Friday, November 6, 2009

Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater

Insomnia sucks. Plain and simple. I have been dealing with it for years and the doc prescribed a drug that I am suppose to use 'when you can't turn your brain off, Tami'. That is what she actually said. I sleep pretty good on the days I work-I'm just so exhausted I just fall into bed when we get home. It is those days that I am off that cause the most problem. I had 3 hours of sleep the last two nights (well, days actually). I'm not a woman who can function on that little sleep anymore. How did I do it when the kids were small? I must be getting soft in my old age. When it is 4 AM and you can't fall asleep, strange things run through your mind.
1. Will my eyelashes turn grey also?
2. Why does the cat stare at me when I use the bathroom? What is going through her mind?
3. How can I fashion a makeshift hottub out of cow trough and an air hose?
4. Is that blinking light in the sky really a satellite or a spaceship like my Mom suspects?

Yeah, good times.

What does this have to do with pumpkins you ask? Nothing really, other than I have been trolling blogs and food sites looking for some uses for my pureed pumpkin I just made.

Quick story. Took my Mom out a week ago for lunch and some browsing. Went to a really fun kitchen store in the quaint town of Stillwater. I was drooling over the Le Creuset cookware, the Emile Henry bakeware and the freakin' sweet Viking range in the cooking class area. As we checked out my Mom commented to the woman helping us that she could never get me in the kitchen as a child, but now thinks I need to come there and take some classes to help feed my desire to learn more. I looked at her and smiled while thinking to myself "you wouldn't let me in the kitchen, that was Bren's territory". I did learn a couple things when my parents got divorced and I had to make myself food when my Dad was working or away. I have come a long way from baking chocolate chip cookies and Hamburger Helper. Not far, but quite a ways (is that a word?). Long story short: never thought I would actually try and make pumpkin puree from scratch. It isn't hard, but I'm a little disappointed in this year's batch. The pumpkins didn't give up a lot of flesh and one was just dry as a bone when I finally pried it open.

Slice pumpkins in half. If really large, cut in chunks. Place cut side down on a foil lined baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees F. until done. There isn't an exact science on timing. I started checking at half an hour, but left in for an hour until they gave easily when lightly pressed.

Peel skin off of the flesh and break into small chunks, about 2 or 3 inch pieces

Puree in food processor until smooth. I added about 2 tsp. of water to each batch to give it a start. The first batch had a hard time smoothing out, so adding the water helped.

I spoon 2 cups of puree into a quart size freezer bag, squeeze out extra air and smooth the bag flat. Freeze flat and then they store upright in a small box easily. I keep a couple small plastic bins in the freezer for my frozen veggies and fruits. It takes up less room and it is easier to find what I am looking for.

Off to stalk some more and find some pumpkin recipes. The natives are work will be restless again soon.


buffalodick said...

Try little sleep as a way of life for twenty's your deal.. Most people who made a difference on this planet had brains that didn't turn off at dark! A good night's sleep in my life, usually requires prescription drugs or huge amounts of booze-neither which I espouse! Keep thinking.. It is what you must do.

Pam said...

I get insomnia too - it's the worst. Trying to function on a few hours of sleep is very difficult.

I've never made pumpkin puree before, it looks tasty.

A Year on the Grill said...

full night's sleep, not without drugs...

But that pumpkin puree looks awesome and easy. Great post

Dawn said...

I knew of two other people who worked night shifts and had chronic sleeping problems. The body is not used to working at night (no duh right?), but if there is a way for you to work during the day instead try too.

Bob said...

I get insomnia too and sometimes I just stay up till 3-4 because I can. But you're right, around 3 I start getting... weird. Heh.

I sort of made puree recently, but I don't think I cooked it enough. I thought it was fork tender, but it wouldn't smooth out all the way, no matter what. I'm looking for something do with it myself.

Wandering Coyote said...

I just did this with a couple of pumpkins I bought the week of Halloween. My pumpkins were fairly stringy, which was annoying, but they weren't dry. I got 14 cups of pumpkin puree in the end, and I'm on the hunt for new & interesting ways to use this ingredient, too.

Katherine Aucoin said...

As long as you don't eel bad the next morning, take your pills so you can get some sleep.

Love the story about you and your mom.

Make soup, pasta, pie, pancakes...let your imagination run wild with all of your pumpkim puree!

Debbie said...

Your mom reminds me of my mom. I had to laugh when I read the bit about her. Very familiar!