COLUMBIA, MD — The holidays, including Halloween, will look very different this year thanks to the coronavirus. However, some quintessential fall activities such as visiting pumpkin patches in Howard County and carving jack-o’-lanterns will stay the same.
In 2020, more people are cooking at home and trying to maximize every penny spent. Here’s a simple way to keep that up: Don’t toss out those pumpkin seeds. Instead, turn them into a delicious snack.
First, pick up a pumpkin from the local pumpkin patch.
Clark's Elioak Farms, 10500 Clarksville Pike, Ellicott City
Season opening/closing dates: Open now through Nov. 8
Attractions: Cow Train, Enchanted Express Train, Pony Ride, Petting Zoo, Fairy Forest, Enchanted Forest
Pricing: Admission $8 per person
Mary's Land Farm, 4979 Sheppard Lane, Ellicott City
Attractions: Corn Maze, Scarecrow Stuffing
Hours: Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sundays from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
TLV Tree Farm, 15155 Triadelphia Mill Rd., Glenelg
Season opening/closing dates: Oct. 3 through Oct. 31
Attractions: Corn maze and themed dress-up days
Hours: Saturdays 10 a.m. to noon
Pricing: Admission is $5 to walk the corn maze
After you gut the pumpkin for carving, keep the seeds in a bag until you are ready to roast them. Pumpkin seeds are loaded with potassium, packed with fiber and protein, and are the perfect snack to serve your little ghosts and goblins.
Here’s our favorite recipe for baking seeds:
Separate the seeds in a bowl as you clean each pumpkin. Heat the oven to 300 degrees. Rinse the seeds in cold water and strain. Pat seeds dry with a paper towel. In a bowl, toss the seeds in just enough olive oil to coat.
Spray an edged baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray and spread seeds in a single layer. Season seeds with kosher salt to taste. Bake for 30-40 minutes.
Let cool and enjoy. Seal leftovers in an airtight plastic container.
Make Your Jack-O’-Lanterns Last
When you carve that perfect pumpkin, you can plan on it lasting up to 10 days before it starts to show signs of aging. However, if you want to make it last longer, you can mix three teaspoons of bleach with 3 gallons of water and spray the solution throughout, according to Clorox.