how do you prepare Jack o lantern pumpkins for canning or freezing? Can I use regular pumpkins, not pie pumpkins, for pies etc. and how do I keep them from being stringy?
Lane County Oregon food preparation
You can use any pumpkin or winter squash to make pie, soups or other squash dishes. Some are more moist and flavorful than others. You can cut the pumpkins in half or into large pieces, remove the seeds and either bake them, steam them or you can cook them in the microwave. After the pumpkins are tender you can remove the "meat from the pumpkin" and then mash it or I like to blend it to make it smooth and not stringy. Mashed pumpkin can successfully be frozen. If you plan to can your pumpkin the only safe way is to can it in chunks and it must be processed in a pressure canner.
We have a wonderful handout on the Lane County Extension Food Preservation website titled Preserving Pumpkin and Winter Squash SP50-765 http://extension.oregonstate.edu/lane/food-preservation/publications.
If you have further questions you might like to call the OSU Extension Holiday Hotline which will be open November 17-21 and 24-26. Certified MFPs will be on hand to answer your questions from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. the number is 1-800-354-7319.
Thanks for using Ask and Expert. Hope you enjoy your pumpkin.