Might I suggest two fabulous pumpkin recipes? They are recipes for loaves of pumpkin bread, but I made them into muffins. Cuts the cooking time in half and is more portable.
Spiced Pumpkin Bread.
It calls for 3 cups of sugar! No way! I made it with 2 1/2 and it's plenty sweet. I'm going to keep adding less and less until I find just the right amount. In fact, I think next time I'll go drastic and cut it back to 1/2 c maybe and add grated carrot and apple. MMmmm. I also threw in a little cardamom and ginger. Bring on the spices!
Also yummy was Curried Pumpkin Bread. It's actually more like a curried, pumpkin corn bread. I'm not a huge fan of corn bread, so I enjoyed this only moderately. Chris, on the other hand, thinks they're wonderful. He said it was like corn bread with zing (I mention this at the risk of sounding like one of those cook books compiled of recipes sent in by rural wives). I didn't have any buttermilk, as the recipe called for, so I just used regular milk.
I also added sunflower seeds (shelled, duh) and sliced almonds to both.
How to Prepare your Pumpkin:
I abhore canned pumpkin. It's disgusting. No need to mince words on this subject. It's very easy to cook down a pumpkin. Take off the top where the stem is and scoop out the innards. Slice it into manageable parts (like about the size of a plate if it were curved). With a fork prick holes into it all over on the flesh side. Place into roasting pan with about an inch of water in the bottom of the pan. Cover the pan with foil and bake for about two hours on 200. After it cools, you should be able to peel the skin off quite easily. To turn it into puree, you can either put it into a food processor or blender or use my favorite little kitchen device...the hand-held blender! woohoo! Freeze it in 2 cup increments in little baggies. 2 cups equal about a can, so when you see recipes for that call for a can of pumpkin, that is how much you use.
This is how I've always cooked pumpkin. However, it's still rather warm here, and I didn't feel like turning on the oven for two hours. So I prepared a couple of pieces of the pumpkin (poking with holes, etc), covered them with plastic wrap, and microwaved them for about 20-25 minutes. This worked just fine. But if you don't have a microwave that rotates, move the pieces around every 10 min or so.
Fall Garden Report:
Well, this morning I got out there and cleaned up the garden from the summer. I pulled down the nearly dead tomatoes, and turned over the soil a bit. The peppers are all still doing fabulously, dripping with fruit, so just weeded around them a bit and loosened up the soil. I expect them to go strong through the winter. I found a railroad tie on the side of the road last week, so I created a stronger border on the long side of the garden with that, and used rocks and bricks debris to make a little wall on the short side (the porch and house created the border for the other two sides). I planted seeds for cucumbers and snapgdragons and some other annuals that grow in the summer up north but grow from Sept-Feb down here. Things are looking quite tidy. I felt good to be out in the fresh air.