Indulge yourself in a seasonal treat of homemade, slow-roasted pumpkin seeds. They will most likely become a well-loved family tradition.
When I was growing up, carving pumpkins always meant that
my mother would ask us to help her collect and wash the
pumpkin seeds. She would then roast them in the oven until
they were golden brown, filling the house with their rich,
nutty aroma. When slow-roasted this way, with a little salt
and butter, pumpkin seeds make delicious, crisp snacks rich in
nutritious minerals such as zinc. I’ve never been able to
make them as perfectly as my mother did, but this is her just-about fail-safe recipe:
Pumpkin seeds from 1 or more pumpkins
1 tablespoon butter
Wash the pumpkin seeds to remove all the pulp, and place in a bowl. Melt the butter in a pan and then pour, bit by bit, into the nuts, tossing while you go. The key is not to use too much butter, but just enough to lightly coat the seeds. Smaller pumpkins may require less than 1 tablespoon of butter, larger ones more. Add salt. Preheat the oven to 250F; spread the seeds out over a baking pan and bake, turning occasionally, until crisp and lightly golden browned. Overcooking causes the nuts to toughen and lose flavor.
American Indian Variation
Wash the pumpkin seeds thoroughly, and place them in a bowl. Cover with cold water and just enough salt so that it is still drinkable, and let soak overnight. Drain the seeds, place them on a cookie sheet, and cook in at 250F until they are crisp and golden brown.
By Annie B. Bond