Thursday, November 3, 2011

Pumpkin Time

Tis that time of year again when all the ghouls and witches take to the roads for that awesome night called Halloween. My daughter opted to be Hermione from Harry Potter, thankfully something simple this year.

We've had a busy fall this year what with closing on our new property (yet it has finally happened- there will be more on that after this weekend when we can finally go see it !), and the fall decor somehow never got out. We couldn't however forego that timeless tradition of a jack o lantern. Our crop was non existent as the plants withered in the August heat so I had to purchase one and really felt bad as I purchased it from Walmart and not a local farm stand. At least the sticker on it said Texas grown so maybe in a small way I supported the Texas farmers?

We carved the pumpkin on Sunday. Katielyn wanted to make a dog face and chose a rather challenging stencil -a dachshund and then on the other side (yes we carved 2 sides of this pumpkin) she opted for a cartoon dog face! Eeks. We got to gutting the pumpkin and I had a thought -can pumpkin guts be used for anything? I usually pitch them in the compost bin. I googled and found a recipe for Pumpkin Gut Bread. Ooh this sounded interesting. So I saved the guts, seeds and the carved out pieces of ears and eyes to cook. Here's the jack o lantern (both sides), not great but not terrible either!

The dogs got the pumpkin from the carved out pieces on their dinner and we got the guts! The ducks will get the pumpkin seeds for their treats.

Here's the pumpkin gut recipe courtesy of Dinasaur Dishes at

Diana’s Famous Pumpkin Gut Bread
makes 2 loaves


2 cups of fresh pumpkin guts (the stringy part separated from the seeds)
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. nutmeg
3 cups sugar
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup water
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup chopped pecans


Preheat oven to 350 F. Use your fingers and a pair of scissors to separate the pumpkin guts, making sure they’ll be able to mix well into the batter.
Combine flour, soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar in large mixing bowl. Add eggs, water, oil and pumpkin. Stir until blended. Add nuts. Mix well. Pour into two 9×5″ loaf pans. Bake 1 hour. Cool slightly and take out of pans to let cool on a rack.

I made a couple of changes to the recipe as I went. First of all I didn't have quite 2 cups of guts so I opted to reduce the sugar content to 2 cups of sugar, and I also reduced the oil to about 1/2 cup. I used mixed whole wheat/white flour and left out the nuts (just because I didn't have any). The loaves turned out delicious. When I make them next year I will also reduce the nutmeg -I found it's flavor rather overpowering.

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