One of my fondest memories as a child is carving pumpkins and roasting pumpkin seeds. I am not sure where the tradition started but I remember being very small and watching my dad take a big knife to our pumpkins and carving the traditional triangle face. We would carve the pumpkins, get into our customers homemade by our mother and go to friends houses for trick or treat.
As I got older my dad taught me how to roast the pumpkin seeds. We had a large picture window in the front of the house and after the pumpkins were carved and the seeds washed my dad would give to me the bowl of wet sticky pumpkin seeds to set on the windowsill to dry. I would check every day, to see if they were drying enough to roast. Finally, they would be put on a foil tray in the oven with butter and salt and roasted to a golden brown.
When it became my turn as the mom to roast pumpkin seeds, I could not wait for the seeds to dry. I now put the seeds on a foil pan right after being washed and letting them dry as they roast. Roasting seeds at 300° might take a little longer but you didn’t have to wait days for them to dry on the window. We have also modified the recipe as I drizzle the seeds with olive oil and just add a little butter to increase the nutritional value without sacrificing any taste.
Jim’s mother Grace Ross Buonpane’s brother, Richard Ross owns a farm in Columbia Station, Ohio called Red Wagon Farm. Uncle Dick’s farm is a cherished memory for my husband and our children, especially around the fall season.
Each year, uncle Dick has a pumpkin festival that we have attended, worked at, and visited since the children were little. Uncle Dick would take us out to the pumpkin patch and let the children pick out their own pumpkins from the field. He would also allow me to take the broken pumpkins that were at the side of the barn just so that I would have extra pumpkin seeds.
Here are many of our fun-filled visits. The kids love to eat fresh apples from the store while we on the on the un-scary wagon ride, where silly scarecrows stand up and wave at you and tell silly jokes out of an old shed back in the woods. The children also love the hay maze where you could get lost in fun for almost an hour. Uncle Dick would take us on a tour of the vegetable field and let up pick our own fresh from the field.