Monday, 5 November 2012

Free Pumpkin - FOLLOW UP

A few days ago I discovered free pumpkins in grocery stores following the Halloween rush.  Yep, 100% free, you just can go in and take what you like.  In an new attempt to be thrifty, I blogged about how I was going to save money and use these pumpkins to make my own pure pumpkin puree.  You know, the stuff you buy in the can usually around Thanksgiving and Christmas?  That was my plan.

So off to Google I go, searching How to Clean a Pumpkin.  A few different techniques were found, mostly involving boiling or roasting, or some combination of the two.  So I picked one that assured me it was simple and easy and brought the best flavor out without causing the pumpkin flesh to become soggy.  I found it here.

I followed the instructions as followed, with only some minor spillage of the pan water into the oven.  Seemed to work okay, except to me it seemed like a lot of water and moisture in the pumpkin.  Once I scraped all the flesh out, I actually put it in a fine sieve to drain it off.  It still seems quite moist, but I guess we will see!  I also put it in to the blender to mix it up a little, so that it didn't have so many large and stringy part to it.  This caused it to resemble baby food, but seemed to do the trick.  I got about 8 or 9 cups of pumpkin flesh out of the one medium-sized pumpkin.  Not too shabby, seeing as it was free, and normally you can get the can of pumpkin (about 3-4 cups), for $2-$3 in stores.

HOWEVER!  This process involved a lot of time, made a lot of mess, and really has me questioning whether or not it was really worth it.  Sure, I used a free pumpkin and saved a couple dollars by using a DIY technique, but it was a hefty process!  Scraping the flesh out of the skin is also really not as easy as it looks in the pictures, and was made into a bit of a soup-y mess with all the excess moisture.  I really should have taken pictures of the sad looking skin, full of holes and nicks, once I was done with it, but it was making such a mess that I just had to get it into the trash as soon as I could.

So come November 1, 2013, will I be creating my own pure pumpkin using the rejected Jack'o'lantern pumpkins?  I can't say I will.  For all the effort, and really the amount that we actually eat pumpkin things, I will most likely pass up on the opportunity to take on this challenge again.  Yes, it is nice to have pumpkin flavored things in the fall, including Gina's Pumpkin Butter that I did make another batch of today, but I really could go without and not miss it too bad (p.s. you must make this pumpkin butter!  Dairy and gluten free, and tastes just heavenly in her overnight oats in a jar).  I'll just savour the pumpkin tastes a little more when I do buy the canned stuff once or twice a year. 

Any major flops or money saving fails that you have tried out that are worthy enough to be featured?!  Did you try something out that could be the greatest hits of Pinterest Fail?!  Please do share, so we can all feel a little better that we've all tried and failed (hilariously) at trying to be thrifty to some extent!

Happy Saving!
- C

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