Last weekend, we finally put our pumpkins to good use! We invited friends over and had a pumpkin carving party, snacking on the roasted seeds (and sipping some hard apple cider) for sustenance. We had three pumpkins, three batches of seeds, roasted three different ways. Salty. Spicy. Sweet. So good.
It was an especially fun night because my Chinese friend Jia, recently moved to the U.S. and it was her first time carving pumpkins. While we carved, we chatted about the history of Halloween and the tradition of trick or treating. I tried to explain the costumes, but for the life of me I couldn’t answer her question about why so many women wear so little clothing on Halloween. Sigh.
We started with the spooky white pumpkin and, after much debate and internet research, decided to carve out a skeleton face. First we sketched the face, and then Jia went to work carving it out. Admittedly, I was concerned about her knife skills (and the possibility of severed fingers) which ended up being terrific. Whew!
Next, we moved on to a warty pumpkin we recently bought from local farmers. After even more debate, and still more internet research (nerd alert!), we decided on a wicked witch silhouette. Check out those warts!
Next, it was time for the big, goofy pumpkin that my friend Scott brought over. He found this guy at Whole Foods for only $5. Darn good deal.
Now, let’s talk about the food! In between pumpkins, I roasted up batches of pumpkin seeds. I cranked the oven to 350 degrees and got out a couple of cookie sheets to use as roasting pans. Next, I cleaned the seeds thoroughly (detaching all the slimy pumpkin strings and rinsing under warm water) and patted dry with a paper towel.
For the first batch, I coated the seeds with olive oil, salt, cayenne pepper, chipotle powder and red pepper flakes. Spicy!
For the second batch, I melted a pat of butter with olive oil and drizzled generously over the seeds, then sprinkled them with brown sugar and let bake.
For the third batch, I doused the seeds in soy sauce with a sprinkling of sesame seeds on top.
Each batch baked for 15 to 20 min, until crispy.
Then, we lit our pumpkins and enjoyed the soft, orange glow of the candle light. Happy Halloween everyone!
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