My daughter, who is now twelve years old, has been cooking with me since she could stand. When she was tiny, she would drag the kitchen chair over to the counter and happily join in with measuring, pouring, and mixing. She could crack an egg by age two and was inventing her own recipes just a few years later. Currently there are few dishes that are her specialties. These are recipes that she has perfected and are often requested by her three little brothers and other family members. Some of her specialties include quesadillas, black bottom cupcakes, pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting, and roasted pumpkin seeds.
She started making roasted pumpkin seeds when she was in 2nd grade and saw them made on The Martha Stewart Show. I would tape record (yes, these were pre-tivo days and we used. . . gasp. . . VCR tapes that she actually had to rewind) the shows which came on during the day and she would enjoy them when she got home from school. She watched so many episodes that she even began to speak like Martha. Once her grandmother said, "Why does she talk out loud when she's doing things?" and I said, "Oh, she's just pretending that she's on Martha."
After being inspired by Martha, my daughter printed out the recipe and proceeded to make roasted pumpkin seeds from start to finish. This burst of cooking independence at age seven came about because roasted pumpkin seeds are frequently made in that chaotic space between pumpkin carving and trick-or-treating. During that interim I was usually nursing a baby, or scraping pumpkin goop off my kitchen table, or sewing up ripped super hero costumes, while my daughter was calmly preparing roasted pumpkin seeds. The first time she prepared them we were all pleasantly surprised. They were crisp, flavorful, and even her picky little brother scrambled for more.
This year we put off buying our pumpkins until a few days ago because as soon as we have at least one pumpkin in our possession my sons' start bothering their big sister to cut open the pumpkin and cook the seeds. Yes, these roasted pumpkin seeds are that good! Although the recipe is inspired by Martha, my daughter has definitely tweaked and perfected it over the years. We hope you all have a great time carving your pumpkins, and trick-or-treating, and, in between, perhaps, roasting some pumpkin seeds.
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
2 Tablespoons butter (or other fat such as olive oil or coconut oil)
2 cups washed, cleaned, and dried pumpkin seeds
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt (or Old Bay or other favorite seasoning)
- Preheat over to 300 degrees.
- Melt butter in a large saucepan.
- Add seeds and spices; toss to coat.
- Spread seeds on a large cookie sheet or jelly-roll pan lightly coated with cooking spray or covered with a silpat liner.
- Bate 40 minutes, stirring often, until they're brown and crisp.