Hollywood, MD – You have picked out a pumpkin, perhaps from a local farm patch or from a supermarket bin. Your plan is to carve a gruesome face in the pumpkin, which will serve as a jack-o-lantern. Great idea, but what are you going to do with all that is inside the pumpkin. If your plan is to simply throw it out, you might want to reconsider.

Thanks to a web site called Allrecipes.com, here are a few things you can do with ol’ Jack’s innards.

Pumpkin Soup
This recipe, submitted to Allrecipes by Lee Ogawa, calls for the pumpkin innards to be pureed and measured in four cups. You will also need six cups of chicken stock, one and one-half teaspoons of salt, one teaspoon of chopped fresh parsley, one cup of chopped onion, a half-teaspoon of chopped tyme, one clove of garlic (minced), a half-cup of heavy whipping cream and five whole black peppercorns.

Step one –Heat the stock, pumpkin, onion, tyme, garlic and peppercorns. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes uncovered.

Step two – Puree the soup in small batches (one cup at a time) using a food processor or a blender.

Step three – Return the pureed ingredients to the pan and bring to a boil again. Reduce heat to low and simmer for another 30 minutes, uncovered. Stir in the heavy cream. Pour into soup bowls and garnish with fresh parsley.

Pumpkin Pie Bread
Allrecipes identifies the submitter as Tanja Miller, who stated the bread “tastes like pumpkin pie” and “tastes best when served the next day.” Ingredients needed are three-and-a-half cups of flour, two teaspoons of baking soda, one teaspoon of baking powder, three teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice, one teaspoon of salt, three cups of white sugar, one cup of vegetable oil, four eggs, one 15-ounce can of pumpkin puree (the fresh innards could probably be used instead of the canned stuff although Ms. Miller’s recipe does call for the canned) and a half cup of water.

Step one – Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9 by 5 inch loaf pans. Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and pumpkin spice together and set aside.

Step two – In a large bowl, beat together sugar, oil, eggs and pumpkin. Stir in flour mixture alternately with water. Divide batter evenly between the prepared pans.

Step three – Bake in the preheated oven for 60 to 70 minutes or until a toothpick insert into the center comes out clean. For best flavor store wrapped in plastic wrap at room temperature for a full day before serving.

Finally, what should you do with all those pumpkin seeds? Just throw ‘em away, right? Wrong!! Toasted pumpkin seeds make a great, nutritious snack. Just take four cups of those little suckers and with some vegetable oil cooking spray and some seafood seasoning, the pumpkin party continues!

Step one – Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Rinse pumpkin seeds in the colander. Spread out on paper towels and pat dry.

Step two – Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray and spread the pumpkin seeds out in a single layer. Spray the tops of the seeds with additional cooking spray. Sprinkle the seafood seasoning over the tops.

Step three – Bake for 30 minutes in the oven, stirring occasionally until the seeds are dry and toasted. Cool for a few minutes before serving.

A pumpkin is one of the biggest pieces of produce you’ll ever purchase. You’d be out of your gourd to waste any of it. Enjoy and Happy Halloween!!

Contact Marty Madden at marty.madden@thebaynet.com