Ditch the Canned Pumpkin

To City, 

I have mentioned in a past post that I had a garden full of veggies and hate wasting food. Wasting food on the farm meant “if you are not going to eat it, at least give it to the dogs”. Even after my grandma moved off the farm, she would still send dog food pails of all her scraps from the week, but this is off topic.

My point is I had some pumpkins which I did not want to sacrifice to carving for Halloween and I did not want to waste. Instead, I wanted to use them to win at Thanksgiving. Yes, I am that Martha Stewart wannabe (insert swear word here).

So instead of going to the grocery store to hunt down one of the last cans of pumpkin on a busy holiday weekend, I made a pumpkin puree using (believe it or not) real pumpkins.

(Confession: I may have too much time on my hands).

Are these not the most adorable pumpkins you have ever seen?

Here’s how:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Take two pumpkins that are around the size of your head and crack off the stems.


3. With a large knife, cut the pumpkins in half.

Do not cut yourself!

4. Use a spoon to scrape out all the seeds and stringy stuff inside the pumpkins.

If you really want to be like Martha, you could take those seeds, wash them off, and bake them in the oven.

5. Lay the pumpkins cut-side down on a baking sheet.

6. Bake the pumpkins in the oven for 45-60 minutes. (No oven pictures. It reveals too much about my cleaning habits).

7. They will be done once you can easily put a fork in the skin.

They will look like deflating balloons.

8. Let the pumpkins cool for a bit, then flip them over.

9. Using a spoon, scoop out all those mushy insides into a colander with a bowl under it. (There will be a lot of extra liquid).


10. Blend up the pumpkin mush, in order to make a smooth puree. (A smooth puree is extremely important because stringy pumpkin is gross).


11. Put the puree into a bowl lined with cheesecloth, but a hand towel will also work.


12. Leave the pumpkin to rest and release the extra water for one hour.


13. Squeeze out any extra liquid.

14. Substitute the fresh puree for the canned pumpkin that your favorite recipe calls for. Two pumpkins yielded around two cups of puree.

I used my fresh puree to make a pie for our Thanksgiving dinner at the farm, but you can use it to make pumpkin pancakes, which are amazing, by the way, or if you really must… a Pumpkin Spice Latte.

Pumpkin pie
I forgot to take a picture of my pie, but let’s pretend it looked like this one. Photo courtesy of Mackenzie Mollo.

Now get to it! You too can win at the next holiday dinner. Blow your friend’s and family’s minds when you tell them that you made your pie from scratch. They probably won’t believe you, but you can at least pretend that they started a slow clap in your honour anyways.

Love, Country