This time of year I tend to be on crafting overdrive. Far too many projects and not nearly the time needed to comfortably complete them all. I love it anyway though. 🙂
It used to just be me, crafting all by my lonesome… but now that Kid Kid is five, she’s in it right along with me. It’s awesome to see how well she’s doing to, in so many mediums. Embroidery, sewing, painting, drawing – and that’s just today. We still have planting, baking, decorating, packaging, more painting, more embroidery, more drawing, and a buttload of sewing still to go.
I wish I could share all the projects, but some of the folk who are on the receiving end of our efforts may stop by the blog, so we gotta keep it all under wraps. I gotta say though, as artsy fartsy as we are, all this creative work is absolutely exhausting. It is with great relief that we welcome bedtime tonight.
We roast pumpkin seeds every year. Along with carving the jack-o-lanterns, it’s part of our rituals on the eve of Samhain (or Halloween, if you prefer). As we were boiling our seeds, a few questions started coming in on FB – where I’d been sharing videos. So I figured a blog post was in order. Which brings us up to date. 😉
Home made, roasted pumpkin seeds are my very favourite Halloween treat. Candies, chips, chocolates may be nice… but nothing beats the yummy crunch of pumpkin seeds done right. And to be honest? I find the process of harvesting the seeds, washing, boiling, drying, and roasting them to be very zen. I just enjoy the whole thing, which only adds to their natural goodness.
Tonight we’ll cover the basics, and by the end you’ll be on your way to developing your own way of seasoning and enjoying home roasted pumpkin seeds.
We were rather grateful that Damon had purchased two great big pumpkins this year, as we discovered our first one was partially rotten inside – which meant we wouldn’t be harvesting anything from it. It still made a good jack-o-lantern, but I wouldn’t have trusted anything to be edible. Thankfully our second pumpkin had such a wealth of seeds that we’ll have as many from one pumpkin as we often get from two!
So, the obvious steps to this process:
- harvest your seeds
- wash your seeds
Now, this next step is the one that seemed to generate all the questions:
- boil your seeds
Yes. I boil my seeds. I didn’t always though, and I had the same problems many people report when doing their own home roasting. The seeds were tough, and inconsistent. I started boiling them six or seven years ago now, and it makes a world of difference. My pumpkin seeds are crispier, lighter, and more flavourful. It’s definitely worth the extra step.
I use a medium sized sauce pan, and add a couple of inches of water. Roughly enough to cover your seeds and allow for an extra inch or inch and a half of water. Bring it to a boil and add your seeds.
This is also when I add my seasonings or spices.
We try something different almost every year. It’s fun to experiment with different spices or seasonings. This year we kept it pretty simple and went with a tablespoon of garlic powder a teaspoon of salt. Seasoning salt works nice, and things like dill pickle popcorn seasonings are even pretty good. Try taco blends too. There are lots of options – I’ve yet to find a dud. LOL
Click the links below to watch the progression of our seeds as they boil:
All told, they boiled for about 25 minutes. You’ll notice the colour change, then keep boiling until most of the liquid is gone (the steam clouded the iPhone lens):
At this point you have two choices. You can pop them directly in the oven (on a buttered, oiled, sprayed cookie sheet or on parchment paper)… or you can dry them first. If I know I’ll have time to babysit them I’ll often pop them in the oven. Kid kid has a hard time having the patience needed to dry them out any other way. So at 350 degrees it will be between an hour and an hour and a half – and do watch them carefully because cooking time varies.
We didn’t get started on the process until the evening (we usually start on them in the afternoon), so it means I get to do them up the leisurely way – which I prefer. I spread them out on a sheet to dry, and then put the girl to bed. Which is where we are now:
Tomorrow morning, when they’re nice and dry, I’ll pop them into the oven at 350 degrees for about fifteen minutes. The house already smells yummy from having them boil, but tomorrow will smell even better as they roast. I’ll pull them out to cool for a wee bit, and we’ll have my favourite treat. Some we’ll bag up in a ziplock to keep in my bag as a treat for when we’re out and about and happen to feel snacky. But most of them will get eaten before they have a chance to be bagged… though… I will stash away a small handful or two, just for me. LOL
So that’s it! That’s how you make the very best homemade roasted pumpkin seeds – from scratch. Follow the steps I’ve outlined here, and they’ll be perfect, every time!
Joyous Samhain and Happy Halloween!
…to not posting in my blog tonight. If it were a Friday, I wouldn’t have (not posting on Friday’s is becoming normal for me). But, alas, tis only Wednesday. It’s just been a really long day, with some disappointments, but some highlights too.
The disappointing bit? It’s time to start asking folks who have booked afternoon sessions to plan on keeping those sessions indoors. I was hoping to keep shooting outside for another couple of weeks before the heat took over… but today was brutal. I always do my best to keep my clients in the shade as much as possible – but that puts me right at the mercy of the elements. And today was bad. Even with sun screen my face was bright red by the time I got done. Thankfully, most of that was heat and it faded to a less noticeable pink by evening. We’ll still be fine shooting outdoors in the evenings, but it’s time to start looking at indoor locations during the afternoons (which always makes me kinda sad).
The cool bit? I’m so totally in love with HEARTSY that it’s ridiculous. Seriously. Okay, don’t know what Heartsy is yet? Here’s the low down. Heartsy is basically the Groupon of the hand crafted world. Generally they are for Etsy merchants, and they are AWESOME! I’ve only been a Heartsy member for a few days and I’ve already purchased TWO of them.
I got me a couple of fabulous crocheted hats coming from one vendor, and another is making me a custom iPad case to match my camera bags. Wanna know how much I’ve spent? Less than ten bucks! I am so freakin’ hooked on Heartsy, it’s ridiculous. Love it!
Wanna get yourselves something cool? Sure, you can just head over there and sign up… BUT, if you go from this link: http://heartsy.me/users/133015/referral?c=plink You can get a $5 sign up bonus, and I’ll love you forever because you’ll give me a bonus when you make your first purchase. And, like I said… Heartsy ADDICT!
Once you sign up, you will totally want to sign up for the Heartsy VIP service. I think it was only about eight bucks, and with your sign up bonus it’s only $3. Why do you want this? Because you get bonus dollars to spend at each of the vendors AND they’ll give you another $10 bonus to spend on a voucher… so basically it’s FREE MONEY!
Repeat after me: TD is a Heartsy addict!
LMAO Okay, tell me if you see a down side, because I haven’t found one yet. Today I put in orders on Etsy that came to a total of $80, and I spent less than ten. Folks are totally getting awesome hand made stuff for Yule this year.
So yeah… disappointing day in some respects. But on the TD-is-getting-some-super-awesome-custom-hand-made-stuff-for-next-to-nothing front? Darn good day. LOL And I know this totally reads like one of those gawd awful advertorials (ads that are passed off as editorials), but I couldn’t help it. I’m hooked.
Oh! One of the vendors who’s voucher I purchased (for the iPad bag that they are customizing with an adjustable strap and extra pocket) still has some vouchers left. Check them out at: http://heartsy.me/users/133015/deal_referral/3446/ With the VIP perks, it’s $12 for $38 dollars store credit… apply your five dollar sign up bonus and ten dollar VIP bonus and you’ll be getting it for $5 (if I did my math correctly). LMAO
And I’ll say it again: TD is a Heartsy Addict.
I can’t help but share a good thing. 😉