Pumpkins are now very cheap and can be found everywhere.
At farms around my place, at the supermarket...
I brought kids out grocery shopping at Walmart last Friday when I saw beautiful huge pumpkins going for $3. So I bought one cos I'd been raring to carve one into a Jack-O-Lantern since dunno when!
Then I saw the small ones (for eating/ cooking) going for 90cents and bought 3 at one go. Greedy, but I was thinking I can always cook then freeze.
I kind of regretted that a little while later, while paying, cos I also bought 2 watermelons, and many other groceries. Pushed that wieldy cart all the way to the car, so heavy!
But I baked some pumpkin that day and it was so sweet, so delicious. ds1 loved it, but ds2 refused to try. When I sneaked some in, together with his rice, he still tasted it and spat it out. Sigh. When will this phase end?
Then on Sunday night, dh was mowing the lawn, so I carved the large pumpkin. It was really tough, cos our knife was lousy. And I saw special carving knives for sale actually, so I am using the wrong tools. Anyway, after putting in herculean effort, I cut off a top, and removed all the seeds with ds1's help. ds2 was interested in how the inside looked like, but didn't want to touch that "mushy stuff".
I kept all the seeds, and roasted them, so we had pumpkin seeds too. Dh was hooked on them, and kept asking how come the seeds can taste so good?? The huge pumpkin yielded so many seeds somemore. Only it is so time consuming to crack open all the seeds.
Then ds1 said he wanted Ultraman eyes for the Jack-O-Lantern, and I sketched the eyes onto the pumpkin. I drew a triangular nose and a rectangular mouth, for ds2, cos he is into shapes now. Everyone being satisfied now, I started carving. They got bored and went off somewhere else to play. I was left struggling with the knife, performing the pumpkin surgery.
But after it was done, and we turned off all the lights, lit the candle we placed within, it was so magical, and so spooky at the same time. I had called dh in to have a look by then. ds2 actually shrieked and clutched my pants very tightly. dh say he's so girly! ds1 was so delighted though, he kept dancing and jumping ard the J-O-L, and even played out Ultraman scenes with it.
After 5min though, we smelt cooked pumpkin, and checked... Our candle was too long, and the top of the pumpkin was cooked! So dh put an aluminium foil patch over the top and we let ds1 enjoy it for a while more, then it was flame off, lights on again.
Today, I used the 2nd small pumpkin, and made a batch of pumpkin cookies. Got the recipe from Recipezaar (http://www.recipezaar.com/185445
) and made the following changes:
1. I didn't make the glaze at all. Didn't want kids to consume too much sugar.
2. I reduced the sugar amount slightly, and also halved the cinnamon amount.
3. I used fresh pumpkin instead of canned. I just boiled chopped up pumpkin till it softened then mashed it up manually.
4. I used slightly more pumpkin than stated.
5. I added some choc chips just after the warm pumpkin puree was added into the egg/ sugar/ butter mixture, so the choc chips melted, and there'd be nice choc swirls on the cookies.
Fortunately, the cookies still turned out well, and they were really so yummy, just as the reviewers of the site said. Even without the sweet glaze!
And guess what, the most important critic in my house (ds2) ate 4 already, which meant he ate quite a fair amount of pumpkin without realising it, haha. (I used half a pumpkin in those cookies.)
ds1 missed it cos it was bedtime for him before the cookies were done, but I promised him, they will be his school snack tomorrow. I think I will pack some for the teacher and his classmates too! :-)