Pumpkins – From the Patch to the Oven (and everything in between)

  1. Find the most sincere pumpkin patch in your area. For us, this was McCall’s Pumpkin Patch in Moriarty, New Mexico. dsc_0248 dsc_0258 dsc_0260 dsc_0266
  2. Bring your pumpkins home and sit them on the porch for a couple of weeks. You know, to “ripen.” Ha!
  3. On All Hallow’s Eve, set up shop in the back yard and carve! Be sure to save as many seeds as you can, a process which is guaranteed to make your children say “Eeeew!” and beg to wash their hands 1,096 times. dsc_0286 dsc_0288 dsc_0290 dsc_0293
  4. Place the pumpkins back on the front porch to hold court. dsc_0296 dsc_0297
  5. Put all those glorious pumpkin seeds in a colander. Wash the yucky pumpkin guts off, and spread on a dish towel to dry overnight.
  6. Depending on how many seeds you have, dump those babies onto a baking sheet (or two).img_2604
  7. Melt some butter, and grab your favorite seasonings. I made one pan with just butter and salt, and the other pan with this Tajin deliciousness.img_2606 img_2607
  8. Pour butter over your little pile of seeds, spread them out in a single layer in your pan, then sprinkle with seasoning.img_2609 img_2610
  9. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 25 minutes, stirring halfway through. If you have your pans on separate shelves like I did, I also like to switch them at the halfway point.
  10. Once your seeds are nice and toasty, let them cool, then serve as the perfect Halloween snack! I always like to have a little something salty on hand, when the candy bingeing starts to get old.  img_2612

Papa’s Pumpkin Patch

We visited the pumpkin patch in Bismarck a couple of weeks ago. You know the drill. It takes me a little while to get the photos out of the camera.

These kids of mine are such goofs. I try really hard to get good pictures of them. One wants no part in it; the other wants to see how silly she can look. I’ve mastered the art of closing my eyes and snapping ten times, hoping for a decent shot. It didn’t work out this time.

Papa's Pumpkin Patch-3

Papa's Pumpkin Patch-4

Papa's Pumpkin Patch-5

We visited the same pumpkin patch last year. I’ve seen a list of the best pumpkin patches in the country circulating Facebook this fall. Guess who made the list? Papa’s Pumpkin Patch in Bismarck, North Dakota. How about that?

Here’s our “How Tall This Fall?” photo from last year…

Screen Shot 2014-10-23 at 3.34.07 PM

Yes, Neely wore flip flops. We had no idea until we’d arrived – two hours from home. This was when we learned that “put on jackets and bring gloves” doesn’t always translate to “wear warm shoes” in our kids’ minds. Not to worry. This year, we knew better.

Papa's Pumpkin Patch-7

Papa's Pumpkin Patch-6

They’ve both gotten taller…and Neely’s hair is a lot longer.

Papa's Pumpkin Patch-8

That thing I said earlier about trying to get good pictures of my kids? It applies to my husband, too. Family photos are always…interesting.

Papa's Pumpkin Patch-9

We had a good time, and we got to stay longer and enjoy more since we all dressed appropriately!

Papa's Pumpkin Patch-10

We bailed almost right after I took this photo. It started to rain, so we snagged a few little pumpkins and headed home.