Be sure to check your local Walmart right after Halloween for leftover pumpkins. Many people will not buy them after Halloween and you can get them for nearly free. Last year I talked to the guy over the produce section who told me he had marked them down to a penny and they still would not sell! I picked up as many as I could carry (3) and headed for the checkout counter.
I found a great idea for beef stew in a pumpkin, where you just stick the whole thing in the oven. The uneaten leftover parts of the pumpkin were pureed to make pie filling. You can also throw the seeds out in your yard to grow your own next year!
By Imladris from Anderson, SC
The only problem with the Halloween pumpkins is they are bred to be huge not flavorful. You may find them watery and not very tasty. I would recommend the smaller PIE pumpkins for cooking. I buy the huge ones for the deer on my farm. I put them out and deer eat them.
I find that the large ones are just not as sweet as the smaller varieties, which is no big deal for us--when used in desserts, we add sugar anyway (besides, we don't like our stuff really sweet) and when used for other things (soups, in cooking, smoothies, etc) we don't like too much sweetness. They are stringier, but I run the pulp through the blender, so that isn't an issue either.
As far as any extra water in them, I just cut down on the liquid in the recipe and add some powdered dry milk to replace the fluid milk called for in the recipe. Everything still comes out tasting like pumpkin. Pumpkin is so easy to can or freeze, and I've gotten them for free after Halloween when people put them out for trash pickup--I'm talking perfect, uncut pumpkins with faces painted on--just sitting on the curb.
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