Sunday, October 21, 2012

Getting The Most Out Of Your Pumpkin!!

For ages now I have been meaning to get more thrifty, I've never been much good at cutting costs but seeing as how One-day Hubby and I are now buying our own house, we I am going to have to be a bit more disciplined when it comes to spending.

This year, I thought Halloween would be the perfect opportunity to show off my penny pinching potential by demonstrating to you lovely readers just how many uses I can get out of a pumpkin.

Picking the right Pumpkin
It all started here. Determined not to find myself stood before a box of  pumpkins  asking myself the same old question 'Which pumpkin is the biggest and looks easiest to carve? I tried to learn more this year and find out which really is the better buy. It turns out that smaller does mean more tasty so I ditched the idea of taking home a monstrous wide boy and grabbed myself a few small but mighty pumpkins for the exact same price.
Year on year I have come away from pumpkin scooping with an aching wrist and splattered wall, leaving me frankly lacking in enthusiasm when it comes to the fun part - The carving. So  you can understand my excitement at the discovery of the ice cream scoop. Talk about revolutionary!!

Once I got scooping with this, I saw I could get a whole lot more pumpkin for the money. .Most impressed with the neat little curls that transpired, I popped them in  a roasting pan with some garlic, onions and sweet potato. Upon completion of the carving, the walls of the pumpkin cavity were approximately three quarters of an inch thick. 


Smidge loved exploring the slimy texture of the pumpkin seeds in her sand and water table and ever since Amy mouse showed us how this contraption doubles up as a floor cleaner, it's handily lived in our kitchen. 

Soup Donation
Once the Pumpkin,Garlic,Onion and sweet potato had roasted in the oven, we stuck it in a blender with a pint of stock. It made the most delicious soup which we took to the Mum's who are staying on the local Neonatal Unit. As I made the soup on behalf of our local support group, it came out of our 'gestures' budget,  meaning I got the pumpkins for absolutely free *Oh Yippers!*

Savoury Snack
We then washed the seeds and dry roasted them, later you can add salt or paprika for a cheap but tasty snack.

Do you think the trick or treaters will be impressed?

The Works Of Art
When it came to carving I used the craft knife (as it's much easier to cut small pieces). I noticed it's better not to not try and cut all the way through the wall at once. It's easier to cut in at an angle too so you can remove small bits at a time when working on smaller areas.
We didn't use templates or stickers this year, just picked  designs we liked and drew them out in biro. Not being  natural artists, I had to 'wipe out' our markings a few times, However, the usual case of pumpkin- pattern- template dyslexia thankfully didn't occur. 


Mr G's  Evil Effort

Shape sorting made easy !


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