Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
The rich, warm smell of slowly roasting pumpkin seeds (pepitas) is an unmistakable sign of fall and the harvest season. This easy-to-make, healthful snack is the perfect treat to prepare on a chilly evening - and cleaning the seeds is a great job for kids. They love it!
2 cups rinsed, cleaned, and dried pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
half teaspoon salt
Optional: seasoned salt, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, or your favorite herb to taste
Preheat the oven to 300F. Remove the seeds from the pumpkin and place them in a colander. Clean most of the pulp and strings off the seeds by rinsing them in water and rubbing with your fingers. It's hard to get them perfectly clean, so expect to leave some residue. (It tastes fine when roasted.)
Spread the cleaned seeds on a paper towel and blot dry. In a medium bowl, mix the dried seeds with the oil and salt or seasonings, stirring gently to coat.
Spread the seeds in a single layer on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Bake at 300F for about half an hour, stirring every 8 or 10 minutes so they don't scorch. Bake until they are barely browned, slightly crunchy, and taste "done."
These never last long enough to have leftovers at our house, but they can be stored in an airtight container for several days. Cool thoroughly before packaging.
Makes 2 cups
Composting Yard Waste
Fall is composting time, and this Web site (www.abs.sdstate.edu/hort/compost.htm) gives simple diagrams and instructions for building a variety of enclosures for a home compost pile, using such materials as wire mesh panels and cylinders, snow fencing, recycled barrels, and a three-bin system out of wood. Also learn what to add to a compost pile (including fall leaves) and how to produce good-quality compost at home.