Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Dinner in a Pumpkin

I remember with fondness a meal that my mom used to fix for us in the fall called "Dinner in a Pumpkin".   I placed it on the menu this week and even remembered to pick up a pumpkin during that fateful Walmart trip over the weekend. 

Here's how it's done:

First, call Grandma for the recipe.

How special is that gonna be in my recipe book!

Next, the main character. . .

(The pumpkin, not the drummer.)

Brown ground beef and sausage with chopped onion.  Please note that goofy tool Cole is using.  It is the best thing to break up all those pesky lumps that can happen when you brown your beef, sausage, etc. One of my favorite gadgets.
(Recipe is at the end of this post.)

Cook rice.

In a very large bowl, combine browned beef and sausage mixture and add to it salt,

soy sauce,

brown sugar, and

cream of chicken soup.

You may not need to do the next step, but it was important during our recipe prep.

Pause a moment and pay attention to the head taster.

When the rice has finished cooking...

add it to the big bowl with everything else.

Now, back to the pumpkin.

Cut out a lid as you would for a jack o'lantern, making certain to cut on a slanted angle.

Open and clean out the "guts", saving the seeds to roast if you desire.  This is another one of those jobs best "hired out" .    

This was Kate's first pumpkin "opening" and it had been a very long time since Cole and Meg experienced pumpkin guck.

Would you please look at that ten year old knee up there on the counter top.  Nothin' like putting your whole self  into the process.

Our pumpkin after the cleaning crew was finished.

Now, add the big bowl of ingredients.

Replace the lid.

Rub the pumpkin with oil or shortening and wrap the stem with foil.
(Our pumpkin had no stem, so no foil.  Wonder if it'll feel deprived?)

Place pumpkin on a cookie sheet and place in oven to bake for about one hour.  Carefully remove it from the oven-it's very, very heavy.

Its a bit more browned than it should be.  I happen to have the world's smallest oven and the pumpkin was very close to the elements. 

Use tongs to remove the pumpkin's lid.  It will be molten hot, steamy, and slippery.  Look, it made its own gravy - wasn't that nice!

When serving your Dinner in a Pumpkin, scrape the serving spoon against the side of the pumpkin to include some cooked pumpkin.

The reviews were wonderful.  Kate, the usual food critic gave it high marks, "Mom, this stuff isn't so bad!  I might want some more!"  The rest of the gang loved it too. 

You'll see in the recipe below that mushrooms and celery are called for, however, in this house mushrooms and celery are rarely called for.  Suit yourself!

Dinner in a Pumpkin
(the Details)

1 medium pumpkin
1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground sausage (we used mild)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup chopped celery
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 cups cooked rice
2 tablespoons brown sugar
4 ounces sliced mushrooms (drained)
10 ounce can cream of chicken soup

Bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours in a 375 degree oven.


Becky said...

Fantastic pictures! It looked like you "hired out" most of the process :) Thanks for letting the blog world enjoy the fun.

Sudeana said...

I tried this as a new bride and it didn't go over very well. BUT it looks too exciting to pass on giving it another try with extra cooks in the kitchen! From the looks of your sweet pics the memories are worth it no matter :)
love ya and really wish i was there to enjoy watching the kids cook and eating it with you :)

Charlotte said...

Glad I stopped by your blog. Loved the and all! What a great post for Fall!

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