I know it will come as absolutely no shock to anyone here that my in-laws gave me more food this weekend.
We are seriously so lucky. Our freezer is packed full and we have tons of dried goods in the cupboards. It is so nice to have family that is so willing to share their garden harvest with us, and to share their super market deals with us.
I never could have kept up with all of these things while I was working, so I count myself incredibly lucky to be home and be able to dedicate time to prepping food to freeze or dry and store. It truly saves us a fortune in groceries.
This week it was pumpkins and squash. I got two large pink pumpkins, two large spaghetti squash, and one small thing that might be a pumpkin or might be a squash but no one was really sure.
I also had my own pumpkin that I had grown in my garden.
Today I decided it was time to prep all the squash varieties living in my house and get them stored for winter.
That huge green pumpkin? It is supposed to be pink, but for some reason it never turned. No one is really sure why, or even if it is going to taste ok. But far be it for me to turn down anything green.. or free… or pumpkin flavored.
I absolutely forgot to take any pictures after this. I got so involved in the process and getting things done that before I knew it the last pumpkin was in the oven and I don’t have a single picture to prove what I did. #firstworldproblems
I chopped the tops off the spaghetti squash and then split them in half and cleaned out the seeds. I roasted them for about an hour in the oven at 350 degrees
I did the same thing with the small pumpkin that nobody is even sure if it is a pumpkin.
When they were done and cooled I scraped the flesh out of the spaghetti squash and froze it, and I pureed the small pumpkin and froze it.
The large orange pumpkin got sliced and skinned and de-seeded and chopped into small pieces which I coated with a lemon salt/pink Himalayan salt mixture and put into the dehydrator. It isn’t done yet, so I have no idea if it is going to taste good or not.
The two pink pumpkins got cut in half (I had to have Wonderful Husband do this for me, and he actually chipped our super nice, expensive ceramic knife, so be careful!), cleaned out, and roasted at 400 degrees for an hour each. Then they got pureed and frozen.
I saved a small amount of seeds from each vegetable and put them in baggies to be planted next spring. The rest of the seeds are drying and will get roasted tomorrow. Yummmm!
Now, this winter I can make a pumpkin soup, and pumpkin pies and really anything else pumpkin I need or want to make. And we can have spaghetti squash for dinner several nights! We will have a nice satisfying snack with the seeds, and If the dried pumpkin works out then we will have a healthy snack food, if not then I will know not to dry pumpkin ever again.
I am so excited that I was able to use these pumpkins and squash! It makes me feel so good to know that they didn’t go to waste and that we were able to save some money by being self sufficient. It is truly worth the time and effort (although, my fingers are really aching from cleaning so many seeds out of all those pumpkin guts) to know where your food is coming from and to use every possible part of a food.
These pumpkins would have been $4 a piece at the store, and spaghetti squash is a dollar a piece itself. That is a savings of about $20, just from the generosity of my family. And the ability to make snacks, meals, desserts, and more.
I will make sure I report back on the dried pumpkin and whether or not it is worth trying again!