| Pumpkin Bake

8 11 2012

Ryan’s delicious offering

Ryan:

So I was charged with locating and cooking some eating pumpkins for our group’s midterm project. Finding the pumpkins was easy because I live so close to Town and Country foods that all I had to do was walk over and pick them up. I got to the store and carefully examined each pumpkin for similarities in size, shape, and color. I also thumped each one in order to get a consistent ripeness. I also made sure their colors were near the same. I heard that the smaller the pumpkin the better so I chose small ones for flavor.

The only difficulties in getting these pumpkins back to the house were my lack of funding and transportation. I hurt my back while falling through a roof and carrying a 100lb roll so I cannot work and do not get very much money, so my funding has been extremely meager. Also I ride a motorcycle wherever I go so carrying the eight pumpkins that I purchased was going to be hard. I decided to walk with the pumpkins. That in itself was a feat and time-consuming because I injured my low back at work and then I accidentally bought WAY more than I needed (18 lbs). Needless to say, I looked quite humorous if you saw me stopping and going. A bag ripped and I had to underarm carry some of them. 18 lbs of small pumpkins is quite clumsy and awkward to walk with.

Once I got the pumpkins to the house, I started to wash them. I have no idea why other than I always wash vegetables first before anything. I acquired the product on Thursday and didn’t need to cook until Saturday. I woke up Saturday morning and started to chop the tops off of the pumpkins so that I could quarter them up for easy cooking.

Once the tops were off of half of them, I started to scoop out the insides of them and stuck it all in a large bowl for later. Got them all cleaned out and arranged them on some baking sheets. Pre-heated the oven to 350 before I put them in and added some water to the pans so there would be some hydration. While the first batches of slices were cooking, I went ahead and cleaned the seeds from the strings. That was in itself quite tedious. That took the most time of all because of the attention to detail involved in the separation of the seeds. I mean the strings are slimy and the seeds will shoot out from in-between your fingers to some unknown spot across the room to rot if I cannot find it. If you’ve cleaned seeds before, you know what I mean. My kids got a good laugh at their dad trying to clean seeds and getting frustrated at the flying seeds. I also decided to go ahead and slice the other pumpkins in halves in order to have some serving bowls. Cleaning the bowls to perfection while not splitting the already cooked skins was quite a chore as well if you’re not prepared. I had to take my time and do it right or risk losing halves. I ruined one half and ended up with three. That was actually perfect because of the yield.

The house smelled so good while they were cooking. Once the cooking was complete and I had scooped out all the cooked pumpkin, I got out the mixing bowl. That was not a good tool to use for the job because the mash climbs up the mixers and starts to fling off everywhere. I made a huge mess in a hurry. I got in trouble.

Even if I hadn’t got into trouble, the mixer wouldn’t have done the job. I was forced to get out the old school food processor that my great aunt gave when she passed. Took two separate batches to get the mix properly chopped to a mush.

Then I added the Agave. I was not into using the agave because I know of what it is. It is not my place to tell people what to eat so I stuck in the agave. My reasoning is this: agave is processed by the liver unlike honey. That means that agave will not raise your blood sugar, but it will metabolize into fat cells instead. So it is a choice of do you want fat cells or your blood sugar spiked.

Also, agave is not natural, organic, or raw. It is as processed as white sugar. It has not been used by Mexicans for 100’s of years. In fact, people have used the agave plant for sweetener but it was made way different and was more similar to homemade maple syrup than agave nectar. Honey is processed by honey bees in the way the creator intended. Furthermore, I know where these bees live and where the honey comes from. Either way, sugar is sugar. Scooped the mix into the halves and started to salt the seeds.

Some of the seeds that got salted with Mortons; I wanted sea salt but I am poor.

The day of the feast, all I had to do was warm up the product and get ready to eat. My wife was at work the day of the event so I brought my younger brother David, my step daughter Eliscia, and my son Talon. I got to try almost everything on the tables and left full and happy. I thought this community gathering was great because I am a little anxious around others and this is a way to help me get through the difficulties.

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