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Friday, November 27, 2015

Wait! Don't throw out those Mini, Decorative Pumpkins!

I love to use pumpkins and gourds to decorate for fall both inside and out.  This year, I found myself with a number of those cute, mini pumpkins both in orange and white.  I've had them set here and there around the house since September and although I didn't do anything special to treat or preserve them, I have only had a couple of them begin to decay.  Knowing I would start tearing down all my fall decorations today, Yesterday a took a few of the white mini pumpkins and cooked them.  I hated to throw them all away.

I washed them thoroughly (pumpkins are typically heavily sprayed) and popped the stems off.  I then cut the in half, scooped out the seeds, and placed them in my slow cooker.  I didn't add any water, the pumpkins made their own moisture with the lid on them.  I was around to watch them, so I cooked them on high.  It took a couple of hours.  Once the pumpkins were cooked (tender enough that a fork went easily through the skin), then I let them cool and scooped out the pumpkin and tossed the shell in the "slop bucket".

While the pumpkin flavor wasn't the best I have ever had (that honor is reserved for the Pennsylvania Crooked Neck Squash in my personal opinion), it was good and I made a delicious pumpkin bread with my harvest.  So, don't toss out those cute decorative pumpkins!  Store them in a cool, dark place and use your slow cooker to harvest small amounts of pumpkin for pies, cakes and bread throughout the winter.