Welcome to Cranky Puppy Farm!

This blog belongs to two Gen X-er's smackdab in downtown Kansas City where we've been renovating and decorating two old Victorians built in the 1890's. Our life is filled with 3 demanding Pomeranians (1 of them cranky, of course), honking cars, noisy neighbors and the hustle and bustle of city life but we dream of the day when we can move to our 40-acre farm and hear nothing but the wind and the cows next door. Until then, we're chronicling our triumphs and mishaps here as we try to garden and preserve on 2 city lots, raise chickens, and learn all those things we should have learned from our grandparents. Welcome to our world - we hope you'll stay awhile!

Pumpkins: To Eat or Decorate?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

This was my first year growing pumpkins and, even with a late start in the garden, I was still blessed with 6 beautiful pie pumpkins.  The seed that I used was from Gurney's and they're called "Spooky" pumpkins.  With a name like that, and with Halloween just around the corner, I thought it was fitting that they go on the front porch railing.  They're way too small to carve at around 5 lbs each, but I still think they look good there.

Seriously, though...I'm drooling over the thought of homemade pumpkin bread and pumpkin pie.  Each one of these should give me about 1 1/2 cups of mashed pumpkin, which is almost enough for the recipe I use.  I always love to try everyone's recipes, so here's mine if you want to try it:

Pumpkin Pie Bread
Makes 2 loaves (1 for you and 1 for a friend!)

Prep Time: 15 minutes   Cook Time:  1 hour
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce (or 1 cup vegetable oil)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup water
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. If you are using fresh pumpkin, it will need to be prepared and cooked.  See the instructions below.
  3. Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, beat together sugar, oil, eggs, and pumpkin. Stir in flour mixture alternately with water. Divide batter evenly into two 9x5 inch loaf pans.
  5. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. For best flavor, store wrapped in plastic wrap at room temperature for a full day before serving.

Preparing Fresh Pumpkins

  1. Wash the exterior of the pumpkin (do not use soap!)
  2. Cut the pumpking in half.  A serrated knife with a sawing motion works best.
  3. Scoop out the seeds and scrape the insides until the stringy stuff is cleaned out.  I recommend saving the seeds to either roast or to plant pumpkins next year! Just place them in a bowl or water and rub them between your fingers until clean.  Then spread them out on a clean paper towel to dry.
  4. Cook the pumpkin.  There are several ways to do this:  stove, microwave, pressure cooker or oven.  I like to use a double steamer on the stove because it's quicker.  You may need to cut it into smaller pieces to get it to fit in the steamer.  It's ready when it's soft enough to scoop the insides out (about 20 to 30 minutes).
  5. Use a tablespoon to gently scoop the cooked pumpkin out of its skin. Mix it gently (I use a hand blender affectionately known as the "boat motor") and you should have pumpkin puree.  It's that simple! 
  • If it seems to watery, you can use a coffee filter to strain out the water before using the puree for baking. 
  • You can freeze the puree and use it later.  It should last a year or more in the freezer.  However, do NOT can it!   Click here for reasons why you shouldn't can pumpkin puree.


  1. i love everything and anything pumpkin!
    that recipe sounds great!

    beautiful photo of the pumpkins.

  2. Great information -- these pumpkins look perfect for canning.

    Thank you for sharing at Your Sunday Best.


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