One of my favorite methods of preparing the pumpkin is to bake it in the oven. How? Wash the outside skin of the pumpkin thoroughly. If you do not wash the pumpkin, you run the risk of food borne illness. You see, the pumpkin has been raised on the ground and the soil has bacteria in it that can cause people to eat these pathogens and become sick with flu like symptoms. No one wants food poisoning. Even the heat of the oven may not kill these bacteria that can cause food borne illness. Cut the top of the pumpkin. Remove the seeds and “stringy” web from the inside. (Save the seeds for roasting. Pumpkin seeds are great to eat after they are baked.) Place the top of the pumpkin back on the pumpkin loosely. Put the whole pumpkin into a baking dish that will hold approximately one cup of water. Place the pumpkin into a reheated 350 degree oven for an hour. (Time will really depend on the size of the pumpkin.) Remove the top and test the “meat “ of the pumpkin for tenderness.
After the pumpkin is tender, the pumpkin “meat” can be scooped out with a large spoon. Be creative! The pumpkin can be cut into section and let the outside skin be the “bowl” used to eat the delicious vegetable inside. Season the pumpkin with a small amount of margarine and cinnamon. Or, I have even used the whole pumpkin as a “serving dish” for other vegetables like placing green beans inside the pumpkin. Serving the pumpkin in this manner, your family or guests can get pumpkin and beans as the same time.
Have fun with the pumpkin. The pumpkin is an inexpensive vegetable that we can all use in many ways.