Pumpkin information

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One 5-pound pumpkin yields about 4½ cups of mashed, cooked pumpkin pulp. A 16-ounce can of pumpkin yields about 2 cups of mashed pulp.

New England's pumpkin season runs from mid-October to early December.

Pumpkins can be stored at room temperature for up to a month, and in the refrigerator for up to three months.

To freeze pumpkin: Wash the fruit, peel and cut in half. Remove seeds and strings and cut into slices or cubes. Steam or boil until tender. Mash. Cool and pack into rigid containers, leaving ½ to 1 inch of headspace, and freeze. Pumpkin will keep for up to a year.

To thaw frozen pumpkin: Thaw in the top of a double boiler to heat, then season and serve as a vegetable. Or thaw slowly in the refrigerator for later use in a soup or pie.

Fresh pumpkin has a large percentage of water and rarely cooks out to the consistency of canned pulp. Steamed or baked pumpkin may be heated to a simmer and stirred occasionally until some of the water is cooked away. It can also be wrapped in cheesecloth and set over a bowl for several hours to drain. [My note: After pureeing the pumpkin, I put it in a fine-mesh strainer and gently press it with the back of a large wooden spoon to squeeze out the extra water.] From The Hartford Courant, 10/18/95 Typed into MealMaster with additional notes by Dave Sacerdote, 10/95 Submitted By DAVE SACERDOTE On 10-19-95

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