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Food Notes: Oct. 24, 2012

Taste-of-FALL

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Taste-of-ALL Charleston is offering a Taste-of-FALL from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday through Sunday at some Charleston restaurants and food vendors.

Each establishment will choose a seasonal treat and offer it for a fixed price between $2 and $7. The event is part of FestivALL, a four-day celebration of art and performances.

Participating restaurants include:

Ichiban -- Fall Maki (Roll)

Ellen's Ice Cream -- Mini Sundae

Savage Sweets (at Ichiban) -- Mini Cupcake Sample Plate

I Rise Soul Food Cafe -- Gumbo

Mission Savvy -- Organic House Blend Juice and Raw Veggie Pasta with Pesto

Vandalia Grille -- Pumpkin Pie Pizza with blue cheese and smoked bacon or Lemon Sage Chicken and butternut ravioli.

Da'Sweeterie -- Pumpkin Dream Cupcake

Visit www.festivallcharleston.com.

HalloWINE tasting

The Wine Shop at Capitol Market will hold a HalloWINE tasting from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday at Center Court. The cost is $12 per person and will include samples of 10 to 12 wines. Tickets on sale at The Wine Shop.

White Sulphur Springs recipes

Tamra Vaughan-Humphreys is seeking recipes from current and former residents of White Sulphur Springs for a cookbook she is assembling as a fundraiser for the town's recreation center. Email Tamra.Vaughan@genesishcc.com or call 304-536-4661 to submit recipes and memories by Dec.1.

Pumpkin seed confusion

This is embarrassing to admit, but I've always been confused about the roasting of pumpkin seeds. I never understood why the flat white seeds I laboriously picked out of the jack-o-lantern's slimy guts and roasted didn't turn out like the delicious green elongated pumpkins seeds for sale in the stores.

It turns out that the green seeds, often called pepitas, are actually the seeds inside the white hulls. They're popular in Mexican dishes and are delicious roasted. Pumpkin seeds can be hulled after they're cleaned and boiled and roasted. The hulls and seeds are both edible, so shelling is not required.

To use pumpkin seeds pulled out of pumpkin, or any squash, rinse the seeds in a colander under cold water and pick out the pulp and strings. Dry seeds thoroughly on towels or paper towels.

Place the clean, dry pumpkin seeds in a single layer on an oiled baking sheet, stirring to coat.

Sprinkle with salt and other desired spices, and bake at 325 degrees until toasted, about 25 minutes. Check frequently and stirring after 10 minutes.

Cool completely and store in an air-tight container.

Suggested roasted pumpkin seed flavorings: seasoning salt, Old Bay seasoning, Creole or Cajun seasoning, barbecue seasoning mix, pumpkin pie spice and sugar, cinnamon and sugar, Italian spices and parmesan cheese or lemon pepper and oregano.

Another pumpkin tip

If you're clearing the guts out of a pumpkin to create a jack-o'-lantern, you'll probably want the fruits of your carving labor to last. Carved jack-o'-lanterns, a friend recently told me, will last about a week, if placed in a cool spot out of direct sunlight.

She had several suggestions for ways to slow down the growth of mold and prevent dehydration in pumpkins. The first is to submerge the cut pumpkin in a bucket of water for a few minutes to moisten the flesh. Another is to rub petroleum jelly along all the cut surfaces and interior of the jack-o-lantern. A spritz of bleach water to the pumpkin's interior should reduce the growth of mold.

Reach Julie Robinson at julier@wvgazette.com with information to be included in Food Notes.

 


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