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October 3, 2010 / MrsH

Cooking a Pumpkin. With Kids.

I read posts about mothers happily cooking away with their children.  One such mom even does once-a-month freezer cooking together with her young kids.  I’m not that good.  But today, I did find myself in the kitchen together with our Eldest and Middle One.

Our farmstand style CSA had pumpkins this week.  I don’t particularly like pumpkin, though love it in breads, pancakes, and pies.  But there’s something so… fall-like about picking out a beautiful pumpkin from the pile and bringing it home.   And there it sat, because truly, how do you prepare a pumpkin?  I’d only ever used canned… So I looked into how to roast it, which unsurprisingly is just like you’d do any winter squash.  I cut it in half, and our Eldest and I each scooped out the centers.  Not one to waste anything, we carefully separated the stringy smooshy part from the valuable seeds.  I carefully placed the pumpkin halves in a baking dish, Middle One added water, and together we scrunched the aluminum foil over while our Eldest washed her hands.  She then promptly ran off before I could even think to ask her to deal with the slimy mess of seeds waiting in the bowl nearby.

So our Middle One and I washed the seeds and picked off all the little orange stringy parts.  After many questions (“why do we have to wash them?  Why do we take the orange off?  Why are we washing them?  Why do we wash them?”) we were ready to lay them out to dry (“why?” “so they’ll get nice and crispy”).  Using a cloth towel we dried off every little seed, carefully placing any that strayed back onto the baking sheet (“why?”  “because we don’t want to waste any.”).  It’s important to note that we are now 45 minutes into our little project.  But the end is in sight.  I turn to wash my hands.

I TURNED TO WASH MY HANDS!!  A piece of advice: never turn to wash your hands.

“Mommy, what’s this?” “Oh, honey, it’s an ice-cream scoop.  Can you put that back down please?  Let’s wash hands.”  r-e-a-c-h-i-n-g to place the scoop back into what is apparently its location, on the back of the counter… over the cookie sheet with all of our pumpkin seeds.  C-R-A-S-H-!-!

Seeds everywhere… not in a nice little pile but, well, everywhere.  Slippery, slimy, seeds. The upside?  My maniacal laughter kept me from yelling (“why, mommy?”)   Not one to waste, we picked them all up.  Thankfully we mopped yesterday.  Thirty minutes later, I’ve lost both children and start washing my seeds again.


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