Celebrate the Fall Season with Pumpkins

Celebrate the Fall Season with Pumpkins

Illinois, Things to Do Select Registry – October 15, 2013

Pumpkins are one of the most obvious signs of Fall’s arrival. On the cold and dreary days that are sure to come, celebrate fall by making delicious pumpkin treats. The house filling with the fragrance of freshly roasted pumpkins and traditional spices will quickly make you forget about the dreary weather outside.

Commercial pumpkin growers in Illinois, the top pumpkin producing state, are reporting a bumper crop of both decorative and cooking pumpkins. With pumpkin so readily available this year, it is a perfect year to try your hand at cooking and baking with pumpkin.

While many pumpkin recipes call for canned pumpkin, we recommend you try your hand at roasting your own fresh pumpkins for use in recipes.

Roasting a Pumpkin

The first step in roasting a pumpkin is selecting a good pumpkin. Pie pumpkins are generally smaller and less stringy than carving pumpkins. Farmer’s markets and roadside stands generally separate the two kinds, but if you are unsure just ask for help selecting the right pumpkin for your needs.

Once you have your pumpkins, cut the top and bottoms off, and cut in half. Then clean them out as much as possible including any seeds and stringy parts. Then place cut side down on a baking sheet in a 350 degree oven for 1 ½ to 2 hours. When a fork goes easily into the flesh, remove from the oven and let cool.

When cooled to a comfortable temperature for handling, scrape out the pumpkin flesh and puree in your food processor or mash by hand until smooth.

That’s it. You now have pumpkin ready for use in a variety of recipes, including these favorites from some Select Registry inn kitchens.

Bread and Muffin Recipes

Breakfast Recipes

Dessert Recipes

  • Millie Meador’s Pumpkin Cake from The Verandas
    Looking for an easy yet delicious fall cake? This pumpkin cake is perfect. With only 5 ingredients, it may be the easiest cake you make this year, but the taste will never give away your secret.
  • Pumpkin Macadamia Bars from Stafford’s Bay View Inn
    White chocolate chips, macadamia nuts and pumpkin flavors blend together to make these bars different from all other pumpkin recipes. Pumpkin pie may become a thing of the past after you make these.
  • Pumpkin Squares from Old Harbor Inn
    These versatile and easy-to-make squares can be served for breakfast or afternoon tea.  The cream cheese frosting makes them a true treat.

Soup Recipes

Other Ways to Enjoy Pumpkins

Select Registry inns across North America are serving up pumpkins in their recipes. They are also partnering with local businesses to offer fall packages. Some are decorating with pumpkins on their inn grounds.

Planning a getaway this fall? Contact a Select Registry inn in your destination area to find out how they are celebrating fall with pumpkins.