Hope, pumpkin seeds, and failure

The coming of fall is a magical time. Leaves turning, apple cider mulling, kids bundled in handknits, what’s not to love? I am particularly fond of the coming of winter squashes. Summer squashes don’t do much for me, but I love half a roasted acorn with brown sugar and butter (mmm, healthy!), or lentils with pumpkin.

Earlier this week I made a not-true-to-the-recipe pot of this roasted pumpkin coconut curry soup. I used a Blue Kuri squash (Cucurbita maxamia!), skipped the chicken broth, skipped the fried shallots for topping, and ate it with toast. (Soup + toast = happy happy Pie Maker)

As you can see from that lovely seed catalog, the Blue Kuri has a relatively large seed cavity, with lots of good-sized seeds. And as always happens, as I was scooping the seeds, the frugal little voice in the back of my head said, “roast them!” So I tried.

People, I say I tried because, despite the fact that it’s a super easy, straightforward kitchen task, I cannot roast seeds. This is the third batch I’ve attempted this fall, and the third one to fail. The first ones burned. There are no pictures. The second ones… I don’t know. I think I left them in the brining water over night before trying to roast them, which was both dumb and ridiculous.

But this time I was so good! I rinsed them! I only left them in the brine for a couple minutes longer than was ideal! After forgetting to put them in the oven (yeah), I DID remember to stir them AND take them out at the appropriate times. But still. No dice.

They’re not salty. They’re stuck in the shells. It’s a good thing I’m not baking on the huge demand for home-roasted pumpkin seeds to keep this boat afloat. The good news is that the last batch was about like this, and my brother ate enough of them that I didn’t feel like a total jerk. Here’s hoping these meet a similar fate.

As much as I am continually disappointed by them, I’m going to keep trying. The failures are fun to photograph, at the very least…