MORE THAN JUST HALLOWEEN DECORATION
Instead of buying your pumpkin from a supermarket, how about you pick it up yourself this year? At this time of year, the harvest of the popular gourd is abundant and there are many places in the Lower Laurentians to pick your own beautiful big orange ball.
A fun and instructive activity for children, this type of activity can be combined with other activities depending on the farm you have chosen. You could indeed also pick a wide variety of certified organic apples or squash, watch a live show while sipping locally brewed beer and snacking or simply wandering the bucolic fields.
Before you go pumpkin hunting, be sure to wear pants to protect your calves from stalks and twigs in the fields. Put on good boots or rain boots, leave your sandals at home! Freshly picked pumpkins secrete a little juice that could mark clothes. A pro tip, avoid wearing your best clothes.
If you want to save your fruit (yes, the pumpkin is a fruit!) until October 31, select one that is firm and heavy. Preferably a pumpkin free of spots, cracks, it is often a sign that the deterioration of the flesh inside has begun. The stem must be green and very firm, it is a sign of freshness. To test the maturity of your new acquisition: using your fingernail, scrape the skin of the fruit, if it resists scratching, the pumpkin is ready to be picked! Also choose it in a bright orange color.
If you want to cook your pumpkin – which we highly recommend – know that it lends itself to all sauces: soups, desserts, pasta dishes and so on. It is truly deplorable to see that 50% of pumpkin production ends up in the garbage rather than on our plates. That is truly the sad champion of food waste. Let’s give pumpkins back its titles of nobility and enjoy a variety of dishes instead of wasting it! . See the recipe below for a delicious soup to devour at your dinner table. Also avoid putting its precious seeds in the trash, make a delicious snack instead. The recipe is also at the very end of this text.
But it is often to make a lantern on Halloween that we get a pumpkin, here are some tips and tricks to be able to recover the precious flesh the day after Halloween.
Wait until October 29 or 30 before emptying, digging and decorating it;
Shield the flesh with aluminum foil to prevent the smoke from the candle from blackening the flesh. Or can also paint it or decorate it with hats, buttons or paper instead of digging it.
SOME GOOD ADDRESSES TO PICK PUMPKINS IN THE REGION
THE TERROIR POT
1935 Oka Road, Oka
AT THE CROSSROADS OF APPLES (ORGANIC)
90, rue Lacroix, Saint-Joseph-du-Lac
SQUASH INTERPRETATION CENTER
839 Main Road, Saint-Joseph-du-Lac
ROLAND CLOUTIER FARM
855, rang La Fresnière, Saint-Eustache
RECIPES TO AVOID WASTE
Pumpkin and curry soup (12 servings)
- 2 medium onions, finely chopped (2 cups)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 tablespoon peeled fresh ginger, minced
- 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
- 3 1/2 cups pumpkin flesh;
- 4 cups of water
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1 can unsweetened coconut milk
Cook onions in butter in heavy pot over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the turmeric, coriander, curry and cardamom and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in salt, red pepper flakes, pumpkin, water, broth and coconut milk and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. Puree the soup in batches in a blender until smooth. Keep the soup warm over low heat until ready to serve.
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, rinsed and dried
- 1 C. teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 C. tsp) salt
- 1 C. teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 tbsp. tablespoons olive oil
- Ground pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
In a bowl, combine all the ingredients until the pumpkin seeds are well coated with the spice and oil mixture.
Spread evenly on a baking sheet and bake until the pumpkin seeds are golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes, flipping them halfway through cooking.