Sunday, October 17, 2010

There's no frost on this pumpkin

A friend and neighbor of ours brought us une citrouille (a pumpkin) last week. She said that the plant just came up in her garden. A volunteer from last year or the year before. She said that there were so many pumpkins that she didn't know what to do with them. I know how that is. So she brought one to us, and we're glad she did.

A French pumpkin. Not the Jack O'lantern variety we're used to in the US. But very good to eat.

It just so happens that we didn't plant pumpkins this year. So the surplus from G's garden was quite welcome. I cut it open yesterday and roasted half of it. I'm making pumpkin ravioli as the appetizer for Sunday lunch. I don't know if I'll get it together to take photos of that, since we're having company and I tend to get a little busy. But if I do, you'll see them here.

I roasted half. Here it is before roasting with the seeds scooped out. I'll roast the other half soon.

The other benefit of getting a nice pumpkin is that we have the seeds. I'll keep a dozen or so of them to plant in the garden next year. Don't worry, I'll thin them down to one or two plants so that we're not overrun with pumpkins. The rest of the seeds we will roast in the oven and eat. Pumpkin seeds are great snacks and we will certainly enjoy them. If the pumpkins come up well next year, we'll have a bumper crop.

Pumpkin seeds ready to be roasted and eaten or dried and stored for planting next year.


  1. Enjoy your appetizer and guests today.
    When I visited Fred in the early 90's in Charleville-Mezeirs, he and his friends prepared a Thanksgiving Dinner for me since I wouldn't be home for that Holiday. He asked me how to make a pumpkin pie. I said, I don't know, it comes in a can. Long story short, it was the worst ThanksGiving Dinner that I have ever had but the best ThanksGiving at the same time.
    Your Friend, m.

  2. Don't know if I've ever eaten pumpkin seeds.

  3. The question I always have about
    roasting the seeds is do you eat
    the husk? Does it crack open
    during the roasting? When purchased
    one gets just the kernel, and they
    are delicious as well as nutritious.

  4. I serve my pumpkin ravioli with a little thyme and butter sauce. It will be on the menu this year for Thanksgiving at my house; dinner for 14. I like it because it feeds a crowd and it is delicious.

    What a nice neighbor you have. That pumpkin is a very beautiful shade of orange.

  5. What a beautiful color orange. I would have placed it outside for decoration; then again I don't cook. I'm sure the pumpkin raviolis will be wonderful.

  6. I recognize this pumpkin. It's the French heirloom Rouge Vif d'Etampes, which I have grown in my garden in Northern Minnesota a few times with varying degrees of success. It's really delicious, as I'm sure you've discovered, and so very beautiful. Thanks for the pictures! Would you be interested in sharing some of the seeds? or trading for some seeds I have saved?

  7. What a beautiful deep orange color. Like the t-shirt I'm wearing today! And those seeds...yummy baked in the oven with spices.

  8. Very pretty pumpkin....we are in the throes of Halloween decoration over here! And pumpkin collecting too. There is a new variety that I saw recently called "fairytale pumpkin" is white and shaped like Cinderella's carriage....really pretty. Enjoy your ravioli. H/R say hi to Callie!!!!

  9. It is a beautiful looking pumpkin. And beautiful photos of same.
    Sheila, pumpkin seed husks rarely open during roasting. You can eat them or not eat them according to your preference. You get more of the wonderful nutty taste if you remove the shells before eating, but it is just fine to eat the husk if you are too impatient to shell them while eating. Plus, you get all the saltiness from the salt you cover them with before roasting.

  10. MMMM...pumpkin seeds. Roasted hot with lots of salt. Haven't done that since i was a kid! What a beautiful pumpkin. The photo makes it look like it weighs about 200 pounds!

  11. I love pumpkin seeds!
    I gather up all the seeds from our carvings and roast'em. This becoming one of my favorite elements of Halloween - pumpkin seeds !

  12. mark, I've been to a few Thanksgivings in France. Some good, some not so good. :)

    starman, they're good. I think you can buy them ready to eat.

    sheila, I've always eaten the husks.

    suzanne, it's hard for me to imagine making raviolis for 14! You must have a lot of patience!

    rick, it is pretty, but it's tasty, too!

    deborah, wow, I just figured for an every day run-of-the-mill pumpkin. I had no idea it had such a fancy name! :)

    alewis, great color for a tee-shirt!

    lynn, Callie says hi back to H&R!

    cheryl, like I said earlier, I've always eaten the husks. But I have had them without (probably bought from the store).

    mike, nah, it didn't weigh that much! Still, I have no idea how much it weighed...

    michael, sounds like yummy fun!

  13. Walt, the unhusked seed comes from 'naked' seed varieties like "Lady Godiva"... flesh not very tasty but loads of unhusked seed... flesh works quite well for soup if you sling in a can of chopped toms, plenty of pepper, some nutmeg or mace and ooodles of cream.
    Pumpkins and squash rarely come true from seed... but it is fun trying. We now have three large "Crown Prince"ish pumpkins on the shelf... I use 'ish because Crown Prince is an F1 variety... and these were grown from seed from a new [last year] variety onto the market, Squashkin [also an F1 - a cross between Crown Prince and a butternut variety.] The other pumpkins in the bed were Crown Prince itself, butternut Harrier and Potimarron [Onion squash]... who was the other parent... any of those three [or any pumpkin on a nearby plot at the allotment!]
    Will we be planting seed from one of these... despite what I said about not breeding true... you bet we will... we've got the space here in France [something we didn't at the allotment] and we've had some marvellous flavours from our "experimentals"... so keep a few more than half a dozen... and only plant a couple... that way, if you like the resulting pumpkin, you can grow it for a few years at least. [The seed keeps for a good few years... two years ago we planted the last of some seed we saved from half a pumpkin bought on a market stall in Mallorca in '96!]

  14. tim, thanks! A lot of good info there. I got so enthusiastic about toasting pumpkin seeds that I forgot to save some out! Oh well. I wanted to try potimarron next year anyway...


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