Do you buy a pumpkin for Halloween or fall decoration, set it out, then throw it away when it gets frozen or old? It surprises me every time I realize how many people do that, then go to the store and buy canned pumpkin to make pies at Thanksgiving, or buy pumpkin pies already made.
Fresh pumpkin, like most other fresh foods, tastes better and is better for you than canned, so why throw it out and then go and buy an inferior product? It's really not hard to bring a pumpkin indoors before it freezes or gets too mature in the sun.
I used to peel pumpkins and then boil the pieces, then get them ready for pies and/or the freezer, but I finally got a little smarter. Now I just cut them in two, take out the seeds and clean out the cavity. I put them cut side down on a cookie sheet and bake them until they're tender. When cooled, the skin pulls right away from the flesh and all I have to do is put it in the blender for a couple of minutes with a tiny bit of water and, voilà! ..pureed pumpkin. Just like in the cans, but better. And a whole lot cheaper.
One medium size pumpkin will yield about 10 to 12 cups of puree, depending on the type of pumpkin and the growing conditions. That's a lot of pumpkin pie! Don't forget about the pumpkin bread and pumpkin cookies and pumpkin soup. Pumpkin is chock full of vitamins and minerals, too, so however you like it, it's goof for you.
My favorite pumpkin soup recipe, just in case you wind up with a surplus of pumpkin:
4 cups cooked, pureed pumpkin
1 medium onion, diced
half pound of bacon, ham, turkey bacon or turkey ham, diced
bbutter or margarine if you use turkey bacon or ham.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Cook the ham or bacon and the onion together (in the butter if it's turkey).
Heat pumpkin to just under a simmer and add about half the meat and onion. Dip the pumpkin mix into a blender or food processor and process until smooth, then put it back in the pan and add the reserved meat and onion, heating through. Add salt and pepper as desired.
That's a very simple version, but you can dress it up with green onions, croutons or whatever strikes your fancy.
More about pumpkins:
Winter Squash (pumpkin is a squash)
The Jack-o-Lantern That Became a Thanksgiving Pie