Transfer those pumpkins from Halloween into Holiday season

These three tired Jack-O-Lanterns are ready to retire.
These three tired Jack-O-Lanterns are ready to retire.

  As we retire the jack-o-lanterns and cooler days signal the start of the busy pre-holiday season, we find pumpkins in abundance – either around the yard or house used as autumn decorations.

By Sherry Vogel

Many people away from the farm rely on buying all their food from the local grocer. Many don’t make the connection between that holiday decorative pumpkin and the canned pureed pumpkin purchased at the store for recipes such as pumpkin pie.

   I’d like to share how to substitute pureed pumpkin for canned pumpkin in recipes.

   Pie pumpkins are the most flavorful variety for use in baking. Pick when fully ripe – the color will be deep orange, and the stem will easily break loose when ready to harvest. Wash, peel, and remove the seeds. Cut pumpkin into chunks and steam until soft. Puree using a food mill or processor. Cool and pack into freezer bags or containers in the amounts needed for recipes. Use cup for cup in place of canned pumpkin.

   A few weeks ago at a local event, I was served a pumpkin soup which was not only delicious but very filling. I’d like to share a local cook’s recipe with you as it would make a warm supper on a cold winter’s night.

Pumpkin Soup By Renee Callen

1 – 10 oz. can cream of potato soup

1 1/4 C. water, 2 Tbsp. butter, 1 C. cream

1 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper, 1/2 tsp. garlic powder, 1/2 tsp. ginger, 1 C. pureed pumpkin

   Mix all ingredients and heat until warm.