Pumpkin Trivia and Treats

Q: Where were the first pumpkins grown?
A: Central America. European travelers brought pumpkin seeds back to the Europe.

Q: Are pumpkins a fruit or a vegetable?
A: Pumpkins are a fruit.

Q: How heavy was the largest pumpkin ever grown?
A: 1,131 pounds!

Q: How much did the largest pumpkin pie ever made weigh?
A: 2020 pounds!

Q: Why do people carve pumpkins for Halloween?
A: Halloween was the end of the year for the ancient Celtics, and on that night they would hollow out things like beets and turnips and place them near the outside of the house to ward off evil spirits and guide home spirits of ancestors.

Delicious Pumpkin Treats

Pumpkin Pie

¾ c granulated sugar (I prefer to use brown, gives the pie a nice color)
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground ginger
1 tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp ground cloves
2 large eggs
12 oz can of evaporated milk
15 oz of canned, unflavored pumpkin
1 unbaked 9 inch deep dish pie shell

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, spices, pumpkin, and eggs. Mix well. Gradually stir in the evaporated milk. Pour the mixture into the unbaked pie crust. Bake the pie in the oven at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350 and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a knife inserted at the center of the pie comes out clean. When I bake with the pie shells, I also like to wrap the edges of the crust in aluminum foil to prevent it from burning. After pie is finished baking, cool on a wire rack for 2-3 hours.

Pumpkin Rolls

1/4 c powdered sugar (to sprinkle on towel)
3/4 c all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
½ tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
3 large eggs
1 c granulated sugar
2/3 c canned, unflavored pumpkin

8oz cream cheese, at room temperature
1 c powdered sugar, sifted
6 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375° F. Grease 15 x 10 jelly-roll pan and line with wax paper. Grease and flour the wax paper. Sprinkle a cotton kitchen towel with powdered sugar, and please be sure to cover the towel evenly so your cake mixture doesn't stick to it later on! Beat eggs and sugar in large mixer bowl until thick. Add pumpkin, flour, and all spices, then mix well. Spread out mixture on jelly roll pan and put in the oven to bake for 12-15 minutes. After baking, loosen cake mixture, turn it over onto the kitchen towel, and peel off wax paper. Roll up the cake and towel together starting at the shorter end and set aside on a wire rack. While cake mixture is cooling, start the filling by combining cream cheese, 1 c powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla extract in a bowl. Mix until smooth. Unroll the cake, spread filling evenly over the cake, and re-roll it without the kitchen towel this time. Cover the cake with plastic wrap and cool it in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours. Cut into 1 inch thick slices once cooled. Makes approximately 10 servings.

Pumpkin Seeds

I usually make this the same day I carve the pumpkin, and I use a few different recipes every year, so here's one of them. All you need is a fresh pumpkin, salt, water and some oil. Hope you enjoy.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut open the pumpkin, set aside all pumpkin seeds and RINSE THOROUGHLY. In a small saucepan, add the seeds to water, about 2 cups of water to every half cup of seeds. Add a tablespoon of salt for every cup of water. Bring to a boil. Let simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and drain. Spread about a tablespoon of olive oil (or whatever oil you have on hand) over the bottom of a roasting pan. Spread the seeds out over the roasting pan, all in one layer. Bake on the top rack for 20 minutes or until the seeds begin to brown. (I usually turn them 2-3 times so they bake evenly) Once done, remove and let cool. Some people like to let them cool down all the way, but I prefer to eat them while they're still nice and hot from the oven.