Purchase some fancy gourds. Pick different colors, sizes and shapes. Arrange in a pretty basket of appropriate size for all that you have. Tie a pretty fall ribbon on the handle to complete the look. Gourds usually sell for $1 apiece or less. You can find them at Walmart, most grocery stores and farmers markets.
You can dress up some of the gourds. If they look like tiny pumpkins, draw faces on some with a magic (Sharpie) marker. Others look like birds if you attach beads to the “head” near the stem end to make eyes. October means Halloween, so go a little wild, have some fun with this, and create some creatures of your own.
Made From Scratch Pumpkin Pie
Choose “sugar” or “pie” pumpkin. Cut the pumpkin in half from stem to bottom. Cut off stem. Place on parchment lined baking sheet cut side down. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes until fork tender. Let cool until able to handle–15 minutes. Scrape pumpkin from rind. Pumpkin can be frozen for later use if you have too much.
1 cup light cream or evaporated milk
2 cups cooked pumpkin–pack cup tightly
2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
3/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cloves or in place of the 4 spices use 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
3/4 tsp salt
1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put all ingredients except pie shell in blender container in order listed. Cover and blend on mix until well mixed. Pour into unbaked pie shell. Bake 50-60 minutes or until knife comes out clean when inserted in filling. Cool. Serve with whipped cream if desired. This pie will be grainier than a pie made with canned pumpkin, but still very good.
Optional–Should make a creamier pie–You can blend cooked pumpkin in a food processor until smooth. Then drain for 1-2 hours in a cheesecloth lined strainer. Use 2 cups of pulp, not liquid.
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Wash seeds thoroughly, drain them and spread them on a cookie sheet. Put them in a 375 degree oven and roast for 20-30 minutes to dry. Increase the oven temp to 400 degrees and dot seeds with butter. Brown seeds for 5-10 minutes, stirring to brown evenly. Watch carefully. They burn easily.