Storage of pumpkins: no need for the fridge: these 'hang out' on your counter, porch, or pantry for weeks/months until you're ready to cook them! They are GREAT for eating.
Simplest preparation: Cut off the caps, scrape out seeds, season, re-cap, and bake. or easiest of all: poke all around with a fork, bake, and let your family remove the seeds at table, then eat the sweet squash. These are truly a great eating squash: they won my blind taste test in 2005 against 5 other types of winter squash! -Julia
Best Baked Mini-Pumpkins adapted from Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini by Elizabeth Schneider
Cut off the caps, scrape out seeds, season, re-cap, and bake. That’s all it takes to give each diner a yummy little pumpkin, custom-flavored. Bake while you roast some meat or vegetables, or both! Or, for an all veggie meal, serve with braised greens and toasty baked grains. Make sure you cook dull skinned (not shiny coating like the supermarkets do just for decoration!). As the Cinderella coaches bake, natural oils surface and they turn as glossy and bright as painted and shellacked decorations.
For Each Serving:
1 mini pumpkin
pinch of ground coriander, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, or garam masala or big pinch of dried savory, sage, or thyme, crumbled to powder
1 teaspoon butter or nut oil
1 Tablespoon prune, apple, cranberry, or orange juice
1 teaspoon maple syrup or honey
1. Set oven to 350 degrees to 375 degrees, as suits whatever else is roasting. With sturdy sharp knife, cut a square (or 5-6 sided ) cap around pumpkin stem, poking into the heart of the squash to cut the fibers. Pry out the cap. With melon ball cutter or grapefruit spoon, scoop out and scrape interior to remove all seeds and fibers. Trim fibers from cap.
2. Sprinkle spice (or herbs), salt, and pepper inside and tap to distribute. Add butter, juice, and sweetening. Set cap back in opening, but do not press in fully (or it may slip inside). Place in baking dish.
3. Bake until creamy-soft inside, about 30 minutes for small squash, 45 minutes for larger ones. Test with knife tip - it should slide through easily. Let stand 15 to 60 minutes, as convenient.
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