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Sunday daylight savings ends, and we’ll enjoy an extra hour of sleep. I was a little put off at first when daylight savings was extended an extra weekend to the first Sunday in November. My attitude greatly improved when I realized that the extension kept the first hour of Yellow Spring’s Beggars Night in daylight.

We love that Yellow Springs holds Beggars Night on October 31st even given the challenge of launching our costumed kiddos at 6pm on a work day. Our enjoyment of this Wednesday’s activities was admittedly damped by the northeastern that we waited all last winter in vain for. No matter. We took a swing around the neighborhood—pausing at the bonfire on Edgefield long enough for two hotdogs—and then returned home with four families in tow. We offered the party hot apple cider, ginger cupcakes, and even a mini-marshmallow roast at our living room fireplace. The children took turns manning the front door and provisioning the trick or treaters still braving the elements. I found a worthy foe in an 11 year old and settled into a cut throat game of chinese checkers by the fire.

Three days before Halloween we carved our pumpkins. Raring to go, my daughter took charge of sketching the pumpkin faces. Using a dry erase marker, she rendered a cat complete with tail and two other gossiping characters. I carved out the pumpkins and handed off the fruit to the kids and my husband to scoop out the seeds. Setting a few seeds aside for planting, we kept the rest for roasting.

Roasting pumpkin seeds is easy. Add 2 tablespoons of butter or oil to the seeds, salt to taste, and roast in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes depending on your definition of golden brown. I decided to try out the flavored olive oils that our good friends the Clarks brought back from a recent trip to Michigan. They visited Olive Cart, a colorful mom and pop specialty shop founded in 2010. Former owners of a bed and breakfast known for its elaborate morning meals, the shop keepers specialize in olive products, nut oils, and balsamic vinegar. In visiting the South Haven shop, our friends picked us out two olive oils, a savory Tandoori and a sweet Maritime Mango.

The Tandoori olive oil worked particularly well. The seeds began to smell like curried almond as they cooked. I added sage to the tandoori flavored patch and dried mint to the mango flavored seeds. The mango faded in the oven’s heat, so I added a few more drops of its oil to the roasted seeds at the end. The flavors flashed full again, so on this batch I held back on the salt.

Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

1 cup pumpkin seeds
2 Tsp flavored olive oil
2 tsp grated ginger
kosher salt to taste
2-4 leaves of dried herb

Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Separate the seeds from the pumpkin flesh. Add the oil and mix with the seeds. Mix in the ginger a little at a time so it doesn’t clump. Add salt… I started with a 1/4 teaspoon. Spread the seeds evenly on a cookie sheet and roast for 20-25 minutes.

Remove the seeds from the oven and place on a bowl or plate to cool. Mill the herb leaves to a powder and add to the hot seeds. Let cool for best taste and add more salt to taste as the seeds cool.

The seeds make great snacks. If they last much longer, I plan to add them to salads also. A hearty kale salad with the seeds, grapes, radish, and bacon sounds like heaven to me.

My next project is to take the pumpkin puree that we made from scraping the pumpkin hulls and put it to good use. My daughter votes for pumpkin cheese cake, my husband for pumpkin pasta. They both sound wonderful, and—who knows—after I get that extra hour of sleep tomorrow I may do both.


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