Love to live that way.
As I said about the pumpkins....there's no need to skimp....get big plump ones for your kids to carve and let them sit out front with each little silhouette design glowing proudly but then.....when the candy has been gorged on and the trick-or-treaters are gone....really impress your kids! Is it over for the pumpkins? Are they ready for the trash? NO way!
Bring those suckers into the kitchen and have a go at capability yourself! Eat the jack-o-lanterns!
I cut the pumpkin into chunks with a paring knife that are about the size of my palm. Then with said knife or with a vegetable peeler (I adore this one....so sharp and efficient!) get all the rind off. Then a quick rinse if you like and chunk it up and toss it into a pot over medium low heat with three or four cups of water. Don't worry about the inside of the pumpkin being shrivelled and kind of leathery and dried out....it will rehydrate and cook down just fine. The other thing that shouldn't go into the pot of actually moldy bits or rind, besides that....it can all stew. Keep adding chunks until you fill the pot and let it simmer at a low heat (adding water any time it gets low, until all the pieces are soft when speared with a knife and they are starting to come apart. This was kind of an all day process at our house today. Makes for a yummy smelling house! Made me happy to open the door to the piano teacher today when the kitchen was all pumpkiny and sweet.
So then....do whatever you'd like with the resulting pumpkin meat! Snack this afternoon was little ramikins of stewed pumpkin with a dollup of butter and some salt and a spoon each. Very cozy....especially with a mug of tea. You can serve it for dinner just like that in a big bowl. You can also put it in bags in the freezer for later meals, in that simple state. You can also have a homemade pumpkin pie with your own pumpkin pulp....Ru's jack-o-lantern made it to pie form at our house tonight which was a great coup for him. I used this recipe from Mommypatamus. Just remember that the pie you make won't be as dark and vibrant an orange as one you'd make from canned pumpkin....that's because canned pumpkin isn't pumpkin. Libby's packs butternut squash which has a higher sugar content, richer flavor and deeper color than your jack-o-lantern meat. Nothing to worry about, just a heads up for expectations.
Another super simple option is to make pumpkin butter. This means stirring as much sweetner as you like (I love honey or maple syrup) into the cooked pumpkin and adding cloves, ginger and cinnamon and pureeing in a food processor or with a stick blender, right in the pot. Its great on biscuits and other breads, stirred into oatmeal or plain yogurt and or just eaten out of the spoon like you would apple sauce. Hope your Halloween was fun and that the holiday stress ahead of you keeps its distance for a while. May the pumpkin simmering on your stove slow down time and give you some sweetly scented now to carry you through.