Our long growing season in Las Vegas means I had a ripe pumpkin in late July. When the rind was hard (it didn’t indent when I pressed my nail into it), I cut it leaving a 3-4 inch stem. I placed the pumpkin on my dining table, until I had time to find a darker place for it. Days passed, as they do when you procrastinate.
Pumpkin (prior to greening) and more harvested on July 31st
And then I noticed it. Dark green splotches on my bright orange pumpkin. Was it not ripe when I cut it from the vine? Was it rotting from the inside? Was it diseased? Did I get a photo?
No. But from what I can ascertain, a fully ripe pumpkin turning green is just something that happens sometimes; a reverse of its photosynthesis, although I couldn’t quite find out why. (Although I do have theories: a reversion to a childhood state indicates a need for psychotherapy.) Most likely it happened from being cut from the vine but still exposed to small amounts of sunlight on my dining room table.
Just to be certain it wasn’t going to go bad (it was the only pumpkin we got from our vines and I didn’t want to risk losing it), I decided to forego the common sense technique of storing the dang thing in the dark to see if it changed back and processed it for freezing instead. That I got a picture of!
I cut the pumpkin into giant chunks, removed the seeds and stringy parts, and boiled the pieces until they were soft. Then I removed the rinds, blended the pulp until it was smooth and froze them in the amounts needed for my Spiced Pumpkin Bread. Next time, I’ll remember to hide the pumpkin in the dark in the first place and save myself a lot of unnecessary work!
One pumpkin yielded 5 cups of puree
Tara’s Spiced Pumpkin Bread
This is my own recipe, can you believe it? Cooking may not be my strong point but I do love to bake. And I could live off this bread. It’s so goooood!
- 3 cups of organic sugar (I’ve used 2 cups when I was running low and couldn’t tell the difference)
- 1 cup olive oil
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups of pumpkin puree
- 3 cups of flour (I’ve used whole wheat, white wheat and all-purpose)
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup of raisins
1. Preheat over to 350 degrees
2. Butter/oil/grease and flour two bread pans
3. In a large bowl, beat sugar and oil.
4. Mix in the eggs and pumpkin puree. Sift in flour, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, salt and baking powder and mix well. Stir in raisins.
6. Pour into pans, filling them about 2/3’s full. Bake for 45-60 minutes (I have no idea why it varies so much but it does. Every time.)
I like to devour the slices warm with melted butter. Mmmmm…
Who else is happy baking season is upon us?
Tara blogs more about her garden, family
and occasional kitchen successes at TheOrganicSister.