Pumpkin Seeds

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About a week before Halloween, my parents used to turn our garage into a little pumpkin-carving factory. My mom parked the car on the street then spread newspapers across the floor so my sister and I could transform the pumpkins we had picked from Sauvie Island into homemade displays for our front porch. Armed with various tools (knives, scooping spoons, stencils, and sharpies) and supervised by our dad, we started by cutting a circle at the top of each of our pumpkins.  Pulling off the newly created lid revealed a tangled mess of stringy orange vines and seeds that we’d scrape out with spoons. Then we put the extracted pumpkin “guts” into a bowl so my mom could roast the seeds while we continued to decorate our pumpkins with triangular shaped facial features.

Carving pumpkins remains one of my favorite Halloween traditions, and even though my carvings are primitive, the seeds are really the best part. A few years ago, I started to experiment by spicing the seeds with more than just salt–kind of like what I had always done to popcorn.  You can’t go wrong with the sea salt and olive oil combo, so this recipe is just a suggestion for a twist on an old classic:

Curry-Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

Ingredients:

Seeds from a freshly carved pumpkin

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons curry spices (I used garam masala)

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Salt, to taste

What to do:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Separate and discard any strings from the seeds then put the seeds into a colander. Rinse the seeds until there is no residue on them. Dry with a paper towel and pour into a clean bowl.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.  If you are making multiple toppings, just use different bowls. Spread the seeds evenly onto a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, until lightly toasted and crispy.

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