Homemade Pumpkin Pie + Seeds Recipe (Part 1 of 2, the Puree and the Seeds)

Link HERE for my post on the Never Fail Pie Crust Recipe that, surprise surprise, never fails.

(And so we [my family] use it always :D)

But you’re here for the actual PIE, right? RIGHT! Well that’s not happening until Part 2 (because I need the pie for the weekend, and this is still Monday!) but there will be a link to the recipe in half a moment, so chill.

I’m going to say right now that this isn’t my recipe any more than the pie crust recipe is mine–it just so happens that this is my favourite recipe, and it’s fun sharing good things. This is pretty easy considering it’s a from-scratch recipe (which translates to using an actual pumpkin, stand by for directions on THAT), which is why I’m sharing 🙂

Link HERE for the Suzannes Old Fashioned Pumpkin Pie Recipe. Follow that link for the less story-filled recipe, and/or read on here for what I find to be useful, along with pictures and MY recipe for pumpkin seeds–

Yeah, I lay claim on the easiest part of this recipe. But they will be THE BEST PUMPKIN SEEDS YOU WILL EVER EAT.

YEAH. And now that you’ve been sufficiently pumped up, enjoy the recipe!

I’ll re-list the ingredients once I get to the pie portion of the post, but for now make sure you have 2 sugar pumpkins (/pie pumpkins… they’re the smaller pumpkins, pretty much. Ask your local grocer to direct you if you’re unsure), and preheat your oven to 350F.

Wash the outside of your pumpkin–weird, yes, but this will mean that if there’s anything gross on the outside (dirt, leaves, slugs, etc…) you won’t accidentally contaminate the insides of your pumpkin with that grossness when you cut it open.

Carefully cut your pumpkins in half horizontally (You should have one piece that has the top notch-thing and the bottom, or just look at my pics) and once you’ve scooped the insides from them place them face-down on a tin-foil ( or other) covered baking tray. Don’t add oil or anything, the juices from the pumpkin will do just fine.

Here we see the pumpkins cut and on the baking sheet. Two bowls at the top have pumpkin guts (right) and pumpkin seeds (left).

Here we see the pumpkins cut and on the baking sheet. Two bowls at the top have pumpkin guts (right) and pumpkin seeds (left).

Place pumpkin in 350F oven for 60-90 minutes. (It only took mine an hour to cook–you should be able to poke a fork into it easily.)

While you wait for your pumpkin to cook, go back to those pumpkin seeds from before.

While they’re in that bowl, you’ll notice they’re kind of gross and pumpkin-gutsy, so fill the bowl with lukewarm water. Not to the top, mind, but enough to cover the seeds.

If you were planning on keeping your hands clean, I suggest finding a different technique, but I find putting my hand in the bowl and squeezing and mixing the pumpkin seeds around/together works well to dislodge and pumpkin guts, and it’s pretty easy to pull the larger bits from the bowl.

Strain to remove the water and, because those seeds are probably still a little yuck, pull out a clean towel and pour out seeds onto it. (I know it sounds weird, but bear with me here) If you have a large batch of seeds feel free to do it in sections.

seeds towel

Pumpkin WILL come out of towel.

Fold towel over onto seeds, and rub seeds between, watching the edges to make sure they don’t slip out. This will dry off your seeds and the towel will pull off any stray bits of pumpkin that stuck to your seeds.

Thing is, they should be clean. The Towel thing is just a good way to make sure you don't have little bits of pumpkin guts baked onto your seeds.

Thing is, they should be clean. The Towel thing is just a good way to make sure you don’t have little bits of pumpkin guts baked onto your seeds.

Put them back into the bowl, and pull out canola oil and worcester sauce.

You can do this with oil and salt, or butter and salt, or really any sort of spice/dried herb (cumin, oregano, etc…), but if you have worcester sauce, I strongly suggest you use it. It’s easier to evenly coat the seeds, and you won’t have any seeds that are saltier than the others.

Again, depending on how many seeds you have, you should need about a teaspoon each of the oil and the worcester sauce–you can eyeball it like I usually do, but it doesn’t need all that much. Mix well to coat all the seeds, and set aside.

(I don’t suggest you spread them out on a pan yet, as they can dry out and you should still have some time before you can use the oven.)

DING!

baked pumpkin

The skin will look a little plastic-y after it’s cooked–delicious.

Once the pumpkin is done, remove it from the oven and change the heat from 350F to 300F, and pull out another tray. Cover it with tinfoil (or whatever else you’d like to use to keep it from sticking) and spread out your pumpkin seeds over the surface.

Place in oven once it reaches 300F, and bake for 30-45 minutes, giving a quick stir every 15 minutes. When they are done, they should be a golden colour. If you’re unsure, you can pop one in your mouth to check, and decide for yourself if you need the extra few minutes after the 30min mark. Pumpkin seeds are flexible like that 🙂

You can get them darker than this, I just like them this way. Cook to your tastes.

You can get them darker than this, I just like them this way. Cook to your tastes.

Back to pumpkin

You can either leave it out for longer to cool, or do like I did and handle the pumpkin delicately. Don’t burn yourself.

Scooping out the insides is pretty easy, and pretty self-explanatory. I used a food processor to turn the insides into a puree, doing one pumpkin-half at a time to make sure everything got mixed. Because I’m not going to be cooking the pie until closer to the weekend (Hello from Monday!) I’m putting all of the pumpkin puree into a large freezer bag to ziploc for later.

Cut into strips, the leftover pumpkin skin is a nice treat for your dog if you have one!

11

The Result

The Result

It’s fairly quick and very easy, and you can just put the bag of pumpkin in the fridge until you need it–if it’s not going to be for a long while, measure out the amount you’ll need for your recipe (linked above if you’re using the one I like) and freeze it separately.

Once again, the recipe I’ll be posting (reposting? Is this reblogging? I don’t know, but it’s not my recipe) is HERE, so follow that or wait until I post Part 2 of 2.

I’ll also link it HERE once I’ve posed it.

Have a great day!

BONUS ADVICE:

Don’t leave your bowl of pumpkin guts near the edge of a counter, or anywhere near where you’re working.

You might have a little accident.

You might have a little accident.

But hey, at least you have a towel that’s already pumpkin-y!

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New Project for November– ALWAYS CLOUDY

So National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is coming up soon, and I have been trying to figure out what I want to write about this year. 

For those of you who haven’t yet heard of it, NaNoWriMo ( Nah-No-Re-Mo shortened to Nano) is a month-long writing challenge, where you write 1667 words every day. 

Why does that sound so very simple and yet weirdly specific?

Because the actual goal is to reach 50,000 words by the end of the month, and to do that your goal is to write at least 1667 words every day during the month of November. 

That’s right, from the bum-end of Halloween to the beginning of socially-acceptable Christmas Music, the challenge is to write a novel. You’ve been planning, in general, to write a novel for some time, and this is a chance to kick into gear, with events in your area with fellow writers if you’re interested, and it’s entirely free. People who reach the 50k goal even get a free printed copy of their very own novel, and discounts for otherwise pricey writing software. 

It’s neat. 

My sister Lexy (link to her blog) has participated with me, and this year we’ve convinced our dear Mother to join the fun.

I’ve participated for roughly 5 years now, and recently succeeded in reaching 50k this summer, in Camp Nano, and have succeeded in 3 of those 5 years… but it’s always a question of what I want to work on. 

Sometimes I’ll work on fanfiction, because I like writing fanfiction, and it’s good to stay in practice. Because fanfiction is writing practice, pretty much. What I post is pretty darn popular, too, so as I post I get a lot of feedback. And that’s nice. Link to my stuff.

But I also do work on my own original stuff… I’ve got a couple of stories ongoing, but I work on them pretty consistently during the year, so when I decide not to write fanfiction in November, I like to start on a whole new story. 

Stretch my literary wings, crease my spine and flap my pages free from previously thought up rules and universes. 

And then I thought up Always Cloudy

I’m going to write a blog-story, from the pov of my main character Sunny. He can control clouds–well, only the one, and it only sort of does what he wants, but it’s not like he can tell anyone about it, so… blogging. Nice and anonymous. 

If you’re interested either click the link above for Sunny’s About Me page, or go to>    cumulonimblog.wordpress.com    <for updates starting November.

Thanks be to Lexy for that gem of a blog name 🙂

Wet Wash Cloths and Comforters– Sleepwalking ‘Pro’ Tip

So I’m an infrequent sleep-walker.

I’m a less infrequent sleep-TALKER, which Lexy updates me on the apparent hilarity my sleeping mind voices, but as I don’t have a “‘pro’ tip”  for that, I’m going to have to leave that topic alone for now.

As you may have guessed, I sleep walked–slept walked?– last night, and I almost made it past my door when a wet wash cloth stopped me.

It may sound a bit odd, but it’s actually pretty impressive. I’ve been rearranging and going through EVERYTHING in my room for roughly the past month (it hasn’t taken that long, the cleaning sessions have simply been spread out), and I’m nearly done but that means that stuff I’m planning on banishing entirely from my room are temporarily taking up floor space so the rest of my family don’t have to deal with it–

So the fact that I MADE it to my door is pretty darn impressive. Dreaming me didn’t even give me any bruises, so yay for that, but WOW. Boxes, laundry baskets, and some stacked other things between bed and door, and dreamer me made it!

Only to be stopped by a wash cloth.

A cold one.

See, being near the end of my cleaning rampage, and having already rearranged my room into something with hopefully less nooks for me to shove things into, I decided sheets were a thing that needed to be dealt with. Unlike Lexy, who has flannel sheets for winter and (I think) cotton ones for summer, I just have the same, super soft cotton ones year-round. I also have this HUGE down comforter that’s just amazing in the winter months–but obviously not so great in the summer.

I dunno if it’s just me, but the transition from Comforter-on-bed to no-comforter-on-bed is a weird one– For half the year you get used to the weight of many blankets, and then everything is too light to sleep once you take that away.

But I also find that when I finally DO remove my comforter, after shoving it aside to a still-giving-off-heat lump of fluff next to me in bed when it’s crazy hot at night, it inevitably turns into a cold snap the night of.

So last night was freezing.

Boxer-shorts and t-shirts are amazing pj wear when it’s hot, but otherwise it’s a no-no.

I think dreaming-me was trying to go in search of blankets.

But was stopped by a wet wash cloth.

If you are curious as to why there’s a wet wash cloth in my room, I will remind you that I’ve been cleaning up my room, moving things around–that means dusting, which translates to using a wet washcloth to wipe everything down. Why was it STILL in my room after I was done with it? Well I was a bit bored of cleaning and didn’t feel like bringing the cloth to the basement for it to be washed, so I just hung it to dry on the door handle to my room.

Yes I’m that lazy when I get bored with something, and hey, it stopped me sleep-walking outside of my room, so.

Sleep-walking me made it across the tripping-hazard that is my room’s floor, and made it to the door, tried to OPEN the door, and was startled by the feel of a cold-wet-something in hand to wake me up.

So.

Do YOU have a sleep-walking problem? Close the door to your room before you go to bed.

Can you open doors when sleep-walking? Well how about a damp wash cloth? Cheaper and safer than a lock on your door!

There’s my sleep-walking tip for you.

*jazzy hands*

Ta da!

Also when changing from winter-appropriate sheets to summer-appropriate sheets, have an extra blanket on hand.

Or make sure your window is closed.

I Am the One Who Knocks (And No One is Home)

oh god ali

So, I’m only now getting into Breaking Bad (I know, shut up, I am the one who knocks last apparently), and found this picture, and turned to show it to my much-farther-into-the-show-than-I-am sister.

She smiled, but looked a bit confused, so I said “It’s blue rock candy,” because that’s probably the only confusing part of the picture.

She gave me a look, and, still smiling, said,

“But why does the baby have a goatee?”

She thought the baby was supposed to be a leprechaun.

A leprechaun guys, a Leprechaun.

She says she worries that she’s living inside of a blonde joke sometimes.

To those in the know of my other blog posts, you can find my sister, Lexy, at the link in her name.

Tired

It’s very easy to wallow in the feeling of sadness and the lack of any urge to do something. 

Very. Very easy.

Especially if you’re experiencing a sudden change in your day-to-day life. You lose some part of the ritual of your 24hr day.

Your pet dies, you lose your job, you move someplace new, you’re removed from someplace you’re comfortable in, you finish a long-term goal… something you’ve been working on is no longer an option, and it’s a weird, sad sort of feeling. 

It makes me tired. 

It seems like suddenly everything on depression has been popping up in videos, has been coming up in articles, in every social media and blog-ish type thing, so in my infinite wisdom, and knowledge of the subject, after noticing this tiredness soon after… a big change in my life, that took away a portion of what I did every day, I’m not quite up to talking/writing about it now, I was like, Ah, Yes, Depression. Hmm

I think the start of depression is enforced stagnation. Except that doesn’t quite get the right idea across, I think. Stagnation in general sounds bad, and, ike flat soda or water that’s been left out too long, it leaves a bad taste in your mouth. Enforced stagnation sounds a lot like you have no choice but to stagnate. 

Not what I was trying to get across. 

Enforced stagnation is when you’re stuck in a rut, stuck in a divot in your life that so far, no matter how many times you try to pull yourself away from it, you end up rolling back to where you were before. I think some people don’t even notice that it’s happening, which must be even more upsetting as you can look around your divot, see nothing wrong, but still feel unhappy. 

And, seque of all segue’s, I think this is why tiredness goes hand in hand with depression. Because it is very, very easy to get tired of failing. 

Also failing is stressful, and wouldn’t you rather have a nap than deal with stress? I would. 

Because, as Lexy has so eloquently put it, my spirit animal is an ostrich. Avoidance is key. 

But I have a plan to get out of any kind of funk I may soon experience– because this change-in-life-and-daily-ritual of doom actually only happened earlier today, so kudos to myself for jumping on this writing opportunity while it’s still grumbly– but am feeling tired already. 

Like, I wanted to just go to sleep at 7pm. 

I’m 21, got up at about 9am, and was feeling exhausted enough to want to end the day at 7pm.

Fuck if I’m going to let that be my week. 

So, my game plan is to get the ball rolling again. Hard to do, as I think that just before The Change Of Doom the ball had been slowing down exponentially, but still doable. 

So I look at The Big Goal. 

What does it take to get there? Ah, yes, part A must first be completed. 

Want a certain job? What will it take to get there? Schooling? Need money first? Is there another job you can do to get money, or perhaps can you take a course or look for an apprenticeship program so that you can get yourself moving in the direction you want. 

The thing about having a Big Goal is that it’s a bit like a Gorgon. It’s the Medusa of your life. It’s much safer, less likely to freeze you to a standstill–less likely to turn you to stone–if you come at it sideways. Use a mirror and come at it from different angles. 

Or, if Greek Mythology isn’t your thing, how about mountain analogies? Everyone loves those. 

Big Goal is at the top. How do you get there? 

Well, you could climb straight up, but there’s no guarantee that you’ll have the right equipment for it. Much more dangerous, and what if you turn out to be afraid of heights? I’m not saying you shouldn’t face fears, or try something daring, but you should also be aware of your own limits. Push them, but don’t push yourself off the side of a cliff. Because you might just find  better path up the side of the mountain.

It may zig-zag, and hey–there might be parts where you can climb straight up to get to the next part of the path!–but you’ll find waypoints on the path up, you’ll build yourself up along the way, and should you slip…

well. Less of a drop straight down, and much less likely to cripple you. 

Wow I’m cheerful right now.

But now it’s 12 and I’ve challenged myself enough and NOW I can go to sleep.