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Homemade Pumpkin Seeds

The time of pumpkins has finally arrived and with it begins the unearthing of various pumpkin flavored cuisines. For Maria Dow, October brings the time-honored tradition of carving pumpkins and cooking the seeds. Her father first created the recipe, and it’s been a constant seasonal food for most of her life. It’s one of the few recipes that survived after his death in 2014. These seeds have always been a big hit with family and friends. “I brought homemade pumpkin seeds to school every year, all the way through high school. It’s how I got to meet my best friend,” she says. Now she’s sharing this recipe with Jackalope readers, so you can cook your own pumpkin seeds.

For this recipe you’ll need:

• A pumpkin

• Olive oil

• Soy sauce

• Worcestershire sauce

• Garlic powder

• Onion powder

• Paprika

• Chili powder

• Celery salt

• Half a lemon

“Sorry I don’t measure anything,” Dow said, when asked how much of each ingredient. “Dad never measured anything either. That’s probably why no two batches taste the same. But if I have to measure it, I’d probably say a tablespoon works for everything. It tastes good even if you over season or under season it, so don’t worry about it.”

Step one, gut the pumpkin and separate the seeds from the pumpkin meat. Rinse the seeds with cold water and depending on your tastes, you can either cook the seeds in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or take them straight to the stove. When asked what kind of difference this made, Dow replied, “The oven just dries out the seeds and makes them crispier. Personally I like them kind of oily.”

Once you get to the stove, take a large frying pan and add the olive oil and seeds. Coat the seeds with the rest of the ingredients—except the lemon juice—and stir until the seeds are evenly coated. Cook on medium heat until the seeds look peppered, black, and crispy.

Last step, remove from heat, douse with lemon juice, cover and let cool. Best served to friends over hot apple cider in front of glowing jack-o-lanterns.

Maria Dow is the sister and roommate of the author, Melissa Dow