kukla_tko: (Kitty Crack ho)
For those who liked this season's stuffed pumpkins, here's what I did:

For the one served at the tea social:
Note: This was accidentally vegan. So yay!
1 medium sized carving pumpkin
2 cups jasmine rice
4 cups water
Saffron
Chinese Five-spice powder (Cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, anise, ginger)
Coriander
Tumeric
Himalayan Sea salt
black pepper
2 sticks of cinnamon
pinch of whole cloves
1 can water chestnuts
1 can bamboo shoots
handful of golden raisins
handful of baby carrots
1 celery stalk
1 package of shelled walnut pieces

For the one served on Halloween:

1 medium/large sized carving pumpkin
2 cups jasmine rice
2 cups water
2 cups chicken broth
Chinese Five-spice powder (Cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, anise, ginger)
Coriander
Tumeric
Himalayan Sea salt
black pepper
2 sticks of cinnamon
pinch of whole cloves
1 can of smoked ham
1 snack sized box of regular raisins
about a third of a can of chunk pineapple
handful of cashews
2 cans sliced potatoes
1 can whole potatoes


In both cases:
Put the rice and water (or water and broth) into the rice cooker. Add seasonings, except for the cinnamon sticks.
Set the rice cooker to do its magic.
While that is going on, cut into the pumpkin like you're planning to carve it.
I like to cut a jagged top. You can cut a round top, but make a notch so you can get it back on tightly.
Scoop out the seeds and pumpkin guts. Since you're not carving it, you don't have to be aggressive about getting the strings out. I try not to carve too deeply into the pumpkin's flesh.
Note: If you like roasted pumpkin seeds, save the seeds and wash them. If not, share. If you compost the pumpkin guts, you'll likely have pumpkins the next year.

Once the rice cooker does its job, mix the hot rice together with the additional ingredients. For the canned items, drain them before mixing them.

Lay out two pieces of foil or parchment paper on a pie pan or cookie sheet.
Set the pumpkin in the pie pan or on a cookie sheet.

Get a large spoon and scoop the rice mixture into the pumpkin. I like to toss the cinnamon sticks in first.

In the case of the second pumpkin, I had about half of the stuffing I needed, so I added the canned potatoes as filler. They turned out to be darned tasty, so I may do this on purpose next time.

Replace the lid on the pumpkin.

Wrap the pumpkin in the aluminum foil or parchment paper. (The foil is significantly easier.) Make sure the whole thing is covered up.

Re-arrange the oven racks so that the pumpkin will fit in the oven.
Set the pumpkin in the oven.

The best way to bake this is to set the oven for about 200-250 degrees, the night before you're going to serve it. I did this with the first pumpkin but set it at 275; it was overdone when I pulled it out at 11am the next day. Cooked for about ten hours.

The one on Halloween went in the oven around 1pm, cooked until 6ish. Was set for 350. Added the lasagna for the last two hours, dropped the temperature to 325 per cooking instructions.

So longer time= lower temperature.
Shorter time= higher temperature.

I find that pumpkin stuffing likes lots of ginger, and salt. Savory pumpkin loves its salt. When I have the time and am feeling very "Martha Stewart" about it, I roast the pumpkin seeds and put them back in the stuffing. Mmm.

One of these times I might roast the damn thing with the guts intact; it's not like the strings are poisonous or anything.
kukla_tko: (Spike)
I want to make some buttons or t-shirts or something. Possibly some LJ icons.

They will say, "Pumpkins are food."

Here's the definition of "Pumpkin" from the online Webster's:
Main Entry: pump┬Ěkin
Function: noun
Usage: often attributive
Etymology: alteration of earlier pumpion, modification of French popon, pompon melon, pumpkin, from Latin pepon-, pepo, from Greek pepOn, from pepOn ripened; akin to Greek pessein to cook, ripen -- more at COOK
1 a : the usually round orange fruit of a vine (Cucurbita pepo) of the gourd family widely cultivated as food b : WINTER CROOKNECK c British : any of various large-fruited winter squashes (C. maxima)
2 : a usually hairy prickly vine that produces pumpkins

Get that? Winter Squash. Why do they call it that? Well, if you don't puncture them, get them wet, or expose them to extreme heat, they keep for months. Harvest them with the rest of the crops and set them aside.

How does one eat a pumpkin?
If your only answer to that question is "pie", you're not part of my "Pumpkins are food" movement.
If your only answers are "Pie" and "bread", you're not part of it, either.

Wanna join the movement? Post a recipe or a link to such for a pumpkin dish that you have eaten or prepared (or both.)
Here's mine:
Feed the neighborhood )

Also, there's a great story about an unusual use for a pumpkin.
My Papa was at a random gathering with the neighbors. The neighbor's father was present and telling great stories from "the farm." At some point the subject of pumpkins came up (this may have been when my family was growing pumpkins in the back yard.) Everyone said that the only thing pumpkins were good for was Jack-O-Lanterns and pie, and pie was too much trouble.
The old farmer chuckled to himself and spoke up.
"Punkins are good eatin'," he said. "You can do lots of things with 'em."
He then went through a list of things that you could do with a pumpkin (including stuffing it) and then got nostalgic.
"But the best thing to do with a punkin' is to make punkin' wine."
Of course, they asked how to make pumpkin wine.
"Well, first you cut a little plug out of the side of the top, see, about yay big. Then you pour yer sugar and yeast into the hole. Plug the hole back up and seal it with candlewax, but stick a straw in it first so it can breathe. Then ya hang the punkin up in the barn for a couple of months, give it time to ferment. When it's ready, ya take it down and pull the plug back out, strain the juice into bottles and seal 'em up. Then ya throw the punkin to the hogs. They like that a lot."

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