Sunday, November 1, 2009

Mini pumpkins

Miniature pumpkins are as edible as the larger ones. Trouble is, there just isn't much flesh on them, so I suppose most people would rather not bother. In any case, they do make darling decorations.

But I was curious how people do eat them, and I found a tasty idea on the Moscow (Idaho) Food Co-op Web site: make mini pumpkin pies.

All you do is clean out the pumpkin (expect to go slowly and carefully when cutting the top off) and insert into the hollow a tablespoon of brown sugar, a dab of butter, and a generous sprinkle of cinnamon. Put the tops back on and place them in a pan with a bit of water in the bottom, and cook in a 350-degree oven for about half an hour. (My timer stopped at some point and I made a wild guess as to when 30 minutes was up. To be sure, I pricked the inside with a fork to test for tenderness.)

As you can see from the photo, they look sweet on a plate.

As for taste, well, you really do have to put your imagination into high gear to believe they are "pies" -- the flesh is stringy and chewy. But they are pretty good. If you have picky eaters, I suggest scooping out the innards and mashing them in a bowl, then adding milk or cream. In fact, the Web site suggests putting a scoop of ice cream right into the pumpkin.

There are other ideas on the co-op Web site, so be sure to look at it if you have lots of little pumpkins. Don't let food go to waste!

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