How to cook a pumpkin

To cook a pumpkin, halve or quarter the pumpkin, remove seeds and stringy portions, and cut into small pieces. The rind may be removed before or after cooking. Cook, covered, in a small amount of boiling water for 25 to 30 minutes. Since pumpkin is a watery vegetable, a large amount of cooking water in undesirable. When cooked, drain; mash well; place pumpkin in a strainer; let drain for 30 minutes to remove excess liquid. One five-pound pumpkin yields about five cups of mashed, cooked pumpkin.

A simpler method is to cut the pumpkin in half, invert the shell over 1/2 -inch of water in a baking dish, and bake at 350 degrees F. until tender, about 45 minutes. Then remove skins and mash, or put through a food processor.

Cooked pumpkin can be used in pies, breads, muffins. Its natural flavor is enhanced by a little cinnamon or nutmeg, and nuts or raisins give extra texture and taste.

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