I LOVE pumpkins. That might sound a little extreme, but I really mean it. I love the way they look, the dusky bloom on a nice New England Pie pumkin, twisty or crooked stem (it’s not a handle :)), and of course, I love food made with pumpkins. Useful, as well as decorative, my Mother would say. Proud to be a “pumpkin head”, as they are a staple in our diet, as they have been in New England for hundreds of years (I am not sure when the Native Americans first started growing them in New England…but they were a staple for them).
ANYWAY, when it starts freezing outside on a regular basis around here, I process a bunch of pumpkins and pack them away in the freezer. Now, I would do this with any winter squash if they were handy. I also will put a small pile away in the back hall and if they start to “go by” I will cut out the bad spots and cook up the lot to use or freeze.
I like to cut my squash/pumpkins in half, scrape out seeds and strings, lay cut down on a pan, and bake at 350 until soft (40 minutes or so). After they have cooled, I scrape out the meat/pulp and then puree. I like my immersion blender for projects like this, but the blender or food processor or potato masher would be great too.
When I started the process this afternoon, I wondered, is this worth my time and effort for the cost? After all, the can of pumpkin is like .90 cents. BUT, it really isn’t that much effort, I know where it came from, and it does taste better 🙂
I like to freeze the pureed squash flat in freezer bags, it stores well that way. But, I also like to freeze it in muffin tins and then dump into large freezer bags. Regular muffin size is about 1/2 cup and jumbo is about 1 cup. Frozen in chunks like this makes it easy to take what you need out of the container/bag for use in a side dish or recipe.