Last week, Pioneer Woman showed us how to make our own pumpkin puree. Pop on over there now and look at how easy it looks. Between now and January, I will go through a lot of cans of Libby Pumpkin. How wonderful it would be to make my own! How very Martha Stewart of me. Pumpkin pies made with pumpkin that I personally pureed? Why I'd get the wife of the year award! I stayed home sick today, but when my headache began to lift, I was a woman possessed. Carpets vacuumed, laundry done, oil changed (I don't mean that I did it - I took the car to the dealership for them to do it), groceries purchased. What was left to do? I picked out two beautiful perfect pie pumpkins. I brought them home and fired up the laptop to follow Pioneer Woman's step-by-step instructions. If you haven't clicked on the link at the beginning of this post, go now. I'll wait. My first clue that this might be a little more than I bargained for was my near inability to cut the top off. Even with David's favorite sharp knife. I finally got the top off and got them cut in half. I still have all my fingers, but I'm not quite sure how. I scraped out the seeds and pulp and cleaned their little insides. After finished pumpkin #1, I admired pumpkin #2 and contemplated just sitting it somewhere to look festive. But no, Pioneer Woman had two pumpkins in her pictures. Onward and upward!
Here are the little darlings after 45 minutes in the oven. I expected a heavenly pumpkiny smell, but I can't say I smelled much. Still a little stuffy maybe. The peeling came off pretty easily, but they just didn't feel soft enough to mash. I don't have a food processor, but Pioneer Woman said that a blender would work. So, I put a few pieces of pumpkin in and hit the puree button. Lots of noise, but not much pureeing. I added a little water, but it still wasn't quite what I expected. So, I tried the potato masher. That did more smashing than mashing.
Back to the blender. This is a bad picture, but a good illustration of what happens when you put your spatula in before the blades on the blender have actually stopped. Oops!
Once every possible surface in the kitchen was covered with pumpkin or pumpkin paraphernalia, I finally declared the Pumpkin Debacle finished. I should have given up and dumped the whole mess in the trash, but I was on a mission. Here's a finished bag of puree. I had planned to use some to make a loaf of pumpkin bread, but I've already dirtied every dish and bowl. Pumpkin bread will have to wait.
I have decided that I will contribute to the economy by ensuring Libby's continued success in the canned pumpkin industry. I would hate to single-handedly put them out of business by pureeing all my own pumpkin. Just wouldn't be right.