Saturday, October 23, 2010

Quill #86 - Tip for Cooking Pumpkins

My daughter-in-law knew this trick from childhood, but it was one I discovered for myself, just a few years ago. I'm passing it on just in case I'm not the only person who hasn't encountered it somewhere else.

We live in the city in a neighborhood where we can't leave anything outdoors. Lamps get stolen or destroyed, our cars have been vandalized more than once. We even sometimes get fights on the street next to our house. Therefore, I don't dare leave pumpkins on the porch as decorations. We'd likely find them smashed, possibly through a window.

Even so, I can't bear not to have a few every year and I hate to see them go to waste. After I enjoy them inside for a while, it's time to use them. The easiest method I've found for cooking pumpkins - far easier than the stovetop method my mother taught me - is to clean them out and use the gourds as pots for baked rice dishes. Gumbo or Spanish rice works well, or something with a sweet spice to it.

I measure their capacity using cups of water, then use two cups water per cup of rice, add the other components and stir, then bake with the "lid" on top. That seems to hold the moisture in better.

If you want an easy sweet, add sugar and pumpkin pie spice to the rice. I prefer to make a savory dish for our evening meal since that takes care of two projects at once. When the rice is removed, the remaining pumpkin is easily scooped and removed from the rind that I used to spend hours cutting away. This really saves my hands, too.

If I'm not ready to bake pies with the cooked pumpkin, I measure one to two cups into freezer bags and store them frozen till needed for holiday baking. And I'm sure everyone in the world knew this trick before I did. I give you permission to laugh at me and feel superior - this time. (grin)

(images from free images online and Lolcats.)


  1. I LOVE the Star Trek mouse!

    I know what you mean about the neighborhood! Getting to be more and more that way everywhere!

    Have a great day!

  2. I love the vulcan mouse too!

    I didn't know about that pumpkin trick - thanks so much for the info. I don't buy pumpkins since the kids grew up because I don't want to waste them.

    We live in a gated community, we still have crime, but I don't think it is as bad as the general community.

  3. Thanks, HermitJim and Cindi, for reading my blog. Cindi, you make me feel a little better. :) Yeah, the crime didn't seem as bad, last place we lived. A little, but it was a suburb and a nice neighborhood. Here, it's been an adjustment to make sure we always store things indoors.

    I hope you both had a good day, too.