Friday, November 30, 2012

Cooking Tip #1 - Wash Those Pumpkins!

 Many people, at this time, are canning and freezing up their bountiful harvest of pumpkins, putting up the ones they found on that wonderful super sale after Halloween and Thanksgiving were over, or just plain making up some delicious pumpkin pies. Pumpkins are so versatile and packed with nutrition, they are well worth the effort of putting them up for use all year long.

But before you begin to cut into one of those pumpkins, be sure and wash the entire outside off thoroughly with a naturally antibacterial soap. Give it a good scrubbing. Make extra sure you get into all of those creases and crevices. Weather you purchase your pumpkin at the grocer, from your local farmer's market, or grow it yourself, there is always the risk that odd, unusual and even dangerous germs could be lurking on the skin of those pumpkins. The cooler, damper climate of Fall, with fluctuating warmer days just before pumpkins are harvested, can lend to a faster growth/spread of some germs and fungi. A good scrubbing should easily take care of anything that might pose a danger and is very easy to do.

Then let your pumpkin(s) air dry. Don't get in a hurry and be tempted to dry them off with that dish towel that is setting right there at your fingertips. You will just put germs right back on your pumpkin! Especially for long term storage, you want every germ possible off of your pumpkin before you cut into it. If you don't wash them, and any unsafe germs are on the skin of your pumpkin, the moment you stick your knife into it, you push the germs right inside, where they quickly absorb into the softer flesh.

Have a happy and tasty holiday season, and watch for more great cooking tips to come!

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