It’s the Great Pumpkin, Mrs. B
So, I learned something new about pumpkins today. It cost me a lot of time and effort to learn it, but I guess it’s the lessons that cost you that stick with you
I guess I should preface this story with: this is my first garden, ever. I lived in Florida for 12 years and never could figure out the sandy soil and hot climate. We bought our home in July, Jeb was born the following May, and here we are with this summer.
When my family lived in Oregon when I was a child, we canned with my grandparents. Between my 12th summer and the year I was pregnant with Scott, I had no other canning experience. That year. Gregg bought me a canner for my birthday (per my request – his preference in gift giving is something sparkly, but I drive him mad with kitchen requests). Since receiving the canner, I’ve canned Daniel Fast Friendly Potato Soup (watch for that recipe coming in the future), various peaches and pears that I’ve found on sale, relishes and pickles from my mom’s cucumbers, and then last year we had an apple crop that was so bountiful, there were still apples falling off of the tree during a snow storm in December. I canned apple sauce, apple butter, apple jelly, apple pepper jelly…
This year is my first garden. My first cucumbers that I grew, my first tomatoes, my first mammoth zucchini plant that just won’t quit — and my first pumpkin.
We harvested the pumpkin last week, and it’s sat in my kitchen on the floor waiting for me to have time to deal with it. Finally, this afternoon, I carved out the time (heh).
So, I chopped, peeled, seeded, and diced it. Nothing but carnage remained.
And a big pot filled with diced pumpkin.
So, I cooked it until it was soft, then pureed it in the food processor while I prepared my jars.
I pureed and filled jars and pureed and filled jars.
Jeb helped, because my children are just good help in the kitchen.
Twelve pint jars later, I looked up the pressure cooking times for pureed pumpkin and discovered —
that you can’t can pureed pumpkin.
Apparently, it’s so dense and traps water that it also grows bacteria even if it’s pressure canned. I searched online and searched online looking for someone with some authority somewhere to say that it really was okay to do, but alas, I found nothing but confirmation that it was, indeed, quite bad to can pureed pumpkin.
So, I emptied the jars into bags to freeze them.
Twelve 1 quart jars became twelve 1 quart bags.
And the best part about this is that I have six more of those beasts growing in the garden! At least now I’ll know to not take the extra step in pureeing it and just keep it cubed – you CAN can cubed pumpkin.
Of course, if one pumpkin gave me twelve pints and I have six more in the garden, what I’ll do with 72 more pints of pumpkin is another question entirely.
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Oh mercy……my heart hurts for you. :-)