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« Basic Knife Skills Mom Never Taught You | Main | Halloween Candy…Yum!! »

The Giving Pumpkin

By Marilyn Hunter

Once there was a pumpkin…a bright orange pumpkin with dimples, scratches and shine. She loved the two curious little boys who had plucked her from the pumpkin patch. Everyday the boys would come and play with her; pick her up by the stem and gently place her back on the hearth.

They would draw silly faces on her, pretend she was guarding a fortress filled with smaller gourds, and move her to a shady spot when the sun shined bright in the room. And one day, near Halloween’s eve, they helped carve her into a spooky Jack O’ Lantern.

Pumpkin carving just wouldn’t be complete without roasting the seeds. The boys look forward to seasoning, roasting and munching on the crispy seeds hot out of the oven.  Long about now dusk comes and the candle in their Jack O’ Lantern burns bright through her carved face. And we read “The Giving Tree” by the Jack O’ Lantern’s flickering light.

How could one pumpkin give so much joy?

Simple Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

1 ½ cups raw, fresh pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Rinse pumpkin seeds in a colander under cold water to separate the seeds from the pulp. Dry on paper towels. Toss seeds with melted butter. Sprinkle with salt. Spread seeds out evenly onto a baking pan and bake, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

If you’re feeling adventurous, try more robust flavor combinations:

  • Olive Oil-Rosemary: 1 tablespoon olive oil + 1 sprig fresh rosemary, broken into pieces
  • Cinnamon-Sugar: omit salt, 1 tablespoon brown sugar + 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Garlic-Parmesan: 1 teaspoon garlic powder + 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
  • Chili-Garlic: 1 teaspoon chili powder (like ancho or chipotle) + 1 teaspoon garlic powder + a pinch of crushed red pepper

Halloween is special in so many ways for Benny and Nicky, but their pumpkin friend is most special, because the boys adore her when she is young and plump, and mourn her when she’s old and soggy. She is a brief lesson in the cycle of life.  Happy Halloween!

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  • Response
    Hello, I honestly like reading your posts, thank you!

Reader Comments (6)

Made more pumpkin/cranberry bread this week. Did 1/2 bread and 1/2 muffins - both turned out really well.

Can't wait to try the pumpkin seeds. I haven't ever used butter, but will give that a try this year.

Have a GREAT day.

October 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSusie Mayes

So very sweet.

Hugs to all.


October 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJen Darland

What an absolutely beautiful story and experiences for Benny and Nicky. Wish I could be there to share a few of the roasted pumpkin seeds and enjoy the glow of the Jack O'Lanterns. They are wonderful. Great Job.

October 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPatsy McAdam

Wish you could too. Thanks!

October 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMarilyn Hunter

Thanks Jen. Happy Halloween!

October 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMarilyn Hunter

Love the muffin idea! Let me know how you like the seeds.

October 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMarilyn Hunter

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