My mom gave me step by step instruction to follow for processing the pumpkin. It's simple, but it takes all day, so if you plan to do it too, start out in the morning. This is what you do:
First, you prick the pumpkin all over with a fork. This was enacted with great vigor by all.
Then you bake it on a rimmed cookie-sheet or jelly-roll pan for about 3 or 4 hours until it's soft, deep golden orange, and possibly collapsing on itself (sorry, no pictures).
Then, you cut the pumpkin in half, scoop out and set aside all of the seeds, and put the baked flesh in the food processor (or in small batches, the blender), and process until it's a smooth puree.
Now take the puree, put it in a pot with a lid askew, turn your burner to the lowest heat, and slowly cook off the extra water for about 3 more hours.
Take all of the pumpkin seeds, rinse them as well as you can to get off all of the gunk, and spread them out on a baking sheet (they'll still be slimy feeling, but that's OK). Bake for about 30 minutes, or until dry feeling.
The next step is optional, but it was recommended by Aunt Terry, and it makes a good thing even better. Put the now dried seeds into a saute pan with a little olive oil and sea salt, and toast for a few minutes until they're as golden as you want them.
All three children and I agree that this is a great snack!
I measured out the pumpkin puree into batches of 2 cups each, and they're now in the freezer in quart-sized Ziploc bags.
Next on the menu -- pumpkin curry!
And, because I've been sadly delinquent on belly picture until now, here is the first official one, taken earlier today:
31 weeks, my dears.
I've just ordered a maternity support belt. My midwife agrees: my stomach muscles have had enough of this.
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