Monday, October 31, 2011

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Happy Halloween, everyone! The cousins love roasted pumpkin seeds, and what better day than Halloween to share some roasting techniques and stories. Today you'll find out how  Jill first began roasting pumpkin seeds, and a read a little story from Lisa and Diana about their pumpkin carving experience growing up.

One of my best friends is an amazing baker. I, on the other hand, have never claimed to be a good baker. As you know, I'm more of a "little of this; little of that" kind of gal. My best friend Jo, an Italian gal from Staten Island, came over one day to bake. "Where are your measuring cups?" she asked. My answer was something along the lines of "Um, I think I have one, and it's in the dog food bin." Needless to say she was mortified! The very next holiday guess what I got from Jo? Measuring cups! And Jo encouraged me to "start small." I thought, OK, pumpkin seeds aren't really baking, but if I could master roasting pumpkin seeds, I may be well on my way to bigger baking adventures like pumpkin bread and pumpkin pie! So check out my roasted pumpkin seeds, which I think I have mastered if I must say so myself!
Jill and her friend Jo eating something
finger-licking good! 

Carve one pumpkin like you would as if you were making a Jack O' Lantern. Scoop out the seeds with a big spoon, then rinse the seeds until they are clean. Place seeds on a baking sheet with olive oil, salt and one teaspoon sage. Roast at 375 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown. When you take them out of the oven, sprinkle with just a little more salt. I also top with parmesan cheese. Happy Halloween!

Lisa and Diana:
When we were small, one of the best parts about Halloween, besides scoring some major amounts of Mounds bars, was getting to carve the pumpkin and roasting the seeds. Our mother would cover the kitchen table with old newspapers and place the big pumpkin in the center for us and our brother to adore. We rolled up our sleeves while our mother cut a perfect circle around the top of Mr. Jack O' Lantern. 

As soon as she grabbed the stem and wiggled the top off just so, we got to dig in and get our hands full of the wet, mushy pumpkin pulp and seeds. We still love the smell of the inside of a freshly cut pumpkin. The three of us would pull as much out as fast as we could and then, at warp speed, pick out the seeds from the orange strings. And when all was said and done, whichever one of us had the most seeds in their pile was the winner. 

Lisa and Diana's mom Pat with her secret
roasted pumpkin seed ingredient, Nature's 
While was one of us was claiming victory over the other two, mom put all the seeds in a white plastic colander (which we think she still owns), rinse them to remove whatever pulp we left behind, and pat them dry. She then placed them in a single layer on a cookie sheet, sprinkled them with Morton Nature's Seasoning, and put them in the oven preheated to 350 degrees.

When they were just starting to brown, she would move them around with a spatula ever so gently, flipping them over like a pro. The three of us stood around the oven, watching in awe as the seeds we had just pulled from their mother ship were turning into a delicacy we couldn't wait to eat. When they were dried out and golden brown on all sides, they were done!  She'd empty them into a huge bowl and the three of us would sit around it on the living room floor enjoying the seeds of our labor. Mom would say, "Don't eat them all; you'll get a stomach ache." We didn't listen. We'd eat every last seed. And the next day, our stomachs paid for it. And of course we heard, "I told you so!"

1 comment:

  1. This is so funny! Love it! Thanks for the compliments and cayenne pepper is great on the seeds too if you want a little kick.