My first batch ever of pumpkin butter

We have a pumpkin problem. I know I belong on an episode of “My Strange Addiction” or “Hoarders”–but, hear me out! What would you do if you were blessed with hundreds of pounds of beautiful, heirloom, nutritionally dense pumpkins (and the animals have had their fill)? You’d probably do what I’m doing. Invite them into your home and become fast friends.

These aren’t just “pumpkins”. They are (starting with the closest) black futsu, cinderella, jarrahdale, turk’s turban, peanut (Galeux d’Eysines), valenciano, and another jarrahdale. (NOTE: the black futsu pictured is the only black futsu we’ve received. I’ve heard incredible things about its “hazelnut-like flavor and tender skin”.)

A week ago, I believed that a pumpkin is a pumpkin is a pumpkin. But now that I’ve hefted, gutted, sniffed, tasted, explored and examined each pumpkin that arrived in our wheel barrow, I’ve learned to identify, discern and appreciate each unique “fruit of the vine”.

The messy middle

Just when you thought canning and preserving season was over! Hundreds of pounds of pumkins were delivered to the wheelbarrow next to our front driveway by nameless, faceless, generous neighbors. It’s a yearly tradition…and most of the pumpkins go to the animals–but a select few find their way to our kitchen where we gut them and process them.

Some will be cubed and bottled in the pressure canner; others will be cooked in the Instant Pot, pureed, then frozen.

The last sentence of the previous paragraph was the first time I’ve used a semi colon as an adult. So proud.