We didn’t get around to carving our pumpkins in time for Halloween this year.
To me, that’s terrible foreshadowing. If I can’t get ready for Halloween in time, then I might as well just forget about being ready for Christmas?
Even though our pumpkins weren’t ready for Halloween, I still wanted to harvest the seeds and roast them. I really, really love roasted pumpkin seeds. Maybe because I only have them once a year? Or maybe because of my secret recipe.
I posted my recipe for pumpkin seeds two years ago, and I mentioned that the secret to delicious pumpkin seeds is boiling them before you roast them; it really improves the texture.
Even though I still boil my pumpkin seeds, I was wrong. That’s not the real secret. The real secret is this: instead of just oil and salt, season them with the same stuff you use to make Chex Mix.
I learned this by accident. I had a bunch of roasted pumpkin seeds, and I’d just made a big batch of Chex Mix. And I thought, hmm…these two things could work together!
And they do, they really do. They work so well that you don’t even need the pretzels and Chex and all that other stuff. Turns out, pumpkin seeds, butter, salt, and Worcestershire sauce makes a decent statement on its own.
Next year, if you roast your pumpkin seeds, try this out. And if you don’t roast your pumpkin seeds, give them to me.
[The recipe I used is at the bottom of this post.]
My plan was to involve the kids as much as possible. From experience, I knew David wouldn’t want to get near the pumpkin goop, but I still wanted to him to participate.
I asked David to draw faces on the pumpkins and told him I would carve the faces.
These are the faces he expected me to carve. I had my work cut out for me. And when I say “my work” what I mean is, I immediately started working to figure out how to get him to forget that I ever mentioned carving these faces.
I cut the top of the pumpkins, and when David saw the pulp and seeds, as expected, he started squealing and dry-heaving in the corner. EW! YUCK! He said each time I lifted the top off one of the pumpkins.
But, somehow, he rallied and helped me fish out a few seeds. He actually did a decent job.
He DID forget about carving faces. I told him it was time for lunch. Let’s go inside! Then I threw the pumpkins in our compost pile. Maybe next year, David. When you can draw a decent triangle.
Mary Virginia was there, too; she spent most of her time on my lap. As if it wasn’t already hard enough to cut through a gourd, wielding a sharp knive with a squirmy toddler with separation anxiety on my lap makes the whole thing positively irresponsible.
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
– Separate pumpkin seeds from pumpkin guts and rinse under cold water
– Bring a large pot of water (and a few Tbsp salt) to boil. Add seeds and boil for at least 15 minutes
– Strain seeds and shake dry
– Preheat oven to 250
– Meanwhile, combine the ingredients for Chex Mix seasoning (I never really stick to these measurements exactly, I just sprinkled the seasonings to taste):
- 6 T butter
- 2 T Worcestershire sauce
- 1 1/2 t seasoned salt
- 3/4 t garlic powder
- 1/2 t onion powder
– Arrange seeds on a baking pan and toss with Chex Mix seasoning to coat evenly
– Bake for about an hour, tossing every 15 minutes
– In the last 10 minutes, increase oven temperature to 400 until seeds are golden brown
Store in an airtight container.