About gDonna
The photo is my son and myself. Now days you can get a photo made to look old like this one. This photo was taken when this was the new look.

Harry S Truman was president when I was born and world war II had ended. I grew up in a time when lunch was put in a brown paper bag and a sandwich was wrapped with wax paper. There was no such thing as pantyhose, we wore stockings that attached to the rubbery clippy things that attached to the girdle. Convenience stores were not common and when we took a trip we packed a picnic basket because many places did not have fast food. Highways had places to pull over and stop, some with picnic tables. Read more ....

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High Food Cost, don't waste the Decorations

November 3, 2022

It seems that wherever we live in this world food prices are increasing.  I would like to point out that increased prices are not just where we live our friends around the world are feeling it too.

The holidays are nearing, we just finished up Halloween and Fall festivals are going on here where we live. It is getting time for the busy holiday season.

During holidays food is often used as decorations, pumpkins, popcorn, citrus, cranberries, root vegetables. With the price of food today we should make sure to not waste food so make sure to give this food a second chance and use it before it goes bad.  Either cook it in soup, feed it to animals, use it for compost to make dirt to feed good compost back to your garden or lawn.  

My neighbor next door had family visiting the last few weeks and they were here for Halloween.  My neighbor Sarah, asked me if I would like some pumpkins.  I was happy to take them and I will share with you what I did.

The food banks would love to have these winter vegetables too so don't forget them.

These were rather large pumpkins.

I gave my sink a good scrubbing and then the pumpkins got a bath.

I took an old towel to slice the pumpkins. I cut off a third of the pumpkin.  If you pierce the pumpkin with a strong knife it is not difficult to slice because it is hollow inside.

Now we have two parts a lot of stringy stuff and seeds inside.

Scoop out the seeds and stringy stuff but you don't have to worry about what does not want to come out, it will bake along with the pumpkin.

You can slice the pumpkin like this if you have weak hands and need to handle smaller pieces.

Rub a little oil over the skin just to keep it moist so it is easier to peel after roasting. 

You can also roast it in larger pieces doing the same with oil.  I laid parchment paper over my pans but you don't have to do this if you do not have parchment paper. 

I roast mine in the preheated oven at 350 degrees for about an hour or until it pierces through the thickest parts.

While the pumpkins are roasting, put the seeds in water and they will float to the top.  Some will remain attached to the slippery parts but a little effort they will come off easily.

Separate the skin from the pumpkin while it is still very warm so it is easier to come off.  I use a knife and filet it off the skin.

It was a bit messy and I had to bake the pumpkins in three sessions in my oven due to the size of three pumpkins but I did that and removed the skin and then put it all in a large bowl and then I pureed the pumpkin and when finished it filled over 3/4 of my largest stock pot.

To keep this real as they say, I have never roasted three large pumpkins the same day so this will take several hours if you ever decide to roast this many or more.  I am sure those of you reading this that grow many pumpkins probably have some kind of routine doing this many or more.

I was going to can the pumpkin but our national food preservation says that freezing pumpkin will give you the best flavor and so I chose to freeze this so it has the best flavor.  I still could dehydrate some if I choose as my friend Catherine reminded me.

I chose the boiling method for the seeds, and boiled them for ten minutes and drained them and laid them on a large towel to dry overnight and then roasted them the next morning.

Roasting pumpkin seed is very easy, just put them in a bowl with a little oil, not too much, just enough to dampen them with oil.  I use light olive oil and kosher salt and pepper.  Then place them on a pan or pan lined with parchment and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes but keep a check from 15- 25 minutes (watch them close so they do not burn).  There were a lot of seeds so I put some in the oven and took them out and then another batch because I wanted them loosely in the pan so they could toast evenly.  These can be very addictive, that salty crunchy factor. There are many ways to season pumpkin seeds, we like them with salt and pepper.

The pumpkin puree should be drained if you are using it for pumpkin pie or pumpkin bread so the moisture count is not too high. 

I did not have enough freezer boxes so we picked up some freezer bags and weighed the bag and wrote the ounces. I would have canned these in 1943 but this was not planned for so I took this option in our real year of 2022. 

Roasted pumpkin seeds.

I welcome you to share your pumpkin thoughts, ideas and recipes in the comment section below.  Your comment will show once I have read the comment, please do not send links to online recipes. 

Thank you Sarah for the Pumpkins, I will share the love with some pie and bread coming your way through the holidays. 

There is a diary post, and this pumpkin post today Thursday 11/3/22.

There will be another post tomorrow, Friday 11/4/22. 

Grandma Donna


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Comments (25)

Grandma Donna

November 12, 2022 10:28 AM
Jenny, I love hearing about traditions and your children will always remember no matter how old they are. Thank you for sharing how you use pumpkin and not I want to get extra pumpkins to store on the floor of the pantry where it is cooler and I love butternut squash as well. Butternut squash has the longest shelf life of all of our vegetables. :) Thank you for your comment, we are all learning from each other.


November 12, 2022 9:34 AM
When the kids were young, we had a tradition of carving our jack o'lanterns on October 30th, displaying them on the 31st, and baking them on Nov. 1st. Our ducks loved to feast upon the pumpkin guts, too! I usually froze pumpkins like you. The seeds were kept for snacking, sprinkling on salads or pasta dishes, and adding to taco toppings.

My favorite way to use pumpkin is to add a cup or two to a pot of lentil chili! The pumpkin flavor really works well with the heat in the chili, and helps temper the spice for young tongues. My second favorite way is to use them to make a pasta sauce. A lot of people use butternut squash for this, but pumpkins serve just as well!

These days, I just store pumpkins and other winter squash whole until I need them. I'm in a maritime climate (Pacific Northwest), but not very humid, so they store well indoors in I rotate them every few weeks.

Grandma Donna

November 6, 2022 5:21 PM
Stephenie, I have not heard of using worchestershire sauce, that and butter had to be delicious. Thank you for your comment. :)


November 6, 2022 3:27 PM
Yum! You are so inspiring. My mom used to roast our pumpkin seeds, unwashed with Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. She used a low heat, and also drizzled melted butter on them. They were such a treat! I loved the bits of pumpkin in with the seeds and butter. I enjoy seeing all that you are doing to save on groceries.

Grandma Donna

November 6, 2022 5:40 AM
Hi Jackie, yes many of them will float to the top and the others will loosen so it is easy to pull them apart. Oh yes, that would be good to get one or two, especially this time of year. :)


November 6, 2022 2:05 AM
Well, I learned something new tonight. I've been roasting pumpkins for years and never knew to soak the seeds in water to loosen them from the stringy bits! It was always such a chore. I wasn't going to but any pumpkin this year as I have some pureed and in the freezer from last year but seeing all of these wonderful ideas, I think I need to get 1or 2 small ones. Thanks to all for your great ideas!

Grandma Donna

November 5, 2022 8:49 PM
Hi Felicity, it has been wonderful how so many have been sharing the way they cook pumpkin and such wonderful ideas from all around the world. Thank you for sharing how you use your pumpkin and now I wish I had saved some smaller pieces for dinners. If I get another pumpkin I will do this. I hope that you have a very good harvest. :)


November 5, 2022 7:41 PM
Oh this is a wonderful post, G Donna. I have lots of new ideas for pumpkins from you and also from the comments here- thank you. We love pumpkins in our house and this year have planted a lot in amongst pea straw down the side of our vege cage ( we have recently put this up to keep our growing produce for ourselves and not to share it with the local rabbits and white butterflies.) We like roasting pumpkin cut small for dinners but most of all we love pumpkin soup. It is a delicious winter meal.
I cut it small and toss it in butter and pepper and salt in a large pot on the stovetop. I let it start to brown a little (yum) and then add water - just enough to cover plus a pinch of nutmeg. It simmers until its soft and easily pureed. I use my blender sometimes to do this but a sieve or even a masher is ok. Serving it with a little dollop of thick whipped cream on top is delicious. And it can be made thinner with milk, or cream too. Grind a little black pepper on top or add grated cheese: all good. A decent big bowlful is warming and slips down rather nicely. ????

Grandma Donna

November 4, 2022 10:47 PM
Hi Gail,
That is a lot of rain you have been having and we are the opposite with very dry conditions for several months. Thank you for sharing how you bake little cubes and add them to the salad, I will have to try that. Donna


November 4, 2022 8:32 PM
Hello Donna,
isn’t that lovely. Someone has blessed you and now you have all that pumpkin in the freezer. I learnt a lot from this post. I didn’t know that freezing it was a little better than dehydrating it. I have never roasted pumpkin seeds so I certainly will be doing that from now on. The other thing I do with my pumpkin is to bake it in little cube and add it to my salad. Not only does it look pretty in the salad bowl it is so tasty.
Our weather is really cool for this time of year. They are saying we’ll have a hot summer, however it hasn’t happened yet. There has been sooo much rain and the floods have been awful. Where we live, we have had 78inches of rain for the year so far.
Blessings Gail ????????

Grandma Donna

November 4, 2022 5:00 PM
Sue, thank you for your comment and Happy Fall to you too. :)


November 4, 2022 3:56 PM
What a blessing to receive the complimentary pumpkins from your kind neighbor. I usually freeze the cooked pumpkin too. We use it in my ways but some things I don't see mentioned yet are for smoothies and as a side dish or a light lunch. I also like a teaspoonful or so and some spices added to my morning coffee this time of year. Happy Fall to you GDonna!

Grandma Donna

November 3, 2022 8:57 PM
Mary, I did not think about adding pumpkin in with yogurt, yum. I will add that one to my list. :)

Mary Nienhouse

November 3, 2022 7:54 PM
Wonderful post! I find it refreshing to use what you have. To think how it can be used with very little thrown away!
I enjoy mixing pumpkin in with yogurt and cinnamon for a morning breakfast treat!
Pumpkin butter would be very tasty during the Holidays. Also making beautiful little gifts for family and friends.
GDonna, I find your posts so enjoyable and encouraging to live a content life. Thank you.

Grandma Donna

November 3, 2022 6:22 PM
Christina, I hope your pumpkin pie is good and with fresh pumpkin I am sure it will be, you daughter is very wise for thirteen. :)

Helen, yes we add pumpkin to their food and so does our daughter for her pets, thank you for mentioning this.

Jo, I have never made candied pumpkin, Ooooo, that sounds good. Thank you for the other suggestions.

Thank you all for your comments.


November 3, 2022 6:09 PM
Mrs. Donna, I am so excited to see your post today! My 13 year old daughter has been asking all week to make pumpkin pie with fresh pumpkins we have for declaration (so proud she is thinking in this way). We will be using the method you suggest :)


November 3, 2022 5:53 PM
Pumpkin is good for the pups if their bellies are upset or they need help “doing their business”


November 3, 2022 3:47 PM
I've made pie and bread from it, as well as muffins, but one thing that is addictive is candied pumpkin. It's a really special treat. It's much like candying orange peels, cooking it in a sugary syrup until the moisture has evaporated. An old recipe I've used called for it to be treated with pickling lime first, to keep it firm.
Pumpkin can also make pickles, similar to watermelon rind pickles.

Grandma Donna

November 3, 2022 1:53 PM
Galadriel, thank you for sharing these wonderful ways to use pumpkin. I wish I had thought to save a quarter of one to add to stew. Hummm should I pick up a small one? Thank you for your comment. :)


November 3, 2022 1:17 PM
Hi Donna, this year I cut ours into quarters and put it to simmer in the stockpot on our woodstove. When soft enough, I let it drain thoroughly (overnight) before pureeing and freezing. I'll save some for a baked pumpkin cheesecake on Thanksgiving; I also make a savory pumpkin cheesecake, along the same lines but with crumbled bacon and herbs instead of sugar, and some nice sharp Cheddar baked on top.

I kept one quarter uncooked in the fridge for adding chunks to stew and soup (I don't peel the skin off). Very nice. I usually grow about half a dozen pumpkins and squashes but this year I only got one.

Grandma Donna

November 3, 2022 11:43 AM
Thank you LORA and JULIE for sharing what you make with your pumpkins. :)


November 3, 2022 9:26 AM
Good morning, I roasted pumpkin seeds just last night. Our youngest son was so excited. That's his favorite part of Halloween season! My family isn't a huge fan of pumpkin pie, Thanksgiving dinner is the only time they ask for it and it's more a tradition. I usually make pumpkin bread and cookies. Our oldest daughter was just married a few weeks ago and instead of a cake, she wanted different varieties of cookies. Alongside the family recipe of sugar cookies, I made a soft pumpkin cookie with white chocolate chips. Fit nicely with the autumn theme of the wedding. Warm wishes, Lora


November 3, 2022 8:42 AM
I tried a recipe for Croatian Green Pumpkin soup this fall with a green pumpkin that didn't ripen by frost time. It was simple, easy, and delicious. It would work with ripe pumpkin too. Found it thru online searching. Waste not, want not.

Grandma Donna

November 3, 2022 6:04 AM
Jennifer, thank you for giving us some wonderful ideas of what to do with pumpkin. I especially like the tip about using the skin. I wish we had the space to grow pumpkin and just maybe we can find a good spot up at Myrtle's to grow them. :)

Jennifer Reynolds

November 3, 2022 5:41 AM
Pumpkin is such a wonderful vegetable, and I was happy to see you enjoy the seeds roasted as a snack too...they are my favourite. I toss a little cajun spice through them, so delicious.
I'm in Australia and we're not known for making pumpkin pies, though we do make pumpkin scones (very nice) and pumpkin soup. When I roast pumpkin (with a bit of garlic) for soup I puree the roasted skin with the flesh, and the soup is incredibly tasty.
Or we roast the skins alone with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper, maybe some more spice...and we eat it like chips.
At the moment we have pumpkins growing in our front yard. It's late spring here in the tropics of northern Australia, and we grow summer vegetables in winter as most of them won't grow here in the extremely hot and humid summer months, but pumpkins will grow all year.
They are such a versatile vegetable, and I'm so glad your neighbour passed three along to you. Bless you heaps,
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