As I was picking up the children from school, I noticed that some of the younger ones were carrying around different sizes of pumpkins. The students told me that they had just visited the pumpkin patch that day. What fun!! Did you visit your nearby pumpkin patch yet? For the past few years, my children got to pick out their pumpkins at a local community gathering. The coordinators would decorate the whole paring lot and community garden like a pumpkin patch. Then the children got to choose their pumpkins for their jack o’ lantern designs.
Initially, the children tended to search for the largest or the smallest ones. Then, I would remind them that they might want to think about how they were going to use the pumpkins. If the pumpkin was meant to be just painted on and left intact, then they might want the tiny ones. However, if they wanted to be able to carve a detailed jack o’lantern, then they perhaps needed a much larger one.
The Other Side of Jack o’lantern Carving
Painting a pumpkin with paints would just as fun as carving. However, the children and I enjoyed and looked forward to brainstorming for ideas. Back when they were small, I was the only one doing the carving by myself. The children would try their best to scoop out the strands of slimy pumpkin flesh. Afterwards, they helped me to separate the tiny little seeds into a strainer. It was a great way to practice their fine motor skills there.
Now, what did I do with those pumpkin seeds? I toasted them as a snack!
Here is my recipe:
Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
-Pumpkin seeds of one large pumpkin
-1 or 2 tablespoons of coconut oil (mine was a Jalapeño flavoured)
-A sprinkle of herb salt (I used Herbamare) or Himalayan pink salt
1. Rinse and dry the pumpkin seeds. I spread the seeds out on a cooking sheet, lined with parchment paper to dry overnight.
2. The coconut oil that I used was already liquefied, so melt yours before you drizzle onto the seeds.
3. Toss the seeds around on the cookie sheet while sprinkling the seasoning.
4. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F or 150 degrees C.
5. Once oven is ready, place in the middle rack and bake for around 45 minutes or until the pumpkin seeds begin to change colour. Golden brown is what you are looking for.
Enjoy those pumpkin ? seeds !!