As a kid, if you would have asked me where (edible) pumpkin came from, without hesitation I would answer: from a can. The thought of chopping up a pumpkin for anything other than decoration and recreation would have baffled me. I always thought that "real" pumpkins were for carving, and canned pumpkin was for eating.
Because of this childhood confusion, I still feel a little weird about buying a pumpkin at the grocery store, chopping it into pieces, and roasting it in the oven. Not to mention, lugging it around new york city with me. Awkward.
The other day I went to the store to buy a pumpkin for cooking purposes. I was scouring the selection in Chelsea Market, trying to pick out the biggest size I could carry home comfortably. Not an easy task. I had a store employee helping me out, we were picking up pumpkins one by one until I found one that fit perfectly in my arms.
If I was going to make the effort to carry a several pound pumpkin home, I wanted to have pumpkin leftovers for days. I wanted to make multiple meals with this one large pumpkin.
I purchased my big orange pumpkin, and several small white ones (for decoration), and I was on my way home, arms stretched long around the pumpkin hoping, praying it doesn't drop and smash on the sidewalk into a million pieces.
When I got my pumpkin home, I sat it outside next to the two little ones. I was still feeling a little conflicted. He looked so happy sitting there with the other pumpkins ... was I really going to chop him up, or could he just stay there happily decorating our front stoop.
Okay, get a hold of yourself. It is just a pumpkin. It does not have feelings, and if I were a pumpkin I would so much rather be an empanada instead of being stoop decor.
It was settled, pumpkin empanadas were the winner.
As I am sure you guessed, canned pumpkin does not makes it's way into my home anymore. I'm homemade all the way here. But because I live in NYC and the whole pumpkin carrying business is less than ideal, I usual roast only one or two pumpkins over the course of the fall with the hopes of getting a few different recipes out of them. And because of their short season and the labor involved in roasting them, I am sure you probably do the same.
Originally these guys were going to be mini pumpkin hand pies, but when I posted a picture on Instagram a few people commented that they looked like empanadas. Sooo, I immediately consulted with my live-in empanada expert (Michael). He tried one and he agreed - these were totally empanadas. Really good empanadas.