Girl Meets Bulgaria

Musings of an American expat in Bulgaria (with detours in Utah and Alaska)

October Traditions: Carving Pumpkins and Roasting Seeds

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Last night, for my cousin birthday, I went over to my aunt and uncles house for our annual pumpkin carve-a-thon.

We went to a couple local stores and picked out the best carvin’ beauties we could find and lugged them home.

Usually, “gutting” the pumpkin is my least favorite part, but this time I didn’t mind at all. I was intent on gathering all of the seeds from my pumpkin so I could roast them. I’ve done it in years past but for some reason they never turned out very well.

By the time I was done picking pumpkin goo off of all my seeds, everyone else was done carving so I carved mine at lightning speed. It turned out pretty cute, I think!

My pumpkin is on the bottom – SMILE!

I put all the seeds into a bowl full of water then we carried our jack-o-lanterns outside and my uncle lit the candles with a butane torch. Yep. A torch!

After that, I got to work roasting my seeds!

I googled how to do it  and used a few pointers from a couple of websites. In the end they turned out amazing!

Here’s my “recipe” for some delicious roasted pumpkin seeds:

  • Soak the seeds in a bowl of cold water for 10-15 minutes
  • Pour the seeds into a strainer and rub them between your fingers under running water (to clean off any remaining pumpkin bits)
  • Lay seeds out on paper towels and pat dry
  • Spread seeds in a single layer on a cookie sheet and place in a warm oven for 10 minutes to ensure they are completely dry (stir after 5 minutes)
  • Remove from oven
  • With a spatula, group the seeds in the middle of the cookie sheet
  • Gather your spices (I used seasoned salt, garlic powder and fresh ground sea salt)
  • Melt butter or margarine in the microwave and pour over seeds (I used about 3 Tbsp for all of the seeds from one large pumpkin)
  • Sprinkle desired amount of spices over the seeds
  • Spread seeds evenly back out over the cookie sheet (I ground some sea salt over them at this point)
  • Place in oven, stirring every 5 minutes, until the seeds start to look golden brown (mine took 30 min.)
  • Remove from oven and let cool. OR…
  • Stand and eat directly from the hot cookie sheet (if you are anything like my aunt and I!)

Oh man. They are SO yummy! I highly recommend you try roasting your own. I found lots of spice combinations online. You can do savory, sweet, “Halloweeny” (cinnamon, ginger and allspice), lemon flavored, and lots more!

As I write this I am eating more seeds! Mmm.

What are your October/fall traditions?

W.

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