If you were to walk up the driveway to Jill and Zoe’s house, the first thing you would notice is the muted green wood bench propped up against the siding and a beautiful pumpkin with an creative cat carving for its design.
Jill V. is a good friend of mine who also happens to live directly across the street. She is mother to Zoe, a shy but sweet 3 year old and her brothers, Aaron and Jacob – 12 week old twins. A graphic designer and teacher by profession, Jill tries hard to find pockets of quality time to spend with Zoe during her maternity leave as the family adjusts to the new twins.
Often when I visit with Jill our conversations turns to food with an emphasis on what we’ve been cooking and eating. During our most recent visit I couldn’t help but notice one of my favorite Fall snacks, roasted pumpkin seeds, sitting on her kitchen counter. I told Jill how much I loved roasted pumpkin seeds and that this year we didn’t bake any because the kids had carved their pumpkins at a YMCA camp with my husband, Rob. It’s at this moment I realized that unless I buy another pumpkin to carve, there will be no roasted pumpkin seeds for me this year; at least not the homemade kind I’ve enjoyed since I was a child.
As Jill and I continued to catch up on her sons’ latest milestones, she shared how her friend taught her how to roast pumpkin seeds without rinsing the seeds first and without adding any butter or oil. “Really?” I asked -only because I couldn’t tell by the way they tasted. I went on to tell her I usually rinse my seeds first but always love learning other ways of doing things as I munched on my second handful.
She goes on to tell me how she roasted seeds with Zoe earlier in the week from the carved cat pumpkin. What started as a special trip to the pumpkin farm with just Jill, Zoe, Grandma, and a few friends ended with a special evening of pumpkin decorating and a savory healthy snack.
Listening to Jill tell me about how Zoe helped scoop the seeds out, tape the cat pattern to the pumpkin, and assisted her in the carving, reminded me of my own childhood when my mother used to roast pumpkin seeds with us. In fact, the seeds were always the best part of carving pumpkins with my family.
If you’re looking for a great family activity to do together with an edible reward, carving pumpkins and roasting their seeds is a perfect way to accomplish both.