, we couldn’t resist jazzing up the others. Riki wanted spicy, so she sprinkled on some cayenne pepper. I thought, “Mmm, brown sugar would be great with that…sweet and spicy.” We added the sugar and it was a match made in heaven!
The second Presidential debate was about to start and we had a delicious snack to keep our spirits up through the haze of political propaganda.
Here is the basic recipe I have used for the curried pumpkin seeds, although I can never follow a recipe. I can’t help but add or delete ingredients as I see fit. This recipe will be good either way, I’m sure. I apologize that I can’t remember where I got this recipe, but thank you to whoever came up with it! Also, I don’t rinse the seeds. I just remove as much goo as possible.
Curried Pumpkin Seeds Recipe
- Non-stick vegetable oil spray (I believe any type of grease is fine, I usually use olive oil.)
- 1 large egg white
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon curry powder (I believe I probably use more than this.)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (Again, I probably add more than this because I like them spicy!)
- 12 ounces hulled pumpkin seeds (pepitas) about 2 1/2 cups, or the bowl-full of seeds you just pulled out of your jack-o-lantern!
Preheat oven 350 F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment; spray with non-stick spray. (I’m pretty sure I never have parchment paper, so I just make a mess of my pan.) Whisk egg white, lime juice, and oil in large bowl. Add next 4 ingredients; whisk. Add pumpkin seeds; toss. Transfer to baking sheet, spreading evenly. Bake until toasted and fragrant, stirring often, about 25 minutes. Cool on sheet. Or, if you’re like me, burn your hands and mouth because you can’t possibly resist after the scent has invaded your house for half an hour!
The recipe continues to say that the toasted seeds will keep for 5 days in an airtight container at room temperature. Good luck with that. I’m going to say they’ll last 5 hours, maybe.
Share your favorite pumpkin seed flavors with us, and your awesome jack-o-lanterns! Send pics so we can post them here!