I got a sugar pumpkin in my CSA basket and learned a neat/easy trick to getting baked pumpkin flesh. You probably already know this, but I lived on this planet 35 years and didn’t learn it until last month. So just in case you are like me, here is an easy way to get pumpkin flesh (aside from the even EASIER way of using a can opener on canned pumpkin):
1. Stab pumpkin with knife. Be careful, but feel free to use this time to really take out any seasonally induced holiday anger.
2. Shove pumpkin into a fiery furnace (aka stove) that has been set to 350 degrees. Depending on the size of the pumpkin, he’ll need to be in there for probably around an hour.
3. When you can poke the pumpkin and see it visibly squish, it’s carcass is ripe for the next step.
4. Slice it in half and let it cool. Scoop out the seeds and voila – you can just peel the skin right off and help yourself to the flesh.
5. I put the flesh in a bowl to deal with later. The next day I threw the flesh into a food processor and blended until smooth and used it throughout the week.
The only part left that you can’t process and easily dispose of is the stem. Bury it out in the hills, where no one will find it for decades to come…