In our family, the tradition is to carve our Jack-O-Lantern on Halloween afternoon. Now some of you who know me may think this tradition was born out of procrastination, but I assure you it wasn't. You see, October in Texas is an unpredictable weather month. It can be in the 50s, like it was day-before-yesterday, or it can be in the 70s, like it is today. If you carve your pumpkin too early, you may just end up with a slug-infested, rotting, stinking mess on your front step by the time Halloween rolls around. Granted, it does make for one scary looking Jack-O-Lantern, but it's really just disgusting. Hence, the Halloween day pumpkin carving tradition.
I love pumpkins. Pumpkin seeds, pumpkin pie, pumpkin soup...yummm! Do you know how good for you pumpkins are? They're loaded with all kinds of great stuff: iron and all the B vitamins for lots of extra energy; vitamin E and all its antioxidant power; zinc which is so healing. Really, you should eat more pumpkin. It's also great for skin. So don't let your pumpkin bits and pieces go to waste. Here are a couple of quick recipes for you.
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds:
- Rinse and dry your pumpkin seeds.
- Spread 'em out on a greased cookie sheet
- Sprinkle w/salt (I prefer kosher salt), or cajun seasoning (if you like a bit of a kick)
- Bake in the over at 250 degrees for 15-20 minutes (giving the pan a shake about half way through)
- Cool and munch away
This is a perfect way to use the scraps left over from pumpkin carving because you don't need very much for this recipe. (You can also do this w/canned pumpkin.)
- First, prepare the pumpkin puree by microwaving the small pieces until they're tender when you poke them w/a fork (probably 1-2 minutes)
- Mash cooked pumpkin w/fork or in the food processor until smooth
- 2 Tbs pumpkin puree
- 1/4 tsp honey
- 1/4 tsp cream (heavy cream for dry skin, substitute 1/4 tsp cider vinegar for oily skin)
- Mix it all up
- Smooth on to face and neck
- Rest for 10-15 minutes
- Rinse off. Ta-DA! Your skin will feel as soft as a baby's bottom.