It’s that time of the year again. The pumpkins are here and the harvest has begun! Everywhere we go, the kids are quick to spot the pumpkin patches. Several churches in the area host annual pumpkin patches as fund raisers. These patches are designed with families and kids in mind, offering pumpkins of all sizes, hay rides, mazes, family pictures, games, activities, etc. all at reasonable prices.
As a Fall family activity, each year, I allow each of my five children to pick a pumpkin. As the family has grown throughout the years, it has become apparent to me that I need to come up with some creative ideas on what to do with all those pumpkins. There’s only so much pumpkin pie a person can eat!
Desserts, Decorations & Gifts
For many years, before I had my children, all I thought pumpkins were good for was pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving. Then as I had each child, we made it an annual event to visit a community pumpkin patch.
When I was growing up, we never did the pumpkin carving thing. That was too messy! So, I had kids of my own, the practical side of me said, ” Don’t carve it. Paint it!” For the last 15 years, we’ve enjoyed bringing home our pumpkins and painting them. The kids can make them colorful, give them funny faces or cover them in flowers, whatever they desire, it’s their pumpkin. The finished pumpkin or pumpkins then became part of my Fall decorations on my front porch. I don’t decorate for Halloween, but I do decorate for Fall and leave the decorations up through October & November. By then, the pumpkins are usually yucky and mushy, and all I can do is throw them away. However, here are a few more creative, practical ways to use those pumpkins.
- Make pumpkin bread loafs with cinnamon cream cheese, wrap, freeze and use as hostess gifts, teacher gifts or Christmas gifts.
- Try out a few new frugal recipes: pumpkin soup, pumpkin stew or pumpkin chili. Sounds interesting doesn’t it. Carve out the inside of a small pumpkin,use the flesh for the recipe and use the carved pumpkin as the soup bowl!
- On the subject of using pumpkins as bowls or containers, try using a few as flower pots.
- Having a party? Carved pumpkins can be used as serving bowls for candy, cookies, chips, sauces and dips.
So, there you have it. Pumpkins aren’t just for Jack-O-Lanterns and pumpkin pie. Think outside and inside the pumpkin and go creative!