When you are done scraping out the gooey mess inside of your soon-to-be jack-o-lantern, why not make your own pumpkin seeds. It’s easy to do and they taste great. After my son scrapes the gooey mess out from the inside of our pumpkins, to get them ready for jack-o-lanterns, I pull the gook from the seeds and get them ready for baking. It’s a little time consuming but once you taste your own pumpkin seeds, the time it takes to pull them out of the gook makes it worth it.
We clean out our pumpkins right in the kitchen sink. First, you have to make sure that when you are going to use your pumpkin to make a jack-o-lantern you cut the top off on an angle towards the inside, this way your top will not sink through when you put it back on. Be sure the hole will be big enough to reach in and clean out the insides before you make any cuts, or you will lose your top if you need to trim more pumpkin off to be able to reach inside.
Make sure that there is no dirt or dish soap residue left in the sink, because you will be using the pumpkin seeds that you pull from the gooey mess to eat later. As I said my son just loves to scrape out the insides of a pumpkin, it is one of the signs that there is some part of a little boy still lurking in his 15 year old body. When he is all done, I get to mess with the gooey mess by patiently separating the pumpkin seeds and cleaning them off. When just about all of the goo is gone, I mix plenty of salt into a big bowl of water and soak the pumpkin seeds for about a day or two.
When I think the pumpkin seeds have soaked up enough salt, ( I know a lot of salt is not good for you, but it is only once a year, everything in moderation) I spread them out on a baking, sprinkle a little more salt on top, and bake in a 350 degree oven for twenty minutes. Take them out and turn them over, they will still be a bit wet, sprinkle more salt on, yes I like my pumpkin seeds salty, and bake for another 15 to twenty minutes. Remove to a plate and let cool. There you have it, you are able to make your own pumpkin seeds from the gooey mess inside of a jack-o-lantern.