Friday, October 18, 2019

Meal in a Pumpkin

One October it was clear our kids and grands weren't going to make it up for our annual family outing to the Wemple's Pumpkin Patch. Rick and I found a patch near their home to visit. This place was MASSIVE. Amber alert signs directed traffic, there were zip lines, a train, a corn maze sponsored by some medical center and I'm sure there were pumpkins but I never saw them. We never did this again. Like the Cheers song "sometimes you wanna go where everyone knows your name" -ish. Or at least I know their names. The Wemple's are like Lassen County royalty. Their pumpkin patch is exactly what I NEED to get me in that Fall state of mind. AND Dena, Fred, friends and family have been doing this for 25 years now!

Pumpkins! Gourds! Gift Shop! A corn maze where you really get to know everyone inside cuz you're lost together for so long! FOOOOOODDDDD! Rick and I go out for lunch at least once, gotta get one of Fred's burgers. Now somewhere along the line I remember a dish called Dinner in a Pumpkin. Hearty, savory, perfect for this time of year. I requested the recipe from Dena to share with you. I kinda remembered it being like a stuffed pepper filling. Not at all! Ground beef, ground pork, onion.. WAIT. What's this? Raisins? Stuffed green olives? Vinegar? Are you sure? Didn't sound right but Dena is a fantastic cook so I followed it to the letter. Well that's not exactly true. I baked the filling in assorted hard squash our Produce department cuts and scoops so we don't have to. Amazing dish. Simple, filling and the flavors knock your socks off. 

Meal in a Pumpkin (or single serve hard squash we've already cleaned for you :)

1 small Pumpkin (cleaned like you would for a Jack O Lantern)
Combine the following:
2 tbs oil
2 lbs Ground Beef 
1/2 lb Ground Pork 
2 1/2 tsp salt
3 tbs Chopped Onion
2 tsp Oregano
1 tsp Vinegar

Brown and drain off fat then add:
3 beaten eggs
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup chopped stuffed green olives
1 8oz can tomato sauce
3/4 cup raisins
1 tsp pepper

Fill pumpkin. Bake 60-70 minutes with lid on pumpkin. Serve. Be delighted! All these crazy, seemingly unrelated ingredients come together in a delectable, comforting dish. 

A couple of notes if your using our prepped squash; butternut takes a long time to get tender, I suggest precooking it a bit. I covered my squash with foil since I didn't have the 'lid'.

Huge Hometown thanks to the Wemple family giving our community the Best Pumpkin Patch on the Planet for 25 years now!

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