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Whether you make a spooky,

or goofy face,  

after you do this, you’re going to have a lot of this.

Pumpkin seeds.  What  to do with all those?  Eat them, of course.  (For eating, it’s best to use the seeds of the slightly smaller “sugar” pumpkins, but the big guys aren’t bad. )

Before you begin, you can give your seeds a good washing.  I filled my sink full of water, dumped in all the pumpkin “guts” and sort of rubbed them between my hands to separate the seeds from the flesh.  The seeds float, but the other stuff doesn’t exactly sink.  I used a mesh strainer to gather the seeds and then scooped the other stuff into the trash so I wouldn’t clog my disposer with it.  In other words, if you fill your sink with pumpkin guts, don’t blame me when your husband is fussing at you for breaking the garbage disposer.  🙂

Next, get a pot of water boiling with about a tablespoon of  salt. Boil your pumpkin seeds for about ten minutes.

Oooh, look! An orange-ish foam starts to collect on the top.

 Yes, this is new for me too.  I’ve toasted, but never boiled the seeds.  Boiling them in salted water seasons the nutty meat inside the crunchy shell.

While they are boiling, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. 

Then get your spice mixture together.  Begin with a heaping teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice.    It’s cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and maybe something else–I can’t remember.  I’m not a huge fan of nutmeg so I don’t go overboard with it.

Add another heaping teaspoon of cinnamon.  By the way, “heaping” just means mounded up on top.   (Don’t let the picture fool you.  I began with half a teaspoon and added more after I tasted the mix.)

A good half-teaspoon of cayenne pepper will give it a nice burn.  If you’re feeling timid, at least a quarter teaspoon.  Brave?  Give it all you want.

Two table spoons of brown sugar.

And a half-teaspoon of salt.  Or more if you like.   Mix it all together thoroughly.

Drain your boiled pumpkin seeds and drizzle with oil.  Not olive oil, just whatever vegetable oil you have on hand. 

Then dump in the spices.  Mix it all together until each seed is coated.

Then spread on a baking sheet and roast for 10-20 minutes.  You’re looking for golden brown and delicious. 

That’s one of my favorite phrases.  “Golden brown and delicious”.  It sounds magical.  So many good things come out of the oven at golden brown and delicious.  Sounds like the residence of a fairy tale character.  “She lives at the corner of Golden Brown and Delicious.”  Or perhaps a corporation of bakers, “Welcome to the office of Golden, Brown, and Delicious.”  

Okay, I’m officially off my rocker.  Back to the seeds.

When they are toasted, they are easily crunched through, but if not completely toasted, they become tiresome to chew.  The outer layer is woody and fibrous.  You can split and spit like a sunflower seed, but if they’re crisp, that’s not necessary.  

Mine were great right out of the oven, but the next day they were too soft.  Even after being in an airtight container.  Perhaps I will re-toast them before snacking next time.

I’m thinking this spice blend would be good on some nuts, pecans maybe.  Serve them on halloween when you’ve had too much candy but want a festive treat.