So you’ve been eating local all summer… salads, sweet corn, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant… These are easy. Now that autumn is here, the real challenge begins – cooking pumpkins & squash. Most daunting are the monster pumpkins & squash, like the blue hubbards and the orange cinderellas. If you take on the pumpkin challenge this season you will be rewarded with delicious, local pumpkin all winter.

Step #1: Choose a beauty. Pie pumpkins are typically small, just 2 – 3 pounds. Squash can be much larger and still be tasty. Pictured is the Cinderella pumpkin. This one weighed 12#. Get the most out of it by using it for decoration for a few weeks!

Step #2: Get out a large cutting board and rinse the pumpkin.

Step #3: Cut off the top.

Step #4: Remove the seeds & guts. Roast the seeds if you like.

Step #5: Bake – you may need to use the lowest rack. Pumpkins are quite watery when they bake, so put it on a large sheet with a rim.

Step #6: The pumpkin is done when you are able to pierce the pumpkin easily with a knife. Remove it from the oven and allow it to cool until you can easily handle it. Scoop the pumpkin into the food processor.

Step #7: Use puree immediately or bag and freeze. Be sure to label and date!

Now, you are ready to make pumpkin soup, pie, bread… anything you like!

How to Bake a Pumpkin