It was just a matter of time before I mentioned the most famous Halloween counterpart. In fact, if I was on Family Feud and asked to name “Something that symbolizes Halloween,” I would undoubtably shout the correct Number 1 Answer — “Pumpkin” and BAM — my family would control the board. The answer is a lock– I know it is. Why? I’m just that good. Also? Pumpkin is the quintessential symbol of Halloween. FACT.
It’s also a fact that a Halloween pumpkin’s fate is pretty gruesome: Cut off its crown, scoop its guts out, carve up a face and slap the poor squash on the porch. Don’t worry, little fella: We’ll set your innards afire later.
But I’m here to tell you that there is a gentler, kinder way to treat a pumpkin. A way that will give you just as much sadistic joy. I’m talking, of course, about eating your victim.
There are many, MANY kinds of pumpkin, several of which you have undoubtably seen at your local grocery. Naturally, there’s the overlarge orange variety that we use as decor items. There’s also blue pumpkins, bumpy pumpkins, white pumpkins and even stripy pumpkins. And all of these amazingly beautiful squashes can be treated pretty much like any other squash that you’ve run into over time. Think about it; that delicious pie you bake every year circa Thanksgiving? You don’t have to get the pumpkin part from a can.
Admit it: I JUST BLEW YOUR MIND.
Stop using the canned junk.
How to make your own pumpkin pack
1) In your grocery’s veggie section, look for a variety of pumpkin called the “sugar pumpkin.” These are generally the totally adorbs little fellas that are slightly larger than softballs, and yet smaller than the carving kind. They’re often off by themselves in an area separate from the carving variety and are completely gullible. Getting one into your cart will be easy. (Just ask for its help finding your lost zucchini or something.)
FACT: You can use a small carving pumpkin, but the sugar pumpkin is, in my opinion, very much like its name suggests. It is sweet, less “squashy” tasting (if you know what I mean) and to me, the most delicious of all the pumpkins. Plus, while it does have seeds and stringiness at its center, the sugar pumpkin is a bit meatier in consistency and bakes very well.
2) Take the pumpkin home and hose it off. If the pumpkin is uncooperative, hose it off again. When you’ve gained it’s trust and dependency, cut the pumpkin in half.
3) Mock the pumpkin when it cries.
4) Scoop out the seeds, placing the clean, naked halves face down on a baking sheet.
5) Rub the olive oil on the pumpkin’s skin (or it gets the hose again).
6) Bake the pumkin in a 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes, or ask the pumpkin if it’s done. When it doesn’t answer, threaten it with the hose. Also? You’ll know it’s done when the pumpkin is tender when pierced with a fork.
7) Take the miserable thing out of the oven, reminding it how you didn’t want to hurt it in the first place but the pumpkin made you. Let it cool off and think about what its done. Remind it how you love it.
8) Once cooled enough to handle, scrape the flesh out of the skin. Place the flesh in a blender and puree. Voilà! Homemade pumpkin pack.
9) Make a dress of the skin.