By Rosie Moore
How fortunate we are to have Autumn season, football season, and cooler weather season. Being a lover of fantastic recipes and exotic foods, I must include pumpkin season. No, the pumpkin isn’t exotic in itself, but it can be included in exotic recipes.
My family didn’t eat the round pumpkins, they were given to cows and pigs. We made our pies and other delicious casseroles from the crookneck pumpkin. I always hated carving Halloween pumpkins for the kids but I did it anyway. I hated scooping out the sinewy pulp and seeds and I never got the eyes, nose, and mouth properly situated. No, I don’t do that any more, I buy good old Libby’s canned pumpkin for my recipes.
Did you know there are many health benefits to eating pumpkin? Just 1/2 cup provides 100% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin A which aids vision. It is also a rich source of the antioxidant beta carotene and one cup of pumpkin has more potassium than a banana! Pumpkin seeds are also good for you. They are packed with magnesium, protein, zinc, and copper. Toss them with butter and salt and roast them in the oven.
When it came to making delicious desserts and other fabulous recipes, pumpkin is my choice.
DINNER IN A PUMPKIN: (For those who use the round pumpkin)
1 medium pumpkin
1 tab. oil or butter
1 small onion, diced
1 c. sliced fresh (or canned) mushrooms
1-8oz. can water chestnuts
Salt and pepper
1-1/2 lbs. ground beef
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/4 c. brown sugar
2 tab. soy sauce
4 cups cooked brown or white rice
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Line a baking sheet with foil
- Thoroughly wash and dry the outside of the pumpkin.
- Cut the top off the pumpkin and clean out the pulp and seeds. Place the pumpkin on the baking sheet. Save the top.
- In a large skillet, sauté the onions and mushrooms in oil or butter. Add ground beef and cook until no longer pink. Drain the grease from the beef. Add salt, pepper and water chestnuts.
- In a large bowl, mix soup, brown sugar, and soy sauce. Add ground beef mixture and cooked rice.
- Empty bowl into the cleaned out pumpkin and replace pumpkin top.
- Bake for one hour on the lower rack of the oven, or on the rack where the pumpkin can be most centered in the oven.
- After one hour, remove the top and check the sides of the pumpkin for doneness. The outside of the pumpkin will turn a dark orange, and the inside of the pumpkin should be tender and easily scoop off the sides with a spoon. If the inside of the pumpkin is still not fully cooked, bake for an additional 10-15 minutes. The cooking time will vary on the size of the pumpkin. Using hot pads, place the pumpkin onto a serving plate, remove the lid, and stir. Be sure to scoop off chunks of cooked pumpkin into the casserole as it is served. That’s the best part!
Happy Thanksgiving and a sumptuous pumpkin season!
Thought for the day: Are you humbly grateful? Or grumbly hateful? Pastor Roland Smith
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