Join us for a pumpkin party

We love Halloween at Pig Row.  Each year we try to grow some pumpkins in the hope that they will make a tasty dish and an appropriately creepy decoration for the 31 October. 

This year our pumpkin crop, though cossetted and planted up to their knees in muck has failed.  So for once, dare we say it, we are off to the shops.

I love every type of pumpkin the big orange traditional ones to the white ghostly orbs to the stunning little gourds and squashes that are in abundance this time of the year. I'd rather have a display of pumpkins than a bunch of flowers on my table they are so vivid and sculptural.  You can use them whole as harvest decorations, then later carve into spooky designs for Halloween and serve the inners up as a treat to eat.

Why not have a go at making the following.

Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

1 cup pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon melted butter or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon granulated sugar, or more, to taste
1/2 to 1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon allspice

Double this recipe, depending on how many seeds you have harvested or bought. One large pumpkin will give you enough for 1 cup of pumpkin seeds and even and smaller pumpkins will give you the same amount. Such is the witchcraft behind pumpkins! If you have a solid fuel oven or a lazy streak like us, you can cook the seeds in a low-medium heat in a dry frying pan or cast iron skillet. All of the cooking should take 45 minutes but don't worry too much about this as it depends on your oven.

Heat oven to 300°F/149°C/Gas Mark 2. Wash off the pumpkin seeds well, removing all of the pith from the pumpkin flesh. Even if the seeds are shop bought, still rinse them off. You can do this in a sieve or colander to stop you from losing the seeds down the plughole. We did this once, so you are not alone. Some of the pith will still stick to the seeds, don't worry too much about this, just try to get off the larger chunks of pumpkin. Pat them dry on a towel. Then melt your butter, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice over a low heat. Once the butter has melted, take off the heat and add your seeds. Stir the mixture until all the seeds are evenly coated. Spread the now coated seeds on a shallow baking sheet and put in the preheated oven. Turn the tray every 15 minutes to get a regular cook (however, if you forget, don't worry. Modern electric ovens do tend to be better than they used to be and the act of turning is becoming a thing of the past but we are on solid fuel and therefore, turn!). Cook the pumpkin seeds for 45 to 60 minutes, or until nicely browned and crunchy. Leave to cool. Then place in bowls or in paper bages for eating home and away!

This is really easy to make and goes down a treat with the biggest and littlest of ghouls.

Happy Halloween from Pig Row


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