Leave pumpkins on the vine until they are fully mature and are vibrant orange in color. They should appear firm and have a hard outer skin. Leave 1 inch of the stem on when you harvest to make pumpkins easier to handle.
Preparing for Freezing:
Wash pumpkins and cut into quarter pieces or smaller for cooking. Scrape out the seeds with an ice cream scoop. Steam, bake or cook in boiling water until fully tender (45 to 60 minutes depending on size of pieces). Wearing gloves, remove hot pulp from the rind and mash with a potatoes masher or run it through a hand-cranked strainer.
Pack warm pulp into 1-pint boilable freezer bags. Add butter and seasoning, if desired. Seal. Cool, pat bags dry and freeze.
Pack cooled pulp in suitable containers leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Seal, label and freeze.
Freezer containers should be moisture and vapor resistant and should not be prone to cracking or breaking at low temperatures. Containers should provide protection against absorbing flavors or odors and should be easy to label. Suitable packaging for freezing asparagus includes freezer-grade plastic bags, rigid plastic containers or glass containers and heavy-duty aluminum foil.
Maximum Storage Time:
10 to 12 months at 0 F.
Defrost pulp in the refrigerator or microwave, or reheat in boilable bags.
Prepare and freeze winter squash varieties using this same method.
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You probably can, but they would be soft and mushy when thawed. I have allowed whole pumpkins to freeze under the porch for my chickens and brought them in over night to thaw (in a bucket), so I cannot say how they taste. The chickens seemed to enjoy them though! If stored correctly, pumpkins will keep a long time without needing to freeze.
When you cook your pumpkin, you can just wash it and place on a cookie sheet, I use an old one and bake it like you would a bake potatoe in the oven, depending on the size, poke it with a fork if it goes in smoothly, then it is done, if not what a little longer and try again. I got this from a recipe book from the 20's it was given to my mother when she got married. I think she said its Meta Given, or gibbons?