Pumpkin Perfect Postshave

I was trying to sort out the pint-and-a-half mason jars in my freezer for this year's harvest, which for me is going to be just jelly and pectin, because I let the garden go fallow. Three cups is not the ideal portion for long-term pectin storage, because it expands in the freezer; however, that size happens to be freezer-safe, so I make do.

It IS the perfect size for near-term storage: two batches of jelly, yielding 22 cups. So a natural system is to invert jars to create a vacuum with minimal headspace, distribute what you can to friends, store some in the refrigerator until the harvest of ripe apples, and decant the rest after the sediment settles for long-term storage. The wastage can be tested for taste and pectin content, so it's not a total loss.

Anyway, one of the old jars I thought was applesauce turned out to be my old pumpkin juice, the extra that I stored after making cubes for what I thought would be a year's supply. (Actually, I only used about six cubes.) And I noticed something interesting when it thawed: it was nearly clear, purified by further freezing in a way similar to the original discovery.

Meanwhile, my dedication to discount store shopping brought me the ideal delivery system: silicone squeeze-pop molds. Family Dollar had these on clearance, I think for $5, but they're available under a variety of brands, as a Chinese import. A six pack took almost all of my one-and-a-half pints of pumpkin juice. I had been using a plastic push-up pop, which was fine but a bit clunky to keep in storage. It took some damage when my wife dropped it into the ice maker, in fact. I found it a bit fussy to replace the angled cap in use.

The only problem with these new molds was the seal, a bit compromised when the fluid froze and expanded. I see now I should have squeezed the bottom when filling, instead of leaving headspace. But it wasn't a big deal: I just had to clear some ice from around the loosened tops and close them up again.

Just look at the perfectly molded pumpkin face balm: like a little alum crystal! Works better than ever, too. Remember how Shave Secret smells like pumpkin spice? The circle is complete.

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