Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze & Observer 10-31-2019

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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22 SCITUATE / NORTH COUNTY OCTOBER 31-NOVEMBER 6, 2019 | BREEZE & OBSERVER | "You can go all kinds of crazy with those pumpkins," he said. To roast pumpkin seeds, first sepa- rate the seeds by collecting them in a container and then rinsing off the clinging pumpkin pulp with water. Then toss them in butter, salt, pep- per, sugar, or any seasoning of your choice, he said. The leftover pulp can be pureed into pumpkin ravioli filling or pump- kin soup. He said he likes to use Moroccan seasoning with pumpkins to add a little spice. As a pumpkin is a squash, the gourd can be cooked in any way other squash is cooked, Lewis said. Many people like to roast acorn squash with cinnamon, sugar and butter. (Lewis said all squashes are called pumpkin in the Caribbean.) "Go ahead and try it on pumpkin. Why not?" he said. He said to think of dishes that are famous for squash, like a butternut squash risotto, and substitute pumpkin in the recipe. Smaller sugar pumpkins are the best for pies for the sweeter flavor, and are not really great for carving, Lewis said. Another benefit of limiting pumpkin waste is that the fibrous fruit is better for health overall, he said. "The most sustainable way to do pumpkin carving in the season is to grow your own pumpkin," he said. Carvers gain extra points if seeds from the previous pumpkin carving are saved and dried out to be planted in the spring. Pumpkins are a great plant for gardens because the plant does not begin to spread until late summer to early fall "after all the veg- etables have been harvested already," he said. "So when the plant spreads, everything else is already gone." He said the fall rain is usually sufficient enough to water the plants, too. He said each plant can grow six to eight pumpkins. Pumpkins do not attract many pests, either, he said, so the plants will not require pesti- cides and will be safe to eat. Lewis said he does not trust hardware store pumpkins for consumption and rec- ommends sticking to local farmers to ensure there are no pesticides on the fruit. Pumpkins also make great compost for gardens, he said. He said he has plants growing out of his compost pile right now from pumpkin seeds from last year's carving. If pumpkins are not growing in your garden this year, Lewis recom- mends purchasing pumpkins from a local, organic farm. From a social sustainability stand- point, Lewis said the family traditions created when carving pumpkins are important as well. "You tend to carve pumpkins with your family," he said. "You're spend- ing time with them and building tradi- tions. You're fostering strong family ties." Roasted pumpkin with Moroccan seasonings and toasted pumpkin seeds Recipe by Chef Branden Lewis Yield: 6 servings (1-2 wedges) Ingredients 2 garlic cloves, smashed into a paste 2-3 tbsp. olive oil or blended olive oil 2 tsp. coriander seeds, freshly ground or crushed 1 tsp. fennel seeds, freshly ground or crushed 1 tsp. cumin seeds, freshly ground or crushed 1 tsp. cinnamon, ground 1/2 tsp. ginger, dried, ground 1/2-1 tsp. dried red pepper flakes 1-and-1/2 tsp. kosher salt 1 sweet sugar pumpkin, small Directions 1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees 2. Place the garlic cloves into a medium sized bowl and smash. Blend in the olive oil. 3. In a small bowl or container, combine the coriander, fennel, cumin, cin- namon, ginger, red pepper, and salt and add to the garlic paste mixture. Mix thoroughly and set aside. 4. Wash and split the pumpkin. Remove the seeds and reserve to make toast- ed pumpkin seeds (recipe in notes below). Cut the pumpkin into six wedges or 12 half-wedges depending on preference. 5. Rub each wedge with the garlic mixture. Lay onto a sheet pan with the pumpkin skin down so they arch into the air. Place into the oven and bake until well browned all around and tender, around 35-45 minutes. 6. Serve with your favorite fall foods. Chef's note on toasted pumpkin seeds: To turn the gooey pumpkin seeds into a tasty, crispy snack, first fill a medium bowl with water and add the seeds along with any sticky pulp that remains attached. Shake them around in the water to break them up from the pumpkin bits. Separate and drain the seeds from the bits. Next, toss the seeds in a little melted butter and either some kosher salt or your favorite seasoning blend. Pour them out onto a sheet pan and add to the 375 degree oven while your pumpkin wedges roast. Toast seeds until lightly browned and crispy. Enjoy immediately while still hot and crunchy. Extras can be stored for a day or two in a covered container, but quality reduces every hour they are out of the oven. Enjoy! PUMPKINS From Page One 'In sustainability circles, many are concerned about food waste with carving a pumpkin and just throwing it out.' BRANDEN LEWIS Johnson & Wales University chef and associate professor Junior Achievement receives $100,000 grant WARWICK – Junior Achievement of Rhode Island announced they have received a $100,000 grant from American Student Assistance to sup- port their JA Inspire career pathways program. JA Inspire, which is planned to reach 9,000 Rhode Island 8th graders next month, was developed to help support the Governor's Workforce Board's PrepareRI action plan, which is "a commitment by the state of Rhode Island to improve the career readiness and postsecondary attain- ment of all Rhode Island youth to prepare them with the skills they need for jobs that pay." The JA Inspire program includes four in-class sessions where students will take a personality assessment to see what jobs align with their inter- ests, research those jobs and see what skills and educational requirements are needed to obtain and be success- ful in those jobs. Students will then go to the Rhode Island Convention Center for the JA Inspire Career Exploration Fair, where they will get to explore vari- ous high-wage/high-demand careers. Exhibits will include over 150 inter- active career stations with over 500 mentors from local companies work- ing with students who will participate in hands-on activities, often using equipment or tools used on a job. After the career fair, students par- ticipate in a final in-class session to reflect on what they have learned and identify next steps to further define their academic choices and career paths. Want to turn 'likes' into business? Can't figure out how? Let us help! 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