Are You Ready?

Thanks Chris Clement, for the reminder (Oct. 1960 comic)
Aside from a brief description in the "Post Shave" disquisition, I haven't specifically told you how to get your own Pumpkin Face Balm, aka pumpkin juice. And now's the time, as Halloween approaches!

It's not actually a Great Pumpkin we're looking for, but one of those little 2-pounder pie pumpkins. I accidentally used a larger one myself, last year, but a little bit of this stuff goes a long way, and pumpkins are surprisingly expensive. There is also the question of long term storage in your freezer. Not all of us have the standalone version. I expect you'll get around a cup of juice as your year's supply.

Likewise, whereas I relied on mother nature to extract my juice, you may employ your freezer. Wash the pumpkin and set it in the freezer overnight. Then take it out and let it melt; set in a dish, in case it leaks.  If it seems to deflate and becomes soft, you are ready to proceed; otherwise, repeat the freezing and thawing.

Cut the top off the thawed pumpkin and you should see the cavity partially filled with liquid. Pour through a large sieve (mesh strainer). I'll leave it to you to decide whether to squeeze or not. I squeeze, but I imagine it's like jelly making, where you're trading clarity for flavor; in this case, the "flavor" is general biological activity.

I've had good results with a second round of freezing to purify the juice further, which makes it somewhat less slimy, orange, and pumpkin-smelling. For this optional step, a freezer-safe jar or plastic container will be needed. Thaw in the fridge and decant the clear fraction. (You could still make ice cubes of the remainder, and give it a try.) Finally, portion into the ideal dispenser and refreeze for long-term storage.

Besides its rustic, natural appeal, my strange discovery may have properties that are actually superior to cosmetics, just as the flavor of maple syrup is superior to refined sugar. Vitamin A and anti-oxidants are presumably both preserved by freezing, but it causes some trouble (expense) to make them work together in a skin cream. (Search "AHA and Retinol" for a sample of pissed off cosmetic producers.) I like the flexibility of applying it with shaving oil or alone, as a preshave, postshave or spot treatment.

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