Misadventures with Roasting Sunflower Seeds: Pinterest in Real Life

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There’s nothing like a beautiful sunny fall weekend in New England. Everywhere you look, the leaves are turning shades of yellow, red, orange and brown. A breeze comes in, and the leaves fall gently to the ground. The air feels crisp and cool - the perfect sweater weather.

We were taking advantage of the gorgeous day. The kids were riding their bikes in the driveway and I was sitting on the front steps, sipping my coffee and gazing at what used to be our huge sunflowers.

In the middle of the summer, these plants were gigantic. We only planted a couple of sunflowers this year, but they grew tall and strong. The flowers were so big and heavy they fell over! My father in law referred to one of them as Audrey II.

Then I had a crazy thought. Could I roast my own sunflower seeds from the plants we had grown? I was a little hesitant about this plan because of the first time I tried to do this two years ago...

That year, the sunflowers were also gorgeous and huge. Our neighbors would constantly comment on them. In the fall that year, I first thought about roasting sunflower seeds. I did not research anything but I thought - how complicated can this be? I took one of the flowers off of the plant and placed it in a paper bag inside my house. And I waited.

(I’m not sure what I was waiting for. The seeds to pop out on their own? Martha Stewart to come along and tell me what to do next?)

Then, I forgot about the bag. For weeks.

Finally one day I remembered/decided to open the bag. I couldn’t wait to see what was inside. I’ll have so many sunflower seeds! Then I saw the mold and it looked nasty. Yuck! So I put the sunflower out with the rest of our yard waste, and I was done with the great sunflower seed experiment of 2013.

But now it was 2015. And I have a tiny obsession with Pinterest. This time, I immediately went there to find out what other crazy Pinterest obsessed people had done with sunflower seeds. I found this post from A Return to Simplicity.

This looks easy enough. All I have to do is pop out the seeds? Why didn’t I think of that before? Mommy brain, that’s why.

Once they saw me taking down the flowers from the plants, the kids stopped riding bikes and wanted to help me get some of the seeds out. After a few minutes, the kids requested gloves - their hands were getting messy. After that, they sat for a good 30 minutes with me and helped me get out the seeds. They went back to riding bikes as I finished up getting the last of the seeds out.

First part done, easy peasy!

I waited a day, then I soaked the sunflower seeds overnight with salt. I roasted them to perfection. They looked just like I bought them in a store, only better, because I had grown and made them myself. We’d have tons of sunflower seeds for snack. Perfect for my newly discovered allergic-to-nuts child.

At dinner, I brought the snack to the table. Then we began opening the seeds.

Crack - no seed.

Crack - no seed.

Crack - no seed.

For reals???

After about 10 sunflowers, I finally found one seed. There had to be more, right? I kept going.

Crack - no seed.

Crack - no seed.

Crack - no seed.

The children grew tired of only getting one seed for every 10 that they opened. I had to chuckle. They look perfect on the outside, but you don’t really know what’s inside until you take a peek.

There’s a social lesson in here somewhere :-)

So, can I roast sunflower seeds? Yes!! Does that mean I have a ton of sunflower seeds to eat? Apparently, the answer is no.

Maybe in two more years, I’ll get it right...

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