Thursday, 31 October 2013

Pumpkins & Seeds


The thing about pumpkins is that they are really, really tricky to carve. They look like they should be so easy. I mean, it's just a big round vegetable. But they're not - unless you have a set of tools or something and a template - but when you're armed with blunt kitchen knives, a biro and a not-so-steady hand, it's not much fun. I wanted to go with something like this, all beautiful patterns and pretty styling, but the kids insisted on a face. And that's the other thing about carving pumpkins - it's hard to do with little ones, since the very nature of carving involves sharp knives. It's not ideal, really, when you think about it. But we persevered and the kids are very happy with the "punkin", as Angus calls is. To make my self feel better about my failure to produce a pinterest worthy pumpkin, I decided to roast the seeds.

I looked at a few different recipes online and mixed them all together, as is my usual habit. A bit of this one, a bit of that one. After cleaning the seeds as best I could, I boiled them for about ten minutes in salted water. I think this stops the inside part of the seed burning when you roast them. I laid them out overnight on kitchen towels to dry. Then I coated them all with a tablespoon of olive oil and some salt and pepper, and roasted them for about fifteen minutes at around 200°C.


A moment longer, and they would have burned, I think. Next time I'll try ten minutes or a cooler oven.


When they'd cooled a little I tipped them onto more kitchen towels to drain off some of the excess oil, then poured them into a waiting jam jar.


They are deliciously moreish. They taste like a cross between salted popcorn and peanuts. They are crunchy but have just a little give in the centre so they're not totally brittle. I didn't think salt and pepper would be enough seasoning - I was thinking garlic salt, celery salt or paprika - but it's just perfect. I kept dipping in and out of the jar all through the day.




42 comments:

  1. I intend to roast them every year, but never get round to it. I think the stress of all that carving with little people puts it out of my mind. They look very yummy though.

    Leanne xx

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  2. Mmm, I'm wishing I'd roasted mine now. We like to call them punkins too. And I know what you mean about knives and children. I let my ten-year-old have a little go at the carving, but I couldn't stand it for long and I ended up doing most of it myself.

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  3. Thanks for sharing this, I still have a small pumpkin left that we didn't carve, so you've helped me sort out tomorrow's snack! :-) Happy Halloween! Chrissie x

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  4. I'm glad everyone was happy with the outcome of the pumpkin in one way or another in the end.
    Happy snacking!
    Lisa x

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  5. I am going to try this, they look yum

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  6. I think your pumpkin looks good. We roast the seeds some years but we didn't this year. Yours look really nice. Do yourself a favor...go easy on them. Take my word for it. It's serious "roughage."

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  7. The Martha pumpkins are amazing aren't they, but I think that you have to have a lot of time and no children to do that sort of thing! I am sure that you had a great time anyway. Hope you enjoy the pumpkin seeds all the way to the end! xx

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  8. My husband loves to get Halloween pumpkins just for the toasted seeds. I end up doing all the scooping of the yuck inside and the carving. This year I declined even though I do love to see the jack-o-lantern all lit up.

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  9. We bought a carving kit (and templates!) from Waitrose a couple if years ago. Worth every penny. It has little carving tools - easier for small hands and less traumatic for Mums!
    Wish I'd realised the roasted seeds weren't tricky - they look yummy. X

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  10. I love roasting pumpkin seeds and try different flavours, I like them spicy the best. Traditional pumpkin faces are the best, they always make me smile.

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  11. My littlest says punkin too ... it's so cute ... your seeds look yummy ... I'd love to try making them ... Bee xx

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  12. Your carved pumpkin looks great! Having the right tools and template really makes it so much easier, though. And your pumpkin seeds look yummy! That's exactly the way I do mine - but not too long in the oven as they burn quickly.

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  13. Your pumpkin is great, don't worry! It is cute! I craved my first pumpkin yesterday, and was left with one finger cut, and other aching. Indeed, it is not an easy task.
    Have a happy weekend!

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  14. I think your pumpkin looks fantastic and you are streets ahead of me as the whole process looks daunting. mel x

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  15. Never roasted the seeds.... Will give it a go...

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  16. Your pumpkin looks fabulous and the seeds look and sound Delish!
    love jooles xxx

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  17. I think your pumpkin looks great, quite scarey with the candle burning. Seeds look yum too. x

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  18. Thank you so much for that information about toasting the seeds they look delicious. I was just wondering about making them with a semi sweet ( maybe honey) coating for Muesli.

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  19. Yum, didn't do a pumpkin this year but can still remember how carving made my hand ache! Xx

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  20. Great carving, I always has a plan that is far too ambitious. We didn't do one this year but yours looks great. Jo x

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  21. When I was growing up in South Africa we used to do this all the time, they are one of my most favourite (very high fibre!) snacks Gillian, thanks for reminding me. If I remember correctly my mum used to like using a little cayenne pepper to give them a chili kick! xox Penny

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  22. Ooh what a good idea 0 going to try that !
    Kate x

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  23. We ate our seeds with chilli on them last night. The boys grazed on them all day. I often wonder how people get such perfectly carved pumpkins!

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  24. oh well done, they look yum. maybe a dash of Tamari or shoyu would be good too! Heather x

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  25. Carving pumpkins for Halloween is not a huge tradition here but we eat roast pumpkin a lot (like every week) and I never thought to roast the seeds. What a great idea! x

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  26. Ooh, yum! I have a huge pumpkin that we were given that didn't get carved ... I feel a spot of soup making and seed roasting coming on :)

    Your Durham break looked lovely and relaxing, and I'm looking forward to seeing how your knitting develops :)

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  27. I think your pumpkin looks great...it looks just as a pumpkin should! The toasted seeds look very nice too.
    Marianne x

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  28. I'm now kicking myself for not roasting the seeds - they look so tasty. I too had visions of a beautiful pumpkin but got sick of all that hacking and scooping so went for something simple and amateurish. Let's call it 'naive' and 'rustic' ;)

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  29. Hello lovely Gillian. Can completely see your attraction to the Martha Stewart pumpkins, my they are fab. Might have to give that a go next year too. Love your pumpkin and kids always want what we don't. I have never done this with pumpkin seeds, so I am most definitely goig to do this the next time we empty a pumpkin and in fact I am sure there must be loads for sale at the moment, so food for thought. They most certainly look delicious, so thank you for sharing this with us. Hope you have a wonderful weekend xoxo

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  30. I might have to buy some pumpkin seeds just so I can roast them. Halloween passed us by this year though I did buy chocolate in case of trick or treaters and lit my pumpkin tealight holder. I love looking at all the creative carving everyone else manages though. x

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  31. Ooh yum!! Must try this - thank you!

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  32. Yum! They look delicious and I love your pumpkin, it is perfect.
    hugs,
    Meredith

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  33. At least you managed to carve a pumpkin some off us were very slack and forgot to buy a pumpkin in time ! Looked on Wednesday all sold out !

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  34. Hi I always roast the seeds from butternut squash when we have them, no need to boil first, I add chilli flakes to the oil, salt and pepper when roasting - everyone always loves them.

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  35. Your pumpkin looks great and those pumpkin seeds look tasty!

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  36. Lovely images, as always. I really enjoy your blog. Oh - and congrats on winning the giveaway at Sew Sweet Violet!
    Jo x

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  37. Wish I'd read this before our pumpkin's innards were chucked in the waste disposal!

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  38. We bought a cheap carving kit from Asda a couple of years back and it has served us well. I tend to leave the room when carving commences, my nerves can't stand the thought of A&E!

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  39. The seeds do look delicious! I got a very cheap and cheerful pumpkin carving set from the supermarket a few years back. They looked like they'd be rubbish but actually they are still going strong. No sharp edges, very child friendly and they work well too, make carving a lot easier!

    S x

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  41. it's really hard to carve a pumpkin isn't it?! I roasted the seeds too... one portion in curry powder, another in soy sauce and brown sugar and a third in paprika and maple syrup... very moreish! x

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