Jacky Lanterns

October 31, 2008 0 Comments

Today Bryson came home early to carve pumpkins with the kids. “Jacky lanterns,” as they call them. And so we stripped Taylor down to just his pants (he is a magnet for all things gooey & sticky) and safeguarded the kitchen table with today’s newspaper in order to protect it from the pumpkin onslaught.

Taylor & Reilly were really wary of the pumpkin innards, but were really excited to pick the shapes out that would make up their jack-o-lantern faces. Taylor wanted circle eyes, Reilly preferred triangles.

In the meantime I was fixing up a pumpkin of my own in the kitchen… Tonight I decided to get creative and make dinner in a pumpkin. I had a recipe years ago back in college that was really yummy and I have yet to find a similar recipe to recreate it. So I just decided to wing it tonight. Give it a try and tell me what you think.

Dinner in a Pumpkin:

1 lb. ground turkey
1 lb. ground pork sausage
salt & pepper to taste
a few shakes each of: cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, fennel seed & chili powder (just go with me on that one)
1/2 onion, diced
1 medium apple, cored & diced (tart is best– we used Jonathans… what else?)
1 cup sliced mushrooms
2 T brown sugar
~32 oz. chicken stock (2 cans or one of the big boxes)
1 1/2 c. brown & wild rice mixture (or use what your family enjoys)
1 sugar pumpkin
1 (10.75 oz) can condensed cream of mushroom soup

In a large skillet over medium high heat, mix ground meats together & cook until browned. Drain off fat and mix in salt, pepper, spices, onion, apple, mushrooms, & brown sugar. Stir in stock & rice. Cover & cook until rice is tender.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Remove top of pumpkin by cutting straight across the top (if you cut it jack-o-lantern style the top will collapse in on itself as it bakes). Scoop out pumpkin innards.

When meat/rice mixture is done, add the condensed soup and stir well. Season the inside of the pumpkin with salt, pepper, a little brown sugar, nutmeg, & some chili powder (there it is again!) Spoon the meat mixture into the pumpkin, replace pumpkin top.

Place the pumpkin on a large baking sheet & bake for 1 hr – 1 1/2 hrs at 400, or until the pumpkin is tender. Scoop out portions of filling and parts of the cooked pulp & serve. This is especially yummy with some crusty homemade bread & apple cider from Southridge Farm. 🙂


October 31, 2008



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