Pumpkin Puree

Pumpkin Puree

I’m allergic to the cold.  No, really, I am.  It all started about a month ago.  After a dinner out, I noticed a few red spots on my fingers, followed by a swollen knuckle.  I tried not to think much of it, not easy for a hypochondriac, but as the red lumps spread to other fingers and the tops of my fingers near the first knuckle turned bright red and tender to the touch, the symptoms could no longer be ignored.  I was officially scared.

Off to the dermatologist we went.  He seemed unconcerned but clueless about this malady.  Oh, no.  What was wrong with me?  A sunny, warm week calmed things just in time for Regis, thankfully, but things never cleared entirely.  Symptoms were back with a vengeance as a cold snap approaches and the heat had to be turned on.



My right pinky swelled to twice its normal size.  I pretended like things were okay for a few days until one night about two weeks ago, my fingers were searing hot, tomato red, swollen, so stiff I could barely bend them, and incredibly tender and painful to the touch.  Terrified is what I was.  Though I wasn’t sure I wanted to know what was wrong, I no longer had a choice.  I had to go to the doctor.  While I waited for my appointment two days later, the symptoms subsided a little, but I was uncomfortable all the time.  So I did what any good hypochondriac would do: I went to Google.  Though the results were somewhat inconclusive, arthritis, lupus, and other debilitating diseases crossed my radar.  I was inconsolable.

The rheumatologist was incredibly nice.  She asked a series of questions and did an examination.  Though I was afraid there would be no medical explanation for what was going on, there was.  Chilblains.  A rare and old fashioned blood vessel disorder that causes blood to pool in various areas of the body, my fingers, when they get way too cold and are then rewarmed too quickly.  Winter in Michigan in a nutshell.  The simple way to describe it is that I’m allergic to the cold.  Apparently this is a fascinating disease, as the doctor brought another doctor in the office to see my fingers.  That’s right, I’ve become an episode of House.


So how do we solve this?  Until I can move to California, I hope every day I am at least there by next winter, seriously, every single day, I try to keep warm, which has led me on a quest to find a muff.  Not as easy as you may think, considering we don’t live in the early 1900s.  I understand gloves would be easier, but I have an aversion to both gloves and socks.  (I keep telling you I’m weird).  I also now take a baby Aspirin every day.  Although the chalky cherry chewable isn’t exactly enjoyable, that Aspirin cured me.  I’m still waiting for some of the swelling to go down and afraid that when the weather turns seriously cold I’ll be in serious trouble, but I can bend my fingers and touch them without pain.  It’s a good day.

I don’t really have a Segway to Pumpkin Puree, but this is a recipe you need.  It’s so easy to make, and is healthier, tastier, and even more economical than canned pumpkin.  I have been roasting and pureeing my own pumpkin for years now.  I love the flavor and quality.  It can also be made well in advance and frozen.  The smell it lends the entire how is quite enjoyable too.  This recipe comes just in time for Thanksgiving.  Whip up a batch of this to bake with and you’ll have the best pumpkin pie or cake that will impress all your friends and family, who will want to know your secret.

Pumpkin Puree

5.0 from 2 reviews
Pumpkin Puree
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: Varies
  • 1 or 2 pie pumpkins
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a roasting pan, I use a 9 by 13, with foil. Fill it with about 1 inch of water.
  2. Wash the pumpkin(s) and dry them well. I recommend roasting 1 large pumpkin or 2 small ones. Poke pumpkin(s) several times near the top with a sharp knife, making sure to go all the way through the flesh. This prevents them from exploding.
  3. Place prepared pumpkin(s) in the prepared pan and roast for 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes, until a knife inserted in several spots on the pumpkin(s) goes in very easily.
  4. Allow to cool for 30 minutes. Remove the flesh from the pumpkin(s), discarding stem, skin, seeds, and yucky pumpkin goo (I don’t have a better name – sorry!). Refrigerate until completely cold.
  5. Process in small batches in a food processor until the pumpkin is completely smooth.
  6. It may be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. It may also be frozen for up to 6 months. I freeze it in ½ cup portions in zipper bags, so it is premeasured and ready to be used in recipes. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight, or remove it from the plastic bag and place pumpkin only in a microwave safe bowl and thaw in 30 second increments until fully thawed.



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    We need to move to Cali ASAP my dear.

    And oooh I’m ridiculously intrigued by homemade pumpkin puree!

    • I am working as hard as I can to get to Cali! It is going to happen! You have to try homemade pumpkin puree, Kayle! It is just amazing.

  2. Easy to do and makes everything pumpkin taste better.

  3. I don’t like cold weather either… my hands get so dry, and because of that I actually LOVE wearing my gloves!

  4. Raynaud’s Phenomenon. I have it. AND I live in CA 🙂 And I have the color changes, blanching, etc. It’s an autoimmune response and it could be 85F and I could still get it if I get chilled in the least. Glad you’re ‘okay’ though – all this stuff can be scary!

    • One of my doctors said it’s kind of like the opposite of Raynaud’s actually. Although I think I might have Raynaud’s too. All of these diseases are very scary, but I suppose we’re both lucky that it’s not something worse.

  5. Debbie Eccard says:

    Glad you told your story. You never know who it could help. Also your pumpkin puree looks great!

    • Thanks, Debbie! I really enjoy sharing my stories on the blog. Hopefully other people enjoy them and maybe find them helpful.

  6. Chilblains is what I got last year on my feet after being exposed to cold temperatures. It’s not fun, and it doesn’t look pretty. My toes got swollen and red and with a lot of itching. I didn’t know what to think. Very strange symptoms, but turns out it’s classic chilblains. Hang in there!

    • Chilblains is definitely not fun or pretty. I am hoping it doesn’t spread to my feet as I have read that is the most common area to have it. The symptoms are very strange and quite scary. It was such a relief to know it was something relatively minor. Thanks for sharing your experience with me, Julia. Some doctors haven’t even heard of it, so knowing someone else had it is comforting. Connecting with people is one of my favorite parts of blogging 🙂

  7. Good luck finding a muff! That sounds like such a hard way to make it through winter, so I’m hoping it’s a mild one! I just bought a pumpkin and have never made puree. I’m looking forward to trying it!

    • I am on the hunt for a muff today, just in time for a serious cold snap. I’m always hoping for a mild winter. I hope you enjoy your pumpkin. Please let me know how it goes and how you like it!

  8. I’m sure this taste way better than anything you can buy in a can. It’s prettier too!

  9. Laura, I’ve had the same problem with my fingers for years (so far it hasn’t spread to my toes), every winter without fail. I have found that they get worse when I eat peanuts for some reason (arginine relaxes blood vessels, maybe?), so avoiding them has helped a bit. I also found some nifty indoor fingerless mitts to wear called Wristies (had to order on internet) that help when I’m cold indoors but need my fingers to be free. Here’s hoping something helps, and I’ll be wishing you luck from upstate New York!

    • Thanks for sharing your story, Gabby, I really appreciate it! I am keeping my fingers crossed it won’t spread to my toes. I don’t eat many peanut, but I think salt and alcohol are triggers for me, so I have been staying away from them as much as possible. It’s mostly just a huge pain, but hopefully it will not be a bad winter for either of us 🙂


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