Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!

Pumpkin day is here, and I carved two of them for work. I work for a cable TV network and we needed to get as many pumpkins on set as possible, so we were each instructed to carve at least one. I guess I hadn't carved a pumpkin in almost three years, so I was a bit rusty at first but then figured out a great trick (or treat). I had some star shaped cookie cutters and a set of mini Japanese vegetable cutters which I just hammered into the pumpkins and then popped out shapes from. It worked great, and it took all of five minutes. Trust me- it's waaay easier than trying to cut nice shapes into a pumpkin with a knife while trying not to slice off your fingers. Not to mention the hand cramps you get. I know, I know.....some things are just more fun when you're a kid.

I must admit, It was nice to roll up my sleeves and empty out the pumpkins- the raw smell of the pumpkin flesh and the slickness of the seeds brought back memories. After scraping out the stringy stuff and washing all of the seeds, I decided to roast them for my coworkers.

Slimy insides, here I come!

Raw seeds ready for the oven

Being a fan of the sweet/salty/spicy flavor experience, I simply mixed together one egg white, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 3/4 tsp cayenne pepper and 3/4 tsp sea salt and tossed it with the blanched seeds (boiling the seeds for about 15 minutes takes a lot of the woody texture out). Thirteen minutes in a 400 degree oven later, they were browned and crunchy. While still hot, I tossed them again with an additional 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 tsp cayenne and 1/2 tsp salt to coat.

Roasted seeds, ready for your mouth.

The seeds were quite a hit at the office and I'll definitely be making them next year. I'll also be taking my pumpkins home tonight so they can watch all of the trick-or-treaters who come knockin'. I get a ton since I live across the street from one of those people who revel in the holidays by going insane with decorations and lights. There are no less than five gigantic blow-up Bart Simpsons dressed in various costumes on the roof, as well as over fifty jack 'o lanterns sitting along the top of the entire front-yard fence, all lit up like Christmas. I swear they must have three generators stashed in one of the bedrooms to run all of that electricity!

Close up of sweet/salty/spicy

On a Halloween-related side note, I must say it's such a shame that handing out homemade treats is so taboo these days. I remember the era of razor blades in apples when I was a kid and ever since then, cookies, caramel apples and the like are just tossed away by worried parents. I certainly don't blame them- after all, they're just watching out for their kids' safety. I'd love to give out some pumpkin shaped sugar cookies or homemade fudge but know it would probably go to waste. It's sad, isn't it?

Hope you have a Happy Halloween everyone!!!



Sera said...

I love your Jack 'O Lanterns! :)

Happy Halloween to you too!

Chubbypanda said...

Those pumpkins are really cute!

So, you need to boil the seeds first, eh? There's where I've been screwing up.

- Chubbypanda

carlyn said...

Yes, true, it is sad that we must resort to only store bought "goodies" for the trick or treaters!!! What a world...
On a lighter note...your pumpkin carving creativity is genius!!! I never thought of the cookie cutter route..Is it difficult to get the cutters through the tough skin of the pumpkin? I'll have to try it next year.