Nevermind that Halloween season just came and went, it was pure blogspiration that led me to some pumpkin seed experimentation. Truth is, I had been itching to do this for awhile and Ann's beautiful post spurred me on.
My mother used to make them when I was very little and somehow the vague memory has stuck with me. Long ago, I made an attempt to recreate those toasty wonders but was none too pleased with the outcome. I had been meaning to experiment again but figured there was an elusive secret to the process. Then I read Ann's post and I took it as a sign to begin a toasted pumpkin seed tradition at our house. Most conveniently, we had several pumpkins hanging around the house from our party and several squashes leftover from my CSA.
For our first foray into the pepita universe, I used the seeds from the squashes from last night's dinner. Izzy took great pleasure in removing them for me but was insistent upon using a spoon. I helped, getting slimy hands from the squash innards.
I followed this recipe, boiling the seeds in salted water and then toasting them with salt and olive oil. Upon removal from the oven, I sprinkled them with smoked paprika and a bit more salt...which was sufficiently spiced for Izzy and me. The seeds were flavorful but not adequately crunchy. We ate them despite their supposed shortcomings and I vowed to try again, soon
So that is how I found myself, just a day later, cutting open a Halloween pumpkin (not sure which kind). Once again, Izzy took charge of the seed-removal surgery. He complained of a certain stink wafting from the pumpkin but happily went to work. We got a lot more seeds and I was hopeful that this time we would have a winner.
When I boiled the seeds this time, I noticed that they darkened from light cream to grayish in color. This time, I allowed them to toast until almost all of them were browned, listening as they snapped and crackled in the oven. They smelled familiar, perhaps a scent from childhood, as they toasted away.
Upon removal, I sprinkled them lightly with the smoked paprika and more salt. This time they were perfect but for some strange reason, Izzy only ate a few whereas I could not stop munching.
*I owe the creation of this post's title to more blogspiration. Ever since I read the Farmgirl Fare post, I can't get it out of my head. Izzy and I refer to it on a regular basis, as part of our secret eating lingo.