Pumpkin Purée

How to make homemade pumpkin purée

While canned pumpkin purée is always good in a pinch, fresh pumpkin purée is far superior in both flavor and texture, and what's more it's not difficult to make your own. All you need is a pie pumpkin (also known as a sugar pumpkin), a baking sheet, and a food processor.

How to Make Pumpkin Purée

Ingredients & Tools:

  • 1 pie pumpkin
  • kitchen knife for carving
  • cutting board
  • baking sheet
  • cooking spray
  • food processor

To Begin:
Pre-heat your oven to 350°F.

Wash your pumpkin thoroughly, then cut off the top and discard it. Remove the innards and seeds, then cut the pumpkin into quarters.

🎃 Helpful Hint: You may choose to keep your pumpkin seeds for roasting or baking. Here's an easy way to clean pumpkin seeds: simply place the seeds in a mixing bowl full of water, you'll see that the innards will sink to the bottom of the bowl but the seeds will float up. Mix them gently to remove excess innards, then carefully strain the seeds off the top of the water using a slotted spoon.

Spray a baking sheet with cooking oil and place the quartered pumpkin slices onto the tray, insides facing up. Cook for 40 minutes (30 for smaller pumpkins).

Remove from the oven and let the pumpkin cool until you can safely handle it. Once ready, peel the pumpkin skin away from the pulp. Transfer the pulp into a food processor and pulse until smooth. If you find that the pumpkin is too dry for your food processor continue to add a few tablespoons of water until it blends smoothly.

This pumpkin purée can be frozen for future use in freezer bags or stored in the fridge for up to 1 week in an air tight container.

Pumpkin purée is great for pies, soups and a host of baked goods.

Did you know?

The insides we take out of the pumpkin are not actually the pulp of the pumpkin, this stringy substance is referred to as the pumpkin's "innards", whereas "pulp" refers to the part of the pumpkin that we consume.

🦇Happy Baking and Happy Halloween🦇


Hocus Pocus 2

Returning to a classic Halloween film

It's a Halloween tradition in my house, every year I watch Disney's Hocus Pocus (1993), I never miss it and somehow it never gets old. Why do so many goths and Halloween fanatics love this film? Is it pure nostalgia? Is it because it's one of the very few films where Halloween is a major theme? It's hard to say for sure. As an adult I can appreciate it from a more critical standpoint. It's not without its flaws. In fact, it hardly elicits even a chuckle out of me. So what draws me in? It's not Bette Midler's singing, or Najimy's campy performance, or Parker's boobs, and it sure as hell isn't Thora Birch. I believe it's a mixture of things that keeps me interested. I like the folklore behind the Sanderson Sisters, the curse of Thackary Binx and the black flame candle. It has a delicious occult flavoring that's not typically associated with Disney. It's amazing that they didn't pass it off as a Touchstone production, what with all the talk of virgins and sacrifices and eating children. And not to forget, death, in a very in your face kind of way. It's so not Disney, and for those of us who declined to be entertained by princesses or valiant knights, this film was a long time coming.

You can imagine my surprise when I heard that there'd be a Hocus Pocus 2. Bette Midler and her co-stars had planted the seed some time ago as they vocalized their desire to return to the silver screen...no doubt because their careers were drying up. Disney dispelled the rumors that another Hocus Pocus was in the works, until recently when a writer announced that he was penning the sequel... or is it a reboot? No one seems to know for certain. What we do know is that the witchy trio will not be reprising their roles and that the film will be made for TV and not the big screen.

It's no coincidence that Disney has licensed a new series of collectible Hocus Pocus merchandise this year, with keychains, t-shirts and decorations. They're clearly testing the waters to see if the franchise still has potential amongst newer audiences. It's a good way to gauge whether or not the sequel, or reboot? Is a worthy investment of their time and money.

I admit that I'm terribly disappointed to hear that it will be a made for TV movie. There are a number of reasons that make this an incredibly poor decision, most notably because cable TV is becoming a thing of the past. Most of us have chosen more affordable streaming services like Netflix (or free streaming services like Kodi) for our television viewing needs. If they're hoping that we'll rush out and buy cable just to watch the film they are in for a rude awakening! They need to look no further than the Ash VS the Evil Dead series for their answer. The series was being shown exclusively on the Starz network (available only to Americans) which isolated many potential viewers, not only due to accessibility issues but also because no one wanted to subscribe to a network for a single series. As a result, fans pirated the crap out of it, eventually prompting Bruce Campbell to ask us to not pirate the show. I have no doubt that the same thing will occur with Hocus Pocus 2. The saving grace here is that it will be way easier for us to pirate if it's shown on TV, but I'd much rather the film have a larger, cinematic distribution. We seldom see Halloween films any more, we need more of them. Hell, Universal took a chance on making an Easter movie and Halloween is way more popular commercially than Easter is. What gives?

Made for TV also carries a certain stigma with it. What comes to mind? Low budget, and a lower budget usually results in a lower quality of set and costume design, sound and music, special effects, and d-list actors. I'm not bothered by the fact that Midler, Najimy and Parker won't be returning. It wouldn't make any sense. The kids beat the Sanderson Sisters, the witches were disintegrated. Remember the days when a movie actually ended and didn't leave you with a cliff hanger for supposed sequels?! It was utterly satisfying. Why bring back the Sanderson Sisters? What would be the point? How the hell would that even work? Why not create something new and exciting? I hate reboots, they never feel right, it's the same thing for book-to-movie adaptations, there's too much of a risk for pissing people off. I sincerely hope that it is a sequel (or follow up, in my eyes a sequel implies that it's in response to the first film, like a continuation), one where the folklore is explored in more depth and new and interesting characters emerge. Maybe pick up where Universal has clearly dropped the ball with their new monster films and throw in other supernatural beings.

No doubt, I will look forward to the new film with great anticipation. What are your thoughts?

Kind regards