Halloween Snack: Maryland Pumpkin Seeds

Happy Halloween!

I was fledged in the great state of Maryland. I wish I could eat steamed crabs every day. Because neither my wallet nor my cholesterol level can afford that, I mimic the “crab” taste whenever I can, which means that my cooking involves copious amounts of Old Bay. At this time of year, my favorite food to Old Bay-ify is the humble pumpkin seed. Roasted pumpkin seeds make a seasonal, crunchy, homemade snack. Here’s how
I do it:

Step 1: Get your carve on. Here, the TARDIS pumpkin that Mr. Hungry Pelican carved:

TARDIS pumpkin

How we roll on Halloween in St. Pete

Step 2: Collect the seeds. Separate them from the bulk of the slimy pumpkin guts, but don’t worry if some guts remain on the seeds; it’s delicious when roasted. We usually carve two “normal-size” pumpkins (“normal” meaning large enough to carve, small enough for the average human to carry) and collect their seeds.

Step 2a (optional): Spread the seeds on a baking tray lined with parchment paper & let them dry out for a day or so. I kept mine in the fridge.

Step 3: Photograph a still life of Old Bay, butter, stainless steel bowl, and seasonal tea towel while your oven preheats to 300 degrees F.

Still life with Old Bay, butter, bowl, and towel

Like an Old Masters painting, isn’t it?

Step 4: Melt a tablespoon of butter and toss the pumpkin seeds in it. You only need enough to lightly coat the seeds so that the seasoning will stick. If you prefer not to use animal products, vegetable oil works just as well.

Step 5: Sprinkle Old Bay onto the coated pumpkin seeds. Don’t measure it out! Do it with love, to taste.

Step 6: Spread the coated & seasoned seeds in something approaching a single layer on a baking sheet, and pop them into a 300 degree oven.

raw pumpkin seeds

Raw Anticipation

Step 7: Let them bake for 40 minutes, give or take (ovens vary, y’know). Move or stir or agitate them every ten minutes or so, until they’re golden.

Step 8 (for the Marylanders): Add more Old Bay.

Step 9: Gorge on the roasted seeds while watching old horror movies and waiting for trick-or-treaters.

roasted pumpkin seeds in bowl

Get in my gullet!

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