The Pumpkin Plan

 Buying a pumpkin only to throw it away after it has served as a Halloween decoration is simply not going to happen in my house. I loathe food waste. It is just plain wrong to throw away good food when there are people starving. Though it has to be said, the quinces are severely testing my scruples.

I am glad to say I have dealt with my Halloween pumpkins.

Roast Pumpkin Seeds
 To roast the seeds from a pumpkin or squash simply wash them well and rub dry in a tea towel. Put them in a bowl with about a tablespoon of oil and some seasonings and mix well. Spread out on a baking tray. I have a reusable non-stick liner on my tray which makes life easier. Roast them at 160°c (140°c fan oven) for about 40 mins. Give them a stir around a couple of times while they are cooking.

I used chilli oil, smoked paprika and salt.

This morning I peeled my pumpkins. I cut some of it into chunks and put them into a saucepan with a little water. I simmered it until really soft. Then I puréed it.

I used half of this to make Pumpkin Muffins. I used my basic muffin recipe decreasing the milk to 3 fl oz and adding 8 fl oz of pumpkin purée to the wet ingredients. I also added a good teaspoon each of cinnamon and mixed spice. The pumpkin makes the muffins wonderfully moist. They freeze well.

I froze the rest of my purée for future muffins.

Pumpkin Pasties
I'm listening to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire at the moment while I cook (for about the fiftieth time) so my thoughts naturally turned to pumpkin pasties. 
To make these I made a simple stew of pumpkin, beans and sweetcorn plus some spices. For this I employed two of my favourite freezer tricks : frozen vegetable hash and frozen cooked beans.

This is my vegetable hash.
It is celery, leek, carrot, garlic and lots and lots of onion. Sometimes red peppers go in too. I make this in huge quantities using the food processor to chop it all finely. I then freeze it in double-handful sized portions. When I need it for a soup, stew, curry or meat sauce -anything for which you'd fry an onion first- I defrost it for a couple of minutes in the microwave, drain it a little and add it to the hot oil or butter in my pan. This saves a great deal of time and enables me to get more veg into a meal.

Here are the frozen beans in the pumpkin pasty filling. These are borlotti beans. I always buy dried beans. I soak and cook a whole packet at a time. When they are cool I spread them on a baking tray and freeze. When they are hard I bag them up and put back in the freezer. Home cooked free-flow beans. I add them to things without defrosting first.

I added a sprinkle of cheese to the pumpkin filling.

These will go in lunchboxes this week (if they fit).

Pumpkin, Chickpea and Coconut Curry

This is for dinner tonight. Pumpkin, frozen chickpeas, coconut milk, veg hash, the remains of a jar of tikka paste and some frozen peas. We will have it with rice.

After all that I still had some pumpkin left. Into the freezer it goes. I will use it for soup.
This is also good recipe to use up pumpkin or squash.
Also be sure to visit the marvellous Wartime Housewife's  A Pumpkin is for Life Not Just Halloween for how to make a three course dinner out of a Halloween pumpkin :o) I wish I'd thought of that title. WH is a woman after my own heart-read what she says about trick or treating :o).



  1. As a good Cornish girl I am not sure that I can really approve of Pumpkin pasties. Sounds a bit 'up-country' to me.

  2. Anonymous7:50 pm GMT

    Hi Sue,
    What a brilliant idea the Veg Hash is, i`m going to do that. I have arthritis in my thumb joints and find chopping quite painful sometimes.This is a brilliant idea just brilliant!. I tried your carrot and coconut soup & it was yummy and so tasty. You should write a cookery book.
    Love Carole from Rossendale xx

  3. I feel really inspired after reading your recipes there will be so many pumpkins going in the bin. It is such a waste. My man and boy are not very keen on pumpkin it needs to be well disguised however they love pumpkin and ginger cake so maybe I will make some of your muffins.

  4. I always end up feeling so hungry when I pop over for a visit.

    Great pumpkin ideas there.

    Nina xxx

  5. Great post, you've been really busy today. The veg hash is a great idea, may have to steal that one. Just read your post from yesterday, couldn't agree more I hate Trick or Treat too. I really like the witch decoration, where did you get the pattern, or is it one of your own?

  6. Wow!!!! I'm so impressed!!!! Lovely food thanks for sharing.

  7. It's no good, Sue, I'm pumpkin-ed out after last weekend!

  8. Wonderful recipes. Lovely how nothing goes to waste!!! Love you blog.

  9. Wow, you certainly have been busy...it really makes my mouth water when I see your delicious food! I think some pumpkin muffins will soon be appearing in my house xox

  10. pati from London10:26 am GMT

    I love your blog, Sue. Where do you find the time to cook sooooo much stuff? It all looks delish, especially your chickpea and pumpking curry. It's all very inspirational, I visit your blog every day now (even though I should be studying... ;) Thanks for sharing and yes, I agree with Carole, you should be writing a cookery book. Have a lovely day, x Pati from London

  11. what gorgeous looking food, will definately be trying the curry and pasties, agree with the cookbook idea too x

  12. OMG I love you!!! Honestly that is all stuff I'd love to do right now if only I had a little time!!!!!!!! The seeds, roasted, aren't they gorgeous? And the muffins, ooh I'd love to try some of those, I'm sure they taste great. And the pasties, well what can I say? (they remind me of Hugh Fearnley-Whitingstall's if you saw his program last thursday?) - and the curry finally, well, I LIVE for curry, so there!

  13. Yes, the pasties were inspired by Hugh F-W! I've just had one for lunch and tbh they were a bit dull -more cheese or more spices next time. The muffins are great though, really moist and spicy.

  14. This post is just making my mouth water, Sue. I would love to come to your house and taste all your yummy foods. You are quite inspiring!

  15. Great recipe ideas! Have you tried pumpkin scones yet?? (I think I've mentioned them before.) They are a very much a Queensland culinary tradition - and very, very yummy. :-)

    Try this famous one:

  16. I would have been more thn happy for my 3 carved pumpkins to be eaten - but by monday moring they were liquifying and covered in grey hair!!

  17. Looks gorgeous! I am just hoping that the shops still have pumpkins left!


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