Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Prep for Thanksgiving, Part I

This year I'll be going to Deacon and Wingers for T-day. I've decided to prepare some things ahead of time, and since this is NaBloPoMo, no task is too mundane to be thoroughly documented.

But first, I must rave about my new shopping bags:

I am a very well-intentioned canvas bag user with very poor follow-through. Whenever I need a bag I don't have one--they're sitting in my car or my closet. Or, I remember to bring one into the store with me and end up not shopping. You get the point. These little babies were the answer to my dilemma.

They are so light and small I can literally put them in my pocket. Or I just keep one in my work bag so if I buy anything during the day, I'm prepared. They have a handy velcro tab so you can fold and secure them properly, but who can be bothered with that? I just scrunch 'em up.

Unfortunately I took the tags off so I can't tell you who made them. But they're from a Japanese import store in Japantown and were $2. If you like, I can pick one up for you. Just let me know.

Okay, so onto pumpkin prep. Did you forget already what this is for? Catch up here. I took a four pound sugar pumpkin, hacked it open, scooped out its guts, peeled and cut into 2-3 inch cubes like so:

You can see the implements I used here, which all worked just fine: big, heavy knife, small knife, spoon for gut-scooping, sturdy peeler (that looks like a carrot).

Please note I did this all on the floor in front of the TV. This is not a recommended posture for using large sharp knives, but I just got my replacement Year of the Dog DVD and wanted to watch it. It was good, though it made me cry a lot.

Then I was faced with a mountain of pumpkin guts and had a terrible, sinking thought: Must I now roast pumpkin seeds because they're just sitting here in front of me and throwing them out would be wasteful, even though I don't really like pumpkin seeds all that much and the feeling of gloppy, slimy pumpkin seeds makes me want to scream with horror? Yes, clearly I had to do that, since the pumpkin was all chopped and was else was I going to do with myself?

I cleaned the pumpkin seeds, forcing myself to contend with the slime. How can something so innocent looking be so heinous? I pushed through, dried them off as best as I could since the paper towel kept sticking to the slime, chucked 'em in a cake pan, sprayed them with some canola, added some tamari then put them in a 350 oven. Stir them every five-ten minutes until they turn toasty brown. This takes longer than you think it will, cause all the moisture in the seed needs to go away for it to be nice and crunchy. I added some more salt halfway through. If you're a fancy -pants you could add other spices here, maybe something spicy if that's how you work. I'm not sure how long this all took, maybe a half hour? You know when things are done. Voila:

They're actually not bad.

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