I belong to a C.S.A., or community sponsored agriculture. A good friend has a farm and I pay her for twice a month deliveries of fresh, local, in-season fruits, vegetables and nuts. It may seem like a splurge, but less than $50 a month for 2 bushels of amazing produce is worth it to me. And even though Halloween and Thanksgiving are over, pumpkin and hard squash season is still going strong. After a few years, I’ve gotten pretty good at breaking down a pumpkin, butternut and other squashes and getting the most out of them.
How to Deconstruct a Pumpkin in 10 Easy Steps
Step 1: Preheat your oven to 350 or 400. If you’re baking something else at the same time, use whatever setting the other recipe calls for.
Step 2: Cut squash in half lengthwise.
Step 3: Use a big spoon to scoop out the guts seeds and dump them a colander.
Step 4: Place squash, cut side down, in a baking dish, and put a little water in the bottom.
Step 5: Put squash in oven and bake until you can easily pierce the flesh with a fork (~1 hour).
Step 6: While squash is baking, separate guts and seeds, throwing the guts away and rinsing the seeds off.
Step 7: Toss seeds with a little salt or other seasoning, put on cookie sheet, place in oven, and bake until for 10 to 15 minutes. If when you pull them out and they’re not crunchy enough, pop back in.
Step 8: When squash is done, pull out of oven and place cut side down in a colander set inside a large bowl. Allow to rest for 30 minutes. That liquid seeping out? That’s pumpkin juice ala Harry Potter. It’s delicious cold with spiced syrup. Or pour it down the drain.
Step 9: When squash is cool enough to handle, pull off skin.
Step 10: If using for baking or want that smoothed canned texture, puree in food processor. Otherwise, enjoy!