American Elephants


Smashing Pumpkins… by American Elephant

…and other fun ways to dispose of your carved creations apres Halloween.

If you’ve been reading our blog long, or have caught our annual list of the 20 Best Halloween Movies Ever! you know I’m a big fan of Halloween. One of my favorite parts is the annual carving of the squash. Conversely,  one of the biggest let-downs of the holiday is going to all that time and effort to carve a jack-o-lantern masterpiece, only to throw them away, or unceremoniously toss them in the compost just a few days later before they start to rot and grow a thick coat of gray fur inside. There’s got to be a better way!

Problem solved:

The five coolest ways to get rid pumpkins after Halloween

5. Hulk Smash! Gratuitous destruction is always hard to beat:

4. Make a low-budget Indy Movie! This short film, by Matt Yolanda and Blame Society Productions won the awards for Best Short Film and Best Concept at the  2006 Chicago Horror Film Festival.

3. Punkin’ Chunkin': What could be cooler than hurling a pumpkin hundreds of yards with a catapult, crossbow, windmill or trebuchet? Why, firing it over a mile away with a high powered compressed-air cannon, of course! But the choice of ballistics is yours at annual Punkin’ Chunkin’ competitions around the country. This competition in Delaware attracts over 25,000 spectators each year:

2. Feed them to your elephant of course! (or other large, dangerous wild animal.)

1. Feed them to your face! I always get an extra pumpkin or two just for eating, because I’m usually so enamored with my jack-o-lanterns that I keep them on display until they are no longer suitable for cooking. But if your carved pumpkins aren’t in good shape, or if you don’t have any uncarved pumpkins, the grocery stores still should.

Pumpkin Soup (8 servings)

This simple yet elegant cream of pumpkin soup can also be made with butternut squash. It’s from an ancient copy of the New York Times Cookbook, by Craig Claiborne, originally made famous by La Fonda del Sol in New York. Give it a try, it’s delicious! It can also be served chilled in summer, but I prefer it steaming hot on a cold autumn day.

2½ pounds pumpkin meat, gutted, peeled and cut into cubes.
5 cups chicken stock
1 cup chopped onion
¾ cup white part of scallions, chopped
2 cups light cream
salt and pepper to taste
8 thin slices of red- ripe tomatoes
1 cup unsweetened heavy cream, whipped
¾ cup finely chopped green part of scallions.

1. In a large kettle, combine the pumpkin, chicken stock, onion, and white part of scallions. Bring to a boil and simmer until the pumpkin is tender. Put the mixture through a fine sieve or purée in a blender.

2. Stir the light cream into the soup and season to taste with salt and pepper. Reheat, but do not boil.

3. Pour into soup bowls. float a thin slice of tomato in each bowl, top with a dollop of the unsweetened whipped cream, and sprinkle with the green chopped scallions.

 

Quick Pumpkin Bread (one 9×5 inch loaf)

From the Joy of Cooking. Yummy! If you like banana bread, or zucchini bread, you should love pumpkin bread too.

Preheat oven to 350°.

Sift together:

1¾ Cups sifted all purpose flour
¼ teaspoon double-acting baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves

In a large bowl, beat together until light and fluffy:

1-1/3 cups sugar
1/3 cup soft shortening
2 eggs

Add and beat in:

1 cup cooked (or canned) pumpkin

Now add the sifted dry ingredients in 3 additions alternatively with:

1/3 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Do not overbeat between each addition. Fold in:

½ cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1/3 cup raisins or chopped dates

Pour batter into a greased 9×5 inch bread pan, and bake about one hour, or until bread tests done.

Be sure to let me know if you try these recipes out. I’d love to know how you liked them!

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