My husband and I serve churches, who have a pumpkin patch each year to raise money for mission and outreach ministries. We go through a company called Pumpkins USA and it works like this -- they send you a variety of pumpkins with no upfront cost, you sell as many pumpkins as you can, you get to keep a percentage of the profits, and on October 31st you have to figure out what to do with the leftover pumpkins.
This year, we decided to live by the ol' adage: Waste not, want not. I will tell you, by the end of all this, "want not" may be a very apt sentiment.
So between the two of us, we brought home three bags -- hefty, stretchy garbage bags -- of Sugar and Baby Pumpkins. And for the past week, my husband has been de-stemming them and cutting them in half... and I have been gutting them, roasting them, separating them from their skins, and pureeing the living daylights out of them.
If you've ever pureed a pumpkin, you know it can be sort of a mess. The stuff is slippery and slimmy and tends to spatter. Now times that by 80, and you know what my kitchen looked like. I've got pumpkin in places I shouldn't mention in a public forum. And yes, that includes my ear. And I spent a good chunk of time last night with my Magic Eraser trying to remove the hardened fibers from my countertops -- my husband was a bit jealous!
Now my freezer is full of pureed pumpkin... LOTS of pureed pumpkin. How much, you ask? Try a smudge over 53 cups! That's like 25 cans of Libby's!! I've tried to pan it off on church folks, and received very few takers. So... I've decided: I WILL POWER THROUGH.
For the next thirty days, I will make one recipe a day, which will include pumpkin puree. Some of them I'll glean from the Internet and my cookbook collections... others I'll wing! We'll see how this turns out...