Today was a long rough day, mentally and physically. This morning I took my bi-annual Physical Fitness test for the Army, and after went immediately into important meetings and pending deadlines. Coming home I hit traffic in the city and the beltway. As I pulled in the driveway I thought “easy dinner…use homework pass…movie night.”
The kids had other plans. The kids decided tonight is the night the Halloween pumpkins become pies. As I was starting dinner, I heard banging and thumping as they rolled the Halloween pumpkins from the front porch to the kitchen counter. “We want pumpkin pie!” they said over each other. Ironically I intended to make them a pumpkin pie soon to try an experiment with flax as an egg replacement. “No, I’m sorry, it will have to wait till this weekend,” I told them. My son is dairy/egg/soy/grain free so every baked thing I make is like a little miracle. Steve jumped in to help and offered to help them scoop the seeds out for fun.
As they were pulling the seeds out, Andrew, my first grader, asked for a bag so he can bring the seeds into school for show-n-tell. Steve asked, “Andrew, why do you want to bring seeds to school?” “Because seeds are cool!” he answered.
I loved this, loved loved loved this. I love that my kids know where their food comes from, and how it got to the table, and that they are enthusiastic about it. Forget the relaxing, I decided to seize the moment as a learning experience and teach the kids more about pumpkins. Waste not want not my grandma use to say. We made the most of our time and our pumpkins.
While I cooked dinner I let them work on the guts. They used spoons to scrape out all the seeds and slime. Seeds and guts were flying on the counter, stools, floor, and walls but I managed to make a decent dinner while they were entertained. After dinner we cut the pumpkin and steamed it.
We lost Andrew for a few minutes, although there is evidence on my mouse and keyboard he was in my office, so Sophie helped me scoop the pumpkin meat into a bowl. I showed her how we will use the skin in the compost and put it in the bin. We added almond milk, agave nectar, cinnamon, and a flax mix (one Tblsp flax meal to three tblsp water and let sit for two minutes) then ran the mixture through JP’s baby bullet. At this point Andrew had wandered back and both kids were licking the pumpkin mix right out of the blender.
At this point I had conceded to a massive kitchen cleaning and I made a quick crust of hazelnut meal, sugar, and butter, poured the mix into the shell, then had forty minutes to get the kids ready for bed. We also used the time to take the seeds and make a tray of sweet (sugar and cinnamon) and savory (salt and old bay) snacks. Pumpkin seeds are high in protein, magnesium, and iron.
The poor kids were fast asleep by the time the fruit of their labor was done. This mama finished cleaning the kitchen and is now kicking back eating a warm piece of homemade pumpkin pie, with the added bonus of knowing that breakfast is already made. That is 15 more minutes of sleep for me in the morning.