The maple trees are throwing off their scarlet leaves much like our old golden retriever shakes off the rain after a walk in the wet. The smoke-tinged breeze has a bite to it that wasn’t there just a week or two ago. It’s the season, all right… but if you hurry there’s still time enough.

Time enough for jumping in piles of fallen leaves, raking them up and running and jumping again. Time enough for getting pumpkins and squash and just-picked apples at the farm stand down the road (and don’t forget to claim your organic, free-range and thoroughly mollycoddled turkey for the upcoming holidays… just a few left don’t you know). Time enough to check your firebox and flue, maybe put a match to the first fire of the season.

Time enough to carve a pumpkin or two or three. Time enough to have a sip of fresh-pressed cider with your  walk in the woods. Time enough to do those things that shouldn’t wait. Time enough… but don’t put it off.

Don’t wait. Not this time.

Now, the best part of pumpkin-carving:

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

  • Seeds from one just-carved pumpkin (carving a political message is optional). About two cups.
  • 2 Tbls butter. Yes… butter. Butter is better. Butter browns.
  • Salt n’ pepper to taste.

Spread seeds from pumpkin in sheet pan, mopping up pumpkin juice and any remaining stringy bits with a kitchen towel. (Paper towels work fine.)

Melt butter and drizzle over seeds. Mix throughly to coat. Sprinkle with salt (I prefer kosher salt) and pepper.

Roast in 350 F. oven for about 15 minutes. Stir. Give ’em another 5-10 minutes in oven, or until GBD (Golden, Brown and Delicious). Sprinkle with a wee bit more salt just from the oven.

Try not to eat them all at once. Just try.

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