National Pumpkin Day!

I didn’t leap out of bed today excited that it was “National Pumpkin Day” – but I did have lots of pumpkin fun this weekend and thought I’d share if you’re over the pumpkin spice lattes, but not quite ready for the holiday pies. 

Like many, our family likes to carve pumpkins. Or, I should say – daughter and I like to do the nitty-gritty. My oldest daughter picks out the pumpkin, announces the design she wants, and walks away. My 8-year-old son follows suit. My husband usually just cuts the tops off and helps scrape and calls it a day, but I was very impressed this year with his hands-on seed-sorting efforts and general cleanup! I figure, if we’re going to go through all the work on the carving, we might as well do the seeds. It’s a once-a-year thing! (Recipe to follow.)

First – we picked up 4 pumpkins from Elden’s. Only $1.99 each! Then, we had to wait for them to thaw. (What a weird year, even for MN.)

Next, the carvings. My son’s pumpkin design request was ‘the Imposter from the game Among Us.” I had no idea what this was, but I looked it up and it seemed fairly simple, so – bibbity boppity boo! I think most people will think he carved it himself and not know what it is, but he’s happy!

My oldest wanted Cartman from “South Park.” She pointed out that I cut out his pupils and I said, “Respect mah authoriteh!”

I don’t even like the movie (gasp!), but decided Jack Skellington from “The Nightmare Before Christmas” wouldn’t be terribly tricky, and I was tired of carving by this time – so I grabbed a glass of wine and went with it.

My 13-year-old daughter found this unique design herself and did all of the cutting, under supervision. I told her the marker lines won’t show in the dark! I was thankful she was in for a DIY because my hand was starting to hurt.

While this was going on, we gathered, cleaned, boiled, and roasted 10 cups of pumpkin seeds! 

In the past, I’ve done sweet or spicy flavors, but it seems most just wanted the roasted, salty ones. I used mostly plain olive oil, but a little garlic olive oil from Minnesota Olive Oil Company as well. They are addicting! THIS is the recipe I followed. I’ll be honest, I needed my middle-schooler’s help with the math of seeds-salt-water ratios, but that’s why I’m on the radio.

I’m a huge fan of pumpkin pie, but don’t do a lot of baking from scratch. So instead of going through all of that work or waiting for a holiday for real pie, I whipped THIS recipe up for pumpkin pie dip! Oh-My-Gourd. It is SO GOOD. I usually like to top it with Redi Whip and use Nilla Wafers for dipping, but my kids got me feeling like Old Mother Hubbard since they’re home all the time! Anyhoo – it doesn’t even need those embellishments. Grab some graham crackers, ginger snaps, or Nilla Wafers and dig in!

As my grandma used to say, “See you soon, Punkin’!”

Amy Foxx