Pumpkin Pandemonium

Nothing says “autumn” more than a plethora of pumpkins scattered around your home in early weeks of fall.  Everywhere you look from the grocery store to a local farm stand there are so many varieties to choose from!  If you are like me, you probably pick several up when you spot the perfect ones that fit your themes or decor.

At the end of the season you’re left with all these pumpkins sitting that just don’t match the Christmas stockings!

Have you ever wondered what to do with all your pumpkins as you start removing your fall decor and beginning to prepare for Christmas?  As our own decor began coming down on November 1st (yes, I know it’s early), I felt bad and a wee bit wasteful just throwing away so many colorful pumpkins!

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Just a handful of our pumpkin decor

Then it began to cross my mind that I know there is more than one kind of pumpkin to cook with; maybe some of mine were in that category!  After a little research using my gardening books, sure enough there were a list of pumpkins to grow for cooking, and ways to use them!

With a little downtime in my schedule this week, it was a perfect opportunity for knocking out this task.

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Do you have any of these?

Many are old European and Australian varieties with a newer resurgence here in the States.  When I was a kid we had jack-o-lantern pumpkins and maybe white ones, but I really love all the colors found in the pumpkin variety of the squash family!

Pumpkins-Varieties | ohfiddledeedee.com

**Blue pumpkins tend to have deep, rounded ridges running from top to bottom. The skin ranges in color from dusky blue-gray to blue-green with a striking deep, orange flesh. Many varieties of blue pumpkin are known for they’re exceptionally sweet flesh which when cooked has a smooth, favorable texture.  Blue pumpkins have several names; the one I recognized most was Jarrahdale, and while you can find these at your local farmer’s market or grocery store, they are really popular in Australia!

Who knew?!

Blue pumpkins go well in pies, scones, and cakes, but these also are great for roasting, as a ravioli filling, or in stews.

{So now I’m hungry}

**Fairytale pumpkins (Also known as the Musque de Provence) are a French heirloom pumpkin that looks just like the illustrations in the old fairytales of past.

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{I don’t think parents read these to kids anymore…}

These pumpkins are very sweet and can be used in variety of ways, including fresh when cut from the middle as you would a wedge of cheese and then slicing very thinly. Roasting or grilling only enhances the sweet flavoring and would be wonderful with cinnamon and butter!

**The Cinderella pumpkin is also a French heirloom pumpkin.  When I look at this pumpkin I immediately think of the Disney version of Cinderella and imagine the Fairy Godmother swishing her wand with a “Bibbity Bobbity Boo” creating an elegant carriage to whisk Cinderella off to the ball!

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{I’m still enthralled by my recent visit to Disney World}

The Cinderella pumpkin is known for its sweet flavor and creamy texture making it ideal for use in pies, breads, cookies and cakes. Slice length wise and roast or grill to enhance its sweet flavor. Puree cooked Cinderella pumpkin and use to make pumpkin ice cream. It is also ideal cooked down when making pumpkin butter.

**Galeux D’ Eysines pumpkins (I couldn’t find a nickname for these) are a pinkish-orange color with little “warts”.  A little scary at first glance (Audley is afraid he’ll get warts from them… MEN… sigh!), this French heirloom pumpkin is quite unique indeed.  The “warts” are caused by sugars in the flesh  seeping through the skin; as the sugar content grows, the more nodes appear on the outside of the squash. The more “warts” on your pumpkin, the sweeter the squash.

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This sweet pumpkin is used in soups and for baking.  As you know, pumpkins are in the squash family, so think roasted or even grilled!  This pumpkin purees well making it ideal for pumpkin butter or a pumpkin cheesecake.

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**Boo, Ghost, Moonshine or lumina pumpkins are white and range from small to quite large; squatty to rounded and are so common in neutral autumn decorating.  These pumpkins don’t last as long as other varieties, so often they will begin to lose their coloring or go bad early in the season.

These pumpkins can be used in any traditional pumpkin recipe, but I have discovered that sometimes they have a lot more fiber which makes them not puree so easily.

The white pumpkin I cut had a white flesh, and after cooking it, shredded like a spaghetti squash, and tasted really good.

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**Who knew Tiger Stripe pumpkins were good for eating?  I’ve always used these in a centerpiece or scattered around a bookshelf, but according to my Momma (and you know Momma is always right!) these little pumpkins are excellent hollowed out and stuffed as you might stuff an acorn squash.  Tiger Stripe pumpkins don’t have a lot of meat to them, but these also make for great serving bowls for soups or dips at a party.

I think I will hang onto mine for when the in-laws visit for Thanksgiving dinner!

Believe it or not the hardest part of cooking and preparing pumpkin for culinary purposes is cutting it and cleaning out the seeds.

{I hate that part.}

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If you want to know how to prepare pumpkin, you can click here for easy instructions.

If you need ideas for cooking with pumpkin, try:

**Pumpkin cheesecake

**Pumpkin butter

**Pumpkin Spice Trifle

**Skinny Pumpkin Mousse

**A Healthy Autumn Bread

**Pumpkin Bisque

Or Pumpkin pie.

How do you use your leftover autumn decorations?

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